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Napoleon Part 2, session vii
 

Napoleon Part 2, session vii

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This session brings Napoleon back from Elba and begins the Waterloo campaign.

This session brings Napoleon back from Elba and begins the Waterloo campaign.

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    Napoleon Part 2, session vii Napoleon Part 2, session vii Presentation Transcript

    • Napoleon Part Two session viiThe Hundred Days
    • Napoleon Part Two session viiThe Hundred Days
    • I felt that Fortune was abandoningme, I no longer had the feeling thatI was sure to succeed. --Napoleon
    • DIE BEIDEN GRENADIERE THE TWO GRENADIERS1. Nach Frankreich zogen zwei Grenadier, To France were returning two grenadiersDie waren in Rußland gefangen. Who had been in Russia in prison.Und als sie kamen ins deutsche Quartier, And when to the German lodging they came,Sie ließen die Köpfe hangen. They sadly bowed their beads.2. Da hörten sie beide die traurige Mär: There they were told the sorrowful tale:Daß Frankreich verloren gegangen. That France had been lost and defeated,Besiegt und geschlagen das tapfere Heer, Conquered and beaten the valiant army,Und der Kaiser, der Kaiser gefangen. And the Emperor, the Emperor captured.4. Der andre sprach: "Das Lied ist aus, The other said: "The song is oer,Auch ich möcht mit dir sterben, I too would fain die with you,Doch hab ich Weib und Kind zu Haus, But I have a wife and child at home,Die ohne mich verderben." Who without me will perish." Poem by Heinrich Heine5. "Was schert mich Weib, was schert mich Kind; "What care I for wife, what care I for child, 1827Ich trage weit besser Verlangen; I have a far better desire ;Laß sie betteln gehn, wenn sie hungrig sind- Let them go begging if hungry they are, Lied byMein Kaiser, mein Kaiser gefangen! My Emperor, my Emperor captured! Robert Schumann 18437. Das Ehrenkreuz am roten Band The medal on the red ribbonSollst du aufs Herz mir legen; You shall lay upon my heart ;Die Flinte gib mir in die Hand Give me the musket in my hands,Und gürt mir um den Degen. And buckle on my sabre.8. So will ich liegen und horchen still, Thus I will lie and listen still,Wie eine Schildwach im Grabe, Like a sentinel in the grave,Bis einst ich höre Kanonengebrüll Till some day I shall hear the cannons roarUnd wiehernder Rosse Getrabe. And the trotting of neighing steeds,9. Dann reitet mein Kaiser wohl über mein Grab, It is then that my Emperor will ride over my grave,Viel Schwerter klirren und blitzen; Many swords will be clanking and sparkling,Dann steig ich gewaffnet hervor aus dem Grab- Then I shall rise, fully armed, out of my grave,Den Kaiser, den Kaiser zu schützen! My Emperor, my Emperor defending!"
    • major topics for this session✦ Elba✦ Congress of Vienna✦ The Return✦ The Seventh Coalition✦ Quatre Bras and Ligny
    • Elba
    • Cruicshank adds his imaginary touch. “Long Live the Bourbons,” In the distance a gibbetawaits Napoleon in England, a demon dances on his head, the Devil will ferry him across the Channel
    • ! thinking the “Corsican Ogre” safely banished, his enemies took delight in his downfall! this caricature shows an actual practice for humiliating individuals ! swords were broken ! men were compelled to ride backwards on donkeys! but, of course, this scene is imaginary
    • The choice of Elba as Napoleon’s new home had been made in the springof 1814, when the Allies captured Paris and demanded his immediate,unconditional abdication. Tsar Alexander had promised, personally, that ifNapoleon cooperated, the terms would be generous. Maps were scanned fora place of exile that would encourage the French emperor to vacate thethrone without delay. ...places were considered from the Canaries to the Caribbean. Somewanted Trinidad, others the Azores, even Botany Bay in Australia.Talleyrand pressed for St. Helena in the South Atlantic. It was the Russiantsar who, in the end, proposed the island of Elba. Actually, Alexander did more than propose the island---he simply refusedto consider any other option. David King, Vienna, 1814, p. 123
    • Following the Treaty of Fontainebleau, French emperor Napoleon I was exiledto Elba after his forced abdication in 1814 and arrived at Portoferraio on May3, 1814 to begin his exile there. He was allowed to keep a personal guard of sixhundred men. Although he was nominally sovereign of Elba, the island waspatrolled by the British Navy.During the months Napoleon stayed on the island, he carried out a series ofeconomic and social reforms to improve the quality of life, partly to pass thetime and partly out of a genuine concern for the well-being of the islanders.Napoleon stayed on Elba for 300 days. He returned to France on February 26,1815 for the Hundred Days. Napoleons stay on Elba is the basis for thefamous English language palindrome: "Able was I ere I saw Elba." Wikipedia, Elba
    • Following the Treaty of Fontainebleau, French emperor Napoleon I was exiledto Elba after his forced abdication in 1814 and arrived at Portoferraio on May3, 1814 to begin his exile there. He was allowed to keep a personal guard of sixhundred men. Although he was nominally sovereign of Elba, the island waspatrolled by the British Navy.During the months Napoleon stayed on the island, he carried out a series ofeconomic and social reforms to improve the quality of life, partly to pass thetime and partly out of a genuine concern for the well-being of the islanders.Napoleon stayed on Elba for 300 days. He returned to France on February 26,1815 for the Hundred Days. Napoleons stay on Elba is the basis for thefamous English language palindrome: "Able was I ere I saw Elba." Wikipedia, Elba
    • ! “...some 12,000 people lived on the small, sun-drenched island.”--King! eighty-six square miles, six miles wide, sixteen miles long, 30 miles east of Corsica, 12 miles west of the Italian mainland! “...generally speaking, a very poor island. Its soil was rocky and its seasons extreme….famines all too common….despite...the widespread poverty….but ! iron ore ! rich stone quarries
    • Napoleon’s second residence
    • Napoleon’s second residence
    • The Restless Exile
    • The Restless Exile
    • The Restless Exilehere he welcomed Marie Walewska and their son, Alexander (1-3 September)
    • The Restless Exile
    • The Congress of Vienna
    • Frederick Tsar William III Alexander of Prussia The Congress of Vienna Emperor Francis I of AustriaThe Great Viennese Peace-Congress for the Re-establishment of Peace and Justice in Europe
    • Kings, queens, princes, and diplomats would all pour into the city of Viennain the autumn of 1814 for the highly anticipated peace conference. Morethan 200 states and princely houses would send delegates to settle the manyunresolved issues. How were the victors to reconstruct the war-torncontinent? How were they going to make restitution to the millions whohad lost family members or suffered the horrors of Napoleonic domination?The Vienna Congress offered a chance to correct the wrongs of the pastand, many hoped, create the “best of all possible worlds.” David King, Vienna, 1814, p. 2
    • HOW THE CONQUERORS OF NAPOLEON MADE LOVE, WAR, AND PEACE AT THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA
    • You have come at the right moment.If you like fètes and balls, you will have enough of them; the Congress does not move forward, it dances. --PRINCE DE LIGNE King, p. ix
    • “Never before, or since, have women so influenced a peace conference.” --King Wilhemine, Duchess of Sagan, with one of her many lovers, Tsar Alex. Metternich was another!
