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Volume One: 1815 From mobilisation to war


Volume One: 280 pages, A4 format, 21 illustrations, 11 maps, bibliography, index (written in English), published June 2012.

Black & white edition: ISBN 978-90-819318-1-6
Colour edition: ISBN 978-90-819318-0-9

Order the black and white illustrated edition here at Lulu for € 26,-  

Order the colour illustrated edition here at Lulu for € 53,50  

Content information

In March 1815 the fledgling Netherlands state saw its existance threatened by the escape from Elba and return to power in France of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Without hesitance a field army was mobilised of ultimately 30,000 men strong to defend the newly acquired southern territories in Belgium.

This history explores in detail the unique perspective from the Netherlands field army for the period of mid-March 1815 up to the outbreak of war on 15th June, when it faced the French Imperial army for the first time at the village of Frasnes close to Quatre Bras. This history offers both the perspective of the highranking Netherlands governmental officials and generals, as well as those of the lower military ranks. The initial ideas and memorandums for a strategy to defend Belgium are presented, which were drafted in 1814 by the Dutch General Staff and conflicted with those of the Duke of Wellington and other British officers sent to inspect Belgium, but would have great relevance to the events in June 1815. Especially the contingency plans drawn up in May 1815 by the command of the Netherlands field army, which had a significant impact on the field operation for 15th and 16th June.

Furthermore in this history the build-up of the field army is explored in its various aspects as it settled in cantonments in Belgium to prepare for the invasion of France, as well as the troubled relationship between King Willem and the Duke of Wellington over the command of the Netherlands troops and the various fortress garrisons. Similar awkward relations are presented between the French royalists in exile in Belgium and the Netherlands government. Finally the operations on 15th June are described in close detail for the field army forming part of the Anglo-Allied 1st Corps, such as the early knowledge in the morning about a French offensive, the rapid concentration of the army corps, the visit of the Prince of Orange at Brussels to alert the Duke of Wellington and of course the fighting in the evening around Frasnes.

This volume draws almost exclusively from archival sources of the Dutch army from 1815 and presents numerous hitherto unpublished or unknown contemporary documents, including private accounts from Netherlands veterans, to recreate the history of the Netherlands field army during the campaign of 1815.


This volume presents a number of portraits and other paintings from the Dutch-Belgian perspective previously unknown to the iconography of the Waterloo campaign. The maps in this volume are hand drawn.


Learn more on the interesting content through this preview.


"From mobilisation to war" has received a number of very positive reviews in the international press.

Review by Jelmer Rotteveel in Acta Historica

Review by Louis Sloos in Mars et Historia

Review by Michael-Andreas Tänzer from the Arbeitskreis Hannoversche Militärgeschichte

Review by Gareth Glover on Napoleon Series

Review by Ron McGuigan on Napoleon Series

What readers say

  • I do agree with Gareth Glover's point of view. Thanks once again for your Vol. 1, Erwin (Pierre Toussaint from Belgium)
  • My book has arrived. Thank you Erwin it looks great. The content has much new ground for me - good luck for the hard work on the future volumes. Looking forward to them. (Stewart Stiles from South Africa)
  • Erwin, received your book 'from mobilisation to war', quite impressive! (Rob Regter from The Netherlands)
  • Ordered the black & white version due to difference in cost - arrived withing 3 days!!!!! Superb book - most illustrations are portraits so lack of colour is not really an issue. (Brian Southwell from the United Kingdom)
  • The illustrations in the book are of a wonderful size, no poststamps but of a size one can see the details. The first impression of the content is also good. (Sjak Draak from The Netherlands)