Book Review – ‘A Waste of Blood and Treasure: The 1799 Anglo-Russian invasion of the Netherlands’ by Martin Robson

By Martin Robson, published December 2020


The Anglo-Russian invasion of the Netherlands in 1799 is one of the more unusual joint and international maritime expeditions launched during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Philip Ball’s account of the invasion is based on his MA thesis and draws upon a range of contemporary primary source material and eye-witness accounts to provide a good tactical and operational narrative of the origins, planning and implementation of the expedition. With that in mind it is no surprise that Ball’s focus is on the military and naval aspects. This matches very well with the usual Pen and Sword remit for works such as this, since the publisher’s focus is on military and naval narrative and with that in mind Ball has certainly done a decent job. There are, however, limitations in this approach …

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Filed under: North Sea | Eighteenth Century | French Revolution
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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