    • “Never before, or since, have women so influenced a peace conference.” --King her bust in the Alexander Palace
    • “Never before, or since, have women so influenced a peace conference.” --King with her sister Pauline
    • “Never before, or since, have women so influenced a peace conference.” --King their illegitimate sister, Dorothée, the wife of Tallerand’s nephew & his hostess in Vienna and mother of his “love child”
    • “Never before, or since, have women so influenced a peace conference.” --King their illegitimate sister, Dorothée, the wife of Tallerand’s nephew & his hostess in Vienna and mother of his “love child”
    • “Never before, or since, have women so influenced a peace conference.” --King their illegitimate sister, Dorothée, the wife of Tallerand’s nephew & his hostess in Vienna and mother of his “love child”
    • “Never before, or since, have women so influenced a peace conference.” --King their illegitimate sister, Dorothée, the wife of Tallerand’s nephew & his hostess in Vienna and mother of his “love child”
    • “Never before, or since, have women so influenced a peace conference.” --King Princess Catherine Bagration, the general’s widow
    • “Never before, or since, have women so influenced a peace conference.” --King Princess Catherine Bagration, the general’s widow
    • Salons were ideal settings for diplomacy as Talleyrand preferred to practiceit, subtly and informally advancing his interests in a place like Metternich’s,that is sure to be crowded with the people who ruled Europe. At such agathering, it was really a stroke of bad luck, one salon regular put it, “not toencounter an emperor, a king, a reigning prince, or not to knock into acrown prince, a great general, a famous diplomat, a celebrated minister.”On some memorable occasions too, Metternich would serve on the fineSèvres china that Napoleon had given him for arranging his marriage toMarie Louise. At Metternich’s, diplomats could wrangle over the spoils ofNapoleon’s empire by day, and then dine on his china at night. King, Vienna, p. 75
    • Beethoven performed “Wellington’s Victory” here during the Congress
    • The famous ensemble portrait
    • The famous ensemble portrait Jean-Baptiste Isabey, 1819
    • 1 1 6 1 Wellington 8 6 Metternich 8 Nesselrode 21 Hardenberg (seated) 21
    • Arthur Wellesley, Lord Wellington (1769-1852)We always have been, we are, and I hope that wealways shall be, detested in France
    • Klemens Prince von Metternich (1773-1859) I say to myself twentytimes a day how right I am and how wrong the othersare. And yet it is so easy to be right.
    • Count Karl Robert Nesselrode (1773-1859)“My intention is to build a golden bridge to save [Alexander] from theintrigues of Metternich." Alas for such vain hopes!--King
    • Karl August Fürst von Hardenberg (1750-1822) “...it was Hardenberg who, supported by the influence of the noble Queen Louise, [had] determined Frederick William to take advantage of General Yorcks loyal disloyalty and declare against France.”--King
    • 2410 Castlereagh 2513 Razumovsky18 Friedrich v. Gentz 18(Congress Secretary) 13 1919 Wilhelm v. Humboldt22 Talleyrand 1024 Emperor Francis I (painting) 2225 Kaunitz (bust)
    • Robert Stewart,Viscount Castlereagh (1769-1822)British Foreign Secretary, 1812-1822; author of the QuadrupleAlliance and the Congress System
    • Andrey Kirilovich Razumovsky (1752-1836)1792-began his term asRussian ambassador to Vienna, built amagnificent embassy athis own expense, 1814-chief negotiator on the Polish question
    • “...he had become reconciled to Metternichs view that, in an age ofdecay, the sole function of a statesman was to prop up moulderinginstitutions.”--King ✦ born in Breslau, educated at Königsberg under the influence of Immanuel Kant, a brilliant student ✦ lifelong devotée of wine, women and song, learned English and French during an illness-enforced period of virtue ✦ 1794-translated Burke’s Reflections, became conservative ✦ 1802-moved to Vienna, became an imperial counsellor ✦ 1812-developed a life-long friendship with Metternich, became his assistant, confidante, advisor ✦ 1814-1815--secretary to the Congress of Vienna ✦ “his vast knowledge of men and affairs made him a power. He was under no illusion as to their achievements; his Friedrich von Gentz memoir on the work of the Congress is at once an incisive 1764 – 1832 piece of criticism and a monument of his own disillusionment.”--Encyclopedia Britannica,11th ed., in Wikipedia
    • Wilhelm, Freiherr von Humboldt (1767-1835)philosopher, government functionary, diplomat, linguist, founder of Humboldt Universität (Berlin’s oldest), friend of Goethe and Schiller, architect of the Prussian education system; older brother of Alexander, the equally famous naturalist and scientist
    • Charles Maurice deTalleyrand-Perigord (1754-1838)“...merde in a silk stocking.” Napoleon,1808to which he replied (behind the Emperor’s back) "Pity that so great a man should have been so badly brought up!"
