Battle of Waterloo

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"A damned near run thing" - Duke of Wellington

The site of Napoleon Bonaparte's final battle, June 18, 1815. After Napoleon's exile to Elba, he was restored to the throne of France for 100 days. During this time, the forces of the rest of Europe converged on him, including Great Britain's Duke of Wellington, and Prussia's Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher.

The Anglo-allied and Prussian armies were separated by previous victories the French had won (Quatre Bras and Ligny), but contradictory orders by Napoleon to his subordinate Grouchy allowed them time to regroup and attack. The allies destroyed Napoleon's resistance and the French fled. Shortly after this defeat, Napoleon lost his throne and was exiled to Saint Helena, where he spent the rest of his life.

Fought near the village of the same name in Belgium, Napoleon was defeated (just) by the combined effort of the Anglo-allied army under the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian Army under Blucher. The Anglo-allied army of Wellington held out against repeated French assault until the arrival of the Prussians in the evening sealed the fate of the Emperor.

Gallant defence of La Haye Saint by the King's German Legion. Wellingtons hotch-potch command consisted of British, German, Dutch, Belgian,

  • Anglo-Allied Army - 106,000 men of Mixed quality (British, Dutch, and minor German states)
  • Prussian Army - 128,000 men of Mixed quality
  • French Army (Armee du Nord) - 128,000 men of good quality.

Imperial guard of 25,000, a formidable elite group of units.

The battle commenced at about 1120 in the morning and concluded at about 2200 that evening.

General Cambronne surrendered to Col Halkett.

See also: