By Ian Fletcher
This is often the tale of the Waterloo crusade from the viewpoint of the British military. Uniquely, it starts off with the break-up of Wellington's military on the finish of the Peninsular struggle, maintains with the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo, after which examines the struggling with that undefined, as Wellington's military driven directly to Paris
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Additional info for A Desperate Business: Wellington, the British Army and the Waterloo Campaign
In this way, a 'vicious circle' of imperial decline was set in motion, so that despite various strategies to sustain the main elements of the imperial system, it was progressively unravelled. The same kind of sequence, with local modifications, may be seen at work in the other European colonial powers: indeed the colonial DECOLONISA TION 25 empires ultimately depended on each other's support, and vicarious legitimation. But of course this can only be the most general hypothesis with which to approach the enormous variety of colonial situations or seek to explain the widely differing outcome of decolonisation in different societies.
But Britain's geographical position alone ensured that British governments could not remain aloof from European events since British security was bound up with the continental power balance. 25 Elsewhere in the world strategic and political interests had sucked British power into regions that lay outside the formal empire. By the 1930s both Egypt and Iraq were independent states and neither had ever been technically part of the empire. Yet both were regarded as of key importance to Britain's security interests as a great power in Asia and the Pacific, Egypt especially.
28 BRITAIN AND DECOLONISATION The dominions enjoyed a special and intimate relationship with Britain and had to be treated as equals. But the Indian Empire was Britain's most important single colony. It was a valuable though declining market, an enormous bank of cheap manpower (extensively used in the First World War), the provider of a regular army available in emergency for British use, and, in geopolitical terms, a great zone ofstability from which British influence could be exerted in East Asia and the Middle East.