    • I have made two mistakes withTalleyrand--first, I did not take hisgood advice, and second, I did nothave him hanged when I did notfollow his ideas. --Napoleon
    • Александр I Павлович (1777-1825) “It would be difficult to have more intelligence that Tsar Alexander, but there is a piece missing, I have never managed to discover what it is.” Napoleon
    • Francis and Alexander Re-draw the Map contemporary French caricature
    • The German Princes of the Former Holy Roman Empire Impotently Attend contemporary German caricature
    • Talleyrand vs the “Big Four”
    • Talleyrand vs the “Big Four”
    • Two Thorny Questions Saxony and Poland✦ Tsar Alexander announced that he intended to keep all of Poland. What’s more, he had “200,000 troops there,” and defied anyone to say otherwise✦ he struck a bargain with his “chamber valet,” Frederick William III of Prussia, that in return for his support, Prussia would get all of Saxony✦ Saxony had remained loyal to Bonaparte and her king was a prisoner in Berlin✦ Talleyrand was especially anxious about the rising power of Prussia and desperately wanted to prevent this✦ Castlereagh was especially anxious about the rising power of Russia and saw Alexander as the new Bonaparte✦ so the seeds were sown for a new relationship after centuries of Anglo-French hostility✦ Metternich would be the “make-piece” in this new Balance of Power
    • Saxony and Poland
    • Saxony and Poland
    • Saxony and Poland Saxonia in 700 AD
    • Saxony and Poland
    • Saxony and Poland
    • Saxony and Poland
    • Saxony and Poland Central Europe in 1701
    • Saxony and Poland
    • Saxony and Poland NorthSaxony which Prussia wasawarded
    • Saxony and Poland
    • Saxony and Poland
    • Saxony and Poland
    • Saxony and Poland
    • Saxony and Poland
    • Saxony and Poland
    • The Final Compromise Saxony and Poland✦ Tsar Alexander would have the lion’s share of Poland (Congress Poland), theoretically an independent state, with him as sovereign✦ Prussia would get Posen, including the Vistula fortress city of Thorn, and the Republic of Danzig (1807-1815)✦ Saxony would keep ⅗ths of its territory and ⅔rds of its population, including its capital, Dresden, and the important commercial city of Leipzig✦ from Saxony, Prussia would receive Provinz Sachsen, (the northern ⅖ths-⅓rd) including Erfurt, Halle, Mulhausen, and the Elban fortress cities of Magdeburg and Torgau✦ in compensation for not getting all of Saxony, Rhenish (Rhineland) Prussia; Jerome’s former Kingdom of Westphalia, including the Archbishoprics of Trier, Mainz and Köln (Cologne)✦ ironically, ultimately a much better deal because of the Ruhrgebiet und Saarland
    • The Final Compromise Saxony and Poland
    • The Final Compromise Saxony and Poland
    • The German Confederation (Bund) undoubtedly had many drawback,with no common army, currency, court system, or customs union. Itdid, however, have greater success internationally. As Henry Kissingernoted, the confederation came the closest to solving the fundamental“German problem” of modern European history; that is, it created aGermany that was neither too weak nor too strong, a Germany thatwould be neither a temptation to outside powers nor a threat to itsneighbors. After 1815, Germany would enjoy a period of relative peace,which was so desperately needed after the destruction of theNapoleonic Wars. King, p. 320
    • The German Confederation (Bund) undoubtedly had many drawback,with no common army, currency, court system, or customs union. Itdid, however, have greater success internationally. As Henry Kissingernoted, the confederation came the closest to solving the fundamental“German problem” of modern European history; that is, it created aGermany that was neither too weak nor too strong, a Germany thatwould be neither a temptation to outside powers nor a threat to itsneighbors. After 1815, Germany would enjoy a period of relative peace,which was so desperately needed after the destruction of theNapoleonic Wars. King, p. 320
    • Britain had also been successful at strengthening its own position. Manystrategic islands, scooped up in the Napoleonic Wars, were retained,including Malta, the Cape of Good Hope, Ceylon, Mauritius and the IonianIslands. The British Royal Navy now had vital bases in the Mediterranean,south Atlantic and Indian Ocean, securing the route to India, which wouldsoon be the unrivaled “jewel in the crown” of the British empire. Castlereaghhad also built a ring around France, with a stronger Netherlands andPiedmont-Sardinia, and a neutral Switzerland, and a more powerful Prussiato balance the Continent. Castlereagh’s emphasis on establishing a “justequilibrium” was very much in line with British interests--that is, keepingthe Continent locked in a rough balance of power while the Royal Navy wasbusy elsewhere, creating the largest empire the world has ever seen. King, pp. 320-321
    • Britain had also been successful at strengthening its own position. Many strategic islands, scooped up in the Napoleonic Wars, were retained, including Malta, the Cape of Good Hope, Ceylon, Mauritius and the Ionian Islands. The British Royal Navy now had vital bases in the Mediterranean, south Atlantic and Indian Ocean, securing the route to India, which would soon be the unrivaled “jewel in the crown” of the British empire. Castlereagh had also built a ring around France, with a stronger Netherlands and Piedmont-Sardinia, and a neutral Switzerland, and a more powerful Prussia to balance the Continent. Castlereagh’s emphasis on establishing a “just equilibrium” was very much in line with British interests--that is, keeping the Continent locked in a rough balance of power while the Royal Navy was busy elsewhere, creating the largest empire the world has ever seen. King, pp. 320-321 Leg # 1-Balance ofPower on the Continent Leg # 3-Sea Power
    • News trickled into Vienna that France was becoming highly unstable. KingLouis XVIII, after only six months on the throne, was very unpopular, andhis whole government was as detested as the French government had beenon the eve of the Revolution. Generals were restless. Soldiers missedNapoleon, and so did many veterans who had been reduced to half pay, oreven unceremoniously dismissed at the end of the war, and now, in thepostwar recession, were forced to beg or steal. King, pp. 164-165
    • The Return
    • The Return
    • Had he always thought of returning to France as liberator or did hisdecision result from the plight of his soldiers, his own disappointment at nothearing from Marie-Louise, his own penury? His correspondence and thetestimony of those around him suggest that, at least in the winter of1814-1815, he intended to remain on Elba…. Napoleon continued to receive reports on the dismal state of affairs inFrance. Cipriani reported from Vienna that the allies were discussing theprobability of moving the exile to St. Helena….That alone would havemade him contemplate an escape attempt, but in late February two eventsseemed to supply the powder necessary to explode his perhaps suppresseddesires. [Another report describing extreme French unrest.] The secondwas Colonel Campbell [his Scots “minder”] ‘s departure in mid-Februaryfor a holiday with his mistress in Leghorn. [King writes that he had gone tothe mainland to get his war wounds tended] Asprey, p. 373
    • Beaume, Napoléon Ier quittant l’Ile d’ Elbe, 1836
    • On his way from Elba, Napoleon had enjoyed good fortune in eludingseveral ships patrolling the waters. The Inconstant passed the French frigatesMelpomène and Fleur-de-Lys without incident, and then, rounding Corsica,Napoleon passed yet another enemy warship, the Zéphir, without anydifficulties. Even the British vessel carrying Campbell back to Elbe, thePartridge, was sighted on the horizon. No one had stopped him. Had thewinds blown differently, others have speculated, Napoleon might easily havebeen seized or sunk….To the thrill of his supporters, at first mainly soldiers and peasants, the initialsurprise and cold reception was beginning to thaw. Gradually, there weremore cheers and shouts of “Vive l’Empereur!” King, p. 237
    • Photos of a 2009 re-enactment near Cannes
    • Photos of a 2009 re-enactment near Cannes
    • Photos of a 2009 re-enactment near Cannes
    • Photos of a 2009 re-enactment near Cannes
    • Photos of a 2009 re-enactment near Cannes
    • Photos of a 2009 re-enactment near Cannes
    • Photos of a 2009 re-enactment near Cannes
    • Photos of a 2009 re-enactment near Cannes
    • On March 7, at Laffrey, some fifteen miles outside Grenoble, Napoleon hadthe famous confrontation with the Fifth Infantry Regiment. The commanderhad orders to stop “Bonaparte’s brigands,” and he was determined to obey.Napoleon’s army approached, led by his Polish lancers and the Old Guard tothe rallying anthem of “La Marseillaise.” Napoleon himself rode to the frontof his troops, dismounted, and advanced straight ahead in line of fire of theking’s soldiers. “There he is, fire,” the royalist commander ordered.Napoleon then shouted, “Soldiers of the fifth, I am your Emperor.” “If there is any one among you who would kill his Emperor,” Napoleoncontinued as he opened his greatcoat, “here I am.” The tense silence wasbroken with shouts, “Vive l’Empereur!” The soldiers deserted and joined him. Later that day, only hours after Vienna learned of his escape, Napoleonhad already reached Grenoble, some two hundred miles north of hislanding…. Only ten days after his landing, France’s second city, Lyon, had fallen.Louis XVIII was having to come to grips with betrayal, desertion, andincompetence on a grand scale. King, pp. 238-239
    • On March 7, at Laffrey, some fifteen miles outside Grenoble, Napoleon hadthe famous confrontation with the Fifth Infantry Regiment. The commanderhad orders to stop “Bonaparte’s brigands,” and he was determined to obey.Napoleon’s army approached, led by his Polish lancers and the Old Guard tothe rallying anthem of “La Marseillaise.” Napoleon himself rode to the frontof his troops, dismounted, and advanced straight ahead in line of fire of theking’s soldiers. “There he is, fire,” the royalist commander ordered.Napoleon then shouted, “Soldiers of the fifth, I am your Emperor.” “If there is any one among you who would kill his Emperor,” Napoleoncontinued as he opened his greatcoat, “here I am.” The tense silence wasbroken with shouts, “Vive l’Empereur!” The soldiers deserted and joined him. Later that day, only hours after Vienna learned of his escape, Napoleonhad already reached Grenoble, some two hundred miles north of hislanding…. Only ten days after his landing, France’s second city, Lyon, had fallen.Louis XVIII was having to come to grips with betrayal, desertion, andincompetence on a grand scale. King, pp. 238-239
    • Napoleon had always been popular in Lyons, if only because of his efforts torevive the famous silk industry. The city had become headquarters of thecomte d’Artois, the king’s younger brother, its garrison commanded byMarshal Macdonald. Artois, who embraced fear like a mistress “until hemight be called a very dare-devil of cowardice,” immediately fled, shortlyfollowed by Macdonald. Any doubts held by the Emperor must havevanished in the enthusiastic welcome given him and his troops who nownumbered around 14,000 with more volunteers arriving daily…. Learning that Marshal Ney who commanded a royalist corps wasmarching against him, he responded with a brief note ordering Ney to fly thetricolor and join him at Châlons: “I shall receive you as [I did] the day afterthe battle of the Moscowa [Borodino].” Ney, who had promised King Louisto bring the Emperor to Paris in an iron cage, abruptly changed heart andsoon joined his own corps to the fledgling army. Asprey, pp. 376-377
    • Paris meanwhile exploded into a series of anti-Bourbon riots. When itbecame clear to the king that he would soon see Napoleon at the head of ahighly spirited army and not in a cage, he and his court, the palace guardsenior officials hastily decamped, some north to the border eventually to findsanctuary in Ghent, some to the Vendée. On 20 March, as Napoleon hadprophesied aboard the Inconstant, he arrived in Paris to celebrate the king ofRome’s birthday “without firing a shot.” op. cit., p. 377
    • And so the Bourbons had come and gone, rootless and whimpering as thewind. Elting, Swords Around A Throne, p. 641
    • A [witty] reflection on Bonaparte’s astounding progress from Elba wassupplied by a Paris broadsheet. The Tiger has broken out of his den The Ogre has been three days at sea The Wretch has landed at Fréjus The Buzzard has reached Antibes The Invader has arrived at Grenoble The General has entered Lyons Napoleon slept at Fontainebleau last night The Emperor will proceed to the Tuileries to-day His Imperial Majesty will address his loyal subjects to-morrowThe Emperor was carried shoulder-high into the Tuileries on March 201815, with his eyes shut and a sleep-walker’s smile on his face. The HundredDays had begun Elizabeth Longford, Wellington--The Years of the Sword, pp. 394-395
    • Napoleon’s return had been the ultimate of personal triumphs, a legendbrought to life for men to see and remember. It had also been, inWellington’s phrase, “a damn near run thing” [spoken about the victory atWaterloo]. If one soldier could have been brought to fire on the Imperialparty, if one strutting Royalist had had the guts to use a pocket pistol---butnone dared. And Napoleon’s triumph was also that of the army he conceivedand shaped, the men who grumbled but followed and now felt their fatherhad returned. Elting, p. 640
    • Osprey, French Napoleonic Infantryman 1803-15, PLATE H
    • Fusiliers rapidly manoeuvre through the Belgian countryside at l’arme au bras. The armyhad experienced a period of rest and reorganization during Napoleon’s abdication.Released from captivity, returning from besieged garrisons or having recovered fromwounds, many veterans returned to the regimental depots. Cardron described the popularreaction to Napoleon’s return from exile in a letter to his sister: ‘I cannot express the joywe felt when we heard the news; you can judge how much yourself, for no doubt thegarrison of Philippeville feels the same way. Whoever sees one regiment sees the wholearmy; it is a big family that has found the father that they had thought lost forever. COLOUR PLATE COMMENTARY, p. 63
    • Things were not...simple for [the] Emperor. Napoleon had to cobbletogether a new national government out of a skittery lot of Paris politiciansand ideologues, and find money to get that government started. If possible,he must convince the other European powers, then in congress at Vienna,that he intended to keep the peace; at the same time, knowing there was littlehope they would accept his assurances, he had to recreate the GrandeArmée. Elting, p. 643
    • Caricaturist Gillray typifiesthose who didn’t believe thatthe leopard could change hiswarlike spots.
    • Napoleon dealt with local insurgencies in the usual manner. Dependableregiments were sent into the Vendée where they soon broke up insurgentbands and caused the main instigator, the duke of Bourbon, to sail forEngland. Believing that area to be under control he next sent GeneralClausel with a strong force to deal with southern insurgents. Thanks toMarshal Masséna’s cooperation, in but a few weeks the tricolor once againflew over Marseilles, Toulon and Antibes. The gains proved all too ephemeral. Bourbon royals might have beenforced from the country but numerous followers and sympathizers remained.Agents in English pay continued to pour into the west and south as didpartisans from Paris, Lyons, Poitiers and elsewhere, their activitiesfrequently supported by money and arms delivered by the Royal Navy.Repressive measures that steadily grew more intense worked only atemporary effect. “The fact of civil war in the Vendée cannot be denied, norcan we delay in...forming an army to fight the rebellion,” Napoleon told hisministers in late May. Asprey, p. 379
    • The Seventh Coalition
    • MAP 1in Weller, pp. 223-224
    • “...English Gold, the real sinews of war”Notwithstanding the hostile declaration of the allied sovereigns, they wereutterly unable to put their armies in motion without that most powerfullever, English gold, the real sinews of war. Britain’s expenditure in 1815 wasno less than 110,000,000 l. sterling; out of which immense sum 11,000,000 l.were distributed as subsidies amongst the contracting powers: Austria 1,796,220 l. Russia 3,241,919 l. Prussia 2,382,823 l. Hanover, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Italy and the shared the remainder Netherlands with all the amongst them smaller German states Sergeant Major Edward Cotton (late 7th Hussars). A Voice from Waterloo, 7th rev. ed. (1895), pp. 31-32
    • This increasingly serious situation continued into June…. It was perhaps themain reason why Napoleon chose to meet the allied military threat outsidethe country rather than await the inevitable invasion. It was also why he hadto defer certain civil reforms until the crisis was favorably resolved. Fearinggeneral rebellion he hoped to stifle it by harsh counter-measures and byleaving an army 20,000 strong in the Vendée--troops which he could wellhave used to meet the allied armies. Asprey, p. 380
    • The Waterloo Campaign“It is not against me, exactly, that the powers make war. It isagainst the Revolution. They have never seen in me anythingbut the representative, the man of the Revolu-tion.” --NAPOLEON“It has been a damned serious business. Blücher and I havelost 30,000 men. It has been a damned nice thing--- thenearest run thing you ever saw in your life…. By God, I don’tbelieve it would have been done if I had not been there.” --ARTHUR WELLESLEY, FIRST DUKE OF WELLINGTON Esposito & Elting, Military History and Atlas, frontispiece before MAP 156
    • Quatre Bras & Ligny
    • Quatre Bras & Ligny The 28th Regiment at Quatre Bras-Elizabeth Thompson, Lady Butler, 1875
    • This would actually be the first time that the French would fight an armywith so many British troops since the Egyptian campaign some sixteen yearsbefore, and it was the first and only time that Napoleon and Wellingtonwould face each other on the battlefield. Both were forty-six years old, withoutstanding reputations--Napoleon, the bold strategist, inclined to quicksurprise strikes, and Wellington, the brilliant tactician who preferred a morecautious and balanced approach. Napoleon was as feared as Alexander theGreat and Genghis Kahn; Wellington had never lost a battle. King, p. 282
    • Several marshals and a good many generals and senior officers had readilyserved the Bourbons. A number returned to the Napoleonic fold, others didnot. Berthier had fled to his wife in Bavaria, his physical and mental healthshattered--he was shortly either to jump or be pushed to his death from ahotel balcony in Bamberg. Soult replaced him as chief of staff, not the mostjudicious appointment but the choice was limited. Asprey, p. 384
    • While the Prussian and French armies were national forces, each with acommon language, common traditions and common loyalties, the Army ofthe Netherlands was not; it was this polyglot quality which led Wellington tocall it an ‘infamous army’. Only ten of its infantry brigades were British.Eleven brigades were composed of KGL (King’s German Legion) orHanoverian Army units, seven were Dutch or Belgian, two were fromBrunswick and one from Nassau--ten British brigades to twenty-one others. Mike Chappell, The King’s German Legion (2) 1812-1816, in the Osprey Men-at-Arms series, p. 20
    • About 1 June 1815
    • Out of the 224,000 men the Emperor found on the French Army’smuster rolls, hardly 50,000 were actually ready for field service…. Seldom in his whole amazing career, had Napoleon shown suchsustained energy and imagination. Weapons designs weresimplified, new workshops opened, clockmakers set to makingmusket locks. Paris was carefully fortified...Lyons was organized asa base for the southern armies. Men on leave and retired veteranswere recalled, deserters offered pardons; National Guard unitsmobilized; naval personnel transferred to the army…. About 1 June 1815
    • Napoleon had two possible courses of action: he could stand on thedefensive, as in 1814, or he could take the offensive as soon aspossible against Wellington and Blücher, attempting to destroythem before the other Allied armies came into action. About 1 June 1815
    • Wellington’s army was a slow-moving, clumsy, odd-lot collection.Most of his British and German troops had seen considerableservice, but his Brunswick unit was raw and unsteady, and hisDutch-Belgian and Nassau troops were suspiciouslyunenthusiastic. His artillery was good, his cavalry splendidlymounted. Blücher’s Prussians were generally well disciplined andwilling, but half his infantry and a third of his cavalry were poorlytrained Landwehr, and his artillery and supply services wereinefficient. About 1 June 1815
    • As Allied commander in chief, Schwarzenberg planned aconcentric advance on Paris, beginning on 1 June (later postponedto 27 June, by Wellington, Blücher, Frimont, and himself. Kleistwould link Schwarzenberg’s army with Blücher’s, and operateagainst the French frontier fortresses. Barclay would form thereserve. The Spanish, still mobilizing, would attack when theycould. About 1 June 1815
    • 0 5 10
    • ! 1795-at age three, fled with his family to Britain, as the French Revolution returned to the Netherlands ! he received a military education in Berlin, his mother, Queen Wilhelmine’s, home. Later he studied at Oxford ! 1811-at 19, he entered the British army and became an aide-de-camp to Wellington in the Peninsula ! 1813-when his father was restored to the Dutch throne he returned there as Crown Prince ! 1815-as the Seventh Coalition gathered, the 22-year old was placed in command of the Dutch-Belgian forces, as part of Wellington’s army ! the Congress of Vienna had placed Belgium under the House of Orange, hoping to create a strong power toThe Prince of Orange, later King William II check France(Willem Frederik George Lodewijk van Oranje- Nassau) 1792 – 1849 ! but the French-speaking BelgianWalloons were not at all happy with this arrangement
    • Impatiently awaiting 27 June, and overwhelmingly confident that Napoleon would never risk an offensiveagainst them, Wellington and Blücher had made only the vaguest arrangements for mutual support. Wellingtonhad spread his forces widely to make their supply and billeting easier, relying on his cavalry and his espionagenetwork to warn him of any French move. The Prussians were distributed in a more military fashion...butZieten neither patrolled aggressively nor made any preparation to defend the Sambre River bridges. 0 5 10
    • Between Charleroi and Antwerp, the terrain is a largely open, gently undulating plateau, passable everywherein good weather, but an expanse of gluey mud after rains. South of the Sambre River, the country becomesrough and wooded. This broken ground, with its deep belt of fortified towns, screened Napoleon’sconcentration. 0 5 10
    • ^ ANTWERP ^Between Charleroi and Antwerp, the terrain is a largely open, gently undulating plateau, passable everywherein good weather, but an expanse of gluey mud after rains. South of the Sambre River, the country becomesrough and wooded. This broken ground, with its deep belt of fortified towns, screened Napoleon’sconcentration. r se Rive Meu CHARLEROI r ive br eR Sam 0 5 10
    • ^ ANTWERP ^In early June, only Napoleon’s I Corps was on the northern frontier. The Guard was in Paris, the rest of thearmy still undergoing reorganization. Selecting Beaumont as the center of his concentration, Napoleon fed hisarmy into it swiftly and secretly. On 7 June, the French frontiers were closed...false information and rumorswere broadcast…. It was a complex movement…. This concentration remains one of the great military feats ofhistory---all the more so in that some of these corps completed their organization as they marched. Napoleon was well informed as to the strength and general dispositions of the Allied armies,er well as of Riv as eusetheir casual attitude. His plans did not depend upon achieving complete, open-mouthed surprise, but rather on Mcatching the enemy in the first stages of their concentration. CHARLEROI r ive br eR Sam Beaumont 0 5 10
    • Soldiers, The time has come toconquer or die! --Napoleon, 14 June (the anniversaries of Marengo, 1800 and Friedland, 1807)
    • THE FIRST DAY Thursday, 15 June 1815 It was dawn on the northern frontier of France; a border marked only by a shallow stream….A paved high road led north from France into the Dutch province of Belgium…. It was aperfect midsummer’s dawn on the northern border of France and for a moment, for a last heart-aching moment, the world was at peace. Then hundreds of hooves crashed through the ford, spattering water bright into the mist.Uniformed men, long swords in their hands, rode north out of France. The men were Dragoonswho wore brass helmets covered with drab cloth so the rising sun would not reflect from theshining metal to betray their position. The horsemen had short-barrelled muskets thrust intobucket holsters on their saddles. The Dragoons were the vanguard of an army. A hundred and twenty-five thousand men weremarching north on every road that led to the river-crossing at Charleroi. This was an invasion;an army flooding across an unguarded frontier with wagons and coaches and ambulances andthree hundred and forty-four guns and thirty thousand horses and portable forges and pontoonbridges and whores and wives and colours and lances and muskets and sabres and all the hopesof France. This was the Emperor Napoleon’s Army of the North and it marched towards thewaiting Dutch, British and Prussian forces. Bernard Cornwell, Waterloo. pp. 11-12
    • 15 June-Vandamme’s attack on Gilly developed slowly.Returning about 1730 (5:30 pm), Napoleon, exasperatedby the day’s repeated delays, put in his cavalry escort andshattered Zieten’s line.
    • 15 June-Vandamme’s attack on Gilly developed slowly.Returning about 1730 (5:30 pm), Napoleon, exasperatedby the day’s repeated delays, put in his cavalry escort andshattered Zieten’s line.
    • 15 June-Vandamme’s attack on Gilly developed slowly.Returning about 1730 (5:30 pm), Napoleon, exasperatedby the day’s repeated delays, put in his cavalry escort andshattered Zieten’s line.Grouchy made a skillful pursuit, but was checked atFleurus by Zieten’s reserves and rough ground.Vandamme refused Grouchy further support, and Zietenwas able to hold Fleurus until 0500 the next morning.
    • 15 June-Vandamme’s attack on Gilly developed slowly.Returning about 1730 (5:30 pm), Napoleon, exasperatedby the day’s repeated delays, put in his cavalry escort andshattered Zieten’s line.Grouchy made a skillful pursuit, but was checked atFleurus by Zieten’s reserves and rough ground.Vandamme refused Grouchy further support, and Zietenwas able to hold Fleurus until 0500 the next morning.Napoleon’s first necessity on 16 June wasinformation. No British had been encountered.Grouchy reported Prussians massing atSombreffe, but this seemed rash, even forBlücher, since such a forward concentrationwould risk defeat before Wellington could aid hisAllies. Under thease conditions, Napoleon choseone of his tested maneuvers: an advance on anobjective vital to the enemy---in this case,Brussels. to meet the strategic problem thisinvolved, he reorganized his army in two wings,under Ney and Grouchy, with a reserve underhis immediate control. His order specificallystated that he might draw troops from eitherwing as the situation demanded.
    • Grouchy would move directly on Sombreffe,where Napoleon would join him, leaving thereserve at Fleurus. Ney would occupyQuatre Bras, with one division at Marbaisand one at Genappe, ready to march onBrussels. One infantry division andKellermann would be placed so as to be ableto turn quickly toward Sombreffe. All unitswould intensify their reconnaissance.Napoleon intended to destroy any Prussiansfound at Sombreffe or Gembloux. That done,he tentatively planned to switch his reserve toNey’s support and move against Wellington.
    • ...Napoleon received Ney (authorized to join thearmy on 11 June) and gave him temporarycommand of Reille, d’Erlon and Lefebvre-Desnoëttes, with verbal orders to advance upthe Brussels highway . Ney probably also wastold to occupy Quatre Bras... NEY
    • ...Napoleon received Ney (authorized Lefebvre-Ney rode toward Brussels with to join thearmyn o ë t t e s June) ande gave ahim c a v a l r y ] ,D e s on 11 [ a n d t h G u r d temporarymaneuvered a Reille, d’Erlon and Frasnes,command of small Allied unit out ofLefebvre-Desnoëttes, withmiles of Quatre to advance upand got within 2 verbal orders Bras. Here, hethe Brussels highway . Neyenemy infantry wasmet a considerable force of probably also andtold to occupy Quatre Bras... cavalry available,artillery. With only his 2,800Reille and d’Erlon badly strung out behind him,Prussians reported at Fleurus, and fightingaudible to his right rear, he chose not to attack. QUATRE BRAS NEY
    • ...Napoleon received Ney (authorized Lefebvre-Ney rode toward Brussels with to join thearmyn o ë t t e s June) ande gave ahim c a v a l r y ] ,D e s on 11 [ a n d t h G u r d temporarymaneuvered a Reille, d’Erlon and Frasnes,command of small Allied unit out ofLefebvre-Desnoëttes, withmiles of Quatre to advance upand got within 2 verbal orders Bras. Here, hethe Brussels highway . Neyenemy infantry wasmet a considerable force of probably also andtold to occupy Quatre Bras... cavalry available,artillery. With only his 2,800Reille and d’Erlon badly strung out behind him,Prussians reported at Fleurus, and fightingaudible to his right rear, he chose not to attack. QUATRE BRAS NEY
    • Fortunately for Wellington, two experienced...Napoleon received Ney (authorized Lefebvre-Ney rode toward Brussels with to join the Dutch-Belgian generals, who had servedarmyn o ë t t e s June) ande gave ahim c a v a l r y ] ,D e s on 11 [ a n d t h G u r d temporary previously under Napoleon, grasped themaneuvered a Reille, d’Erlon and Frasnes,command of small Allied unit out ofLefebvre- situation. At 1400 [2 pm], Rebecque (Orange’sDesnoëttes, withmiles of Quatre to advance upand got within 2 verbal orders Bras. Here, he chief of staff), began concentrating Orange’sthe Brussels highway . Neyenemy infantry wasmet a considerable force of probably also and corps at Quatre Bras. One of his divisiontold to occupy Quatre Bras... cavalry available,artillery. With only his 2,800 commanders, Perponcher, already had decidedReille and d’Erlon badly strung out behind him, to hold Quatre Bras rather than join thePrussians reported at Fleurus, and fighting concentration at Nivelles. Rebecque’s reportaudible to his right rear, he chose not to attack. that the French were threatening Quatre Bras reached Wellington at a ball in Brussels around 0100, 16 June. After momentary disbelief, Wellington ordered the Reserve to march immediately to Mont-St-Jean. Perponcher NIVELLES QUATRE BRAS NEY
    • The Duchess of Richmond’s Ball Thursday, 15 JuneIt was during this ball that the Duke of Wellingtonreceived confirmation that Bonaparte had crossed thefrontier and rising from the supper-table:“whispered to ask the Duke of Richmond if he had a good map. TheDuke of Richmond said he had, and took Wellington into hisdressing-room. Wellington shut the door and said, "Napoleon hashumbugged me, by God; he has gained twenty-four hours march onme. … I have ordered the army to concentrate at Quatre Bras; but weshall not stop him there, and if so I must fight him there" (passing histhumb-nail over the position of Waterloo). The conversation wasrepeated to me by the Duke of Richmond two minutes after itoccurred.” —Captain Bowles "Before Waterloo", by Henry Nelson ONeil (1868); this presumably attempts to depict the Duchess of Richmonds famous ball on the eve of the battle of Waterloo (as dramatized in Thackerays Vanity Fair)
    • The Duchess of Richmond’s Ball Thursday, 15 JuneIt was during this ball that the Duke of Wellingtonreceived confirmation that Bonaparte had crossed thefrontier and rising from the supper-table:“whispered to ask the Duke of Richmond if he had a good map. TheDuke of Richmond said he had, and took Wellington into hisdressing-room. Wellington shut the door and said, "Napoleon hashumbugged me, by God; he has gained twenty-four hours march onme. … I have ordered the army to concentrate at Quatre Bras; but weshall not stop him there, and if so I must fight him there" (passing histhumb-nail over the position of Waterloo). The conversation wasrepeated to me by the Duke of Richmond two minutes after itoccurred.” —Captain Bowles "Before Waterloo", by Henry Nelson ONeil (1868); this presumably attempts to depict the Duchess of Richmonds famous ball on the eve of the battle of Waterloo (as dramatized in Thackerays Vanity Fair)
    • "The Black Brunswicker", 1860, by John Everett Millais
    • Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,And cheeks all pale, which but an hour agoBlushed at the praise of their own loveliness;And there were sudden partings, such as pressThe life from out young hearts, and choking sighsWhich ne’er might be repeated; who could guessIf ever more should meet those mutual eyes,Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise! —Lord Byron, Childe Harolds Pilgrimage. 1812-1818
    • The crossroads of Quatre-Bras was of strategicimportance because the side which controlled itcould move south-eastward along the Nivelles-Namur road towards the French and Prussianarmies at the Battle of LignyIf Wellingtons Anglo-allied army could combinewith the Prussians, the combined force would belarger than NapoleonsNapoleons strategy had been to cross the borderinto the Netherlands without alerting theCoalition and drive a wedge between their forcesin this he succeeded brilliantly, once againachieving his preferred interior positionhis plan was to defeat the Prussians beforeturning on the Anglo-allied army
    • “The Fate of France is in Your Hands”--Napoleon to Ney, 1515 16 June✦ 1100-Neyhad received his orders to occupy the Quatre Bras-Genappe area✦ shortly thereafter a second order from Soult NOTE! had warned him that the enemy was usual North-South orientation is concentrating and he must attack at once reversed✦ Neyshould have had the entire left wing concentrated by 0800 without these orders✦ instead,after an amateur reconnaissance at 1400 (2 pm), he was straggling into action with part of Reille’s corps✦ evenso, he grossly outnumbered Orange, who could only spread Perponcher’s division widely DUKE OF and hope that the woods, farmsteads and tall BRUNSWICK KILLED rye would conceal its actual weakness AREA OF PICTON’S ORDEAL✦ shortly after 1400-Ney had easily driven Orange back, only to be checked by the arrival at 1500 (3 pm) of Picton’s English division from Weller, MAP 3
    • 0 1 2 3
    • First lancers, then hussars tried to break the troops at Quatre Bras. When the waves of horsemen flowed back the horse artillery would fire into the compact targets which the Allied squares presented. But the infantry feared another cavalry attack, so they didn’t want to disperse.0 1 2 3
    • Finally, Ney ordered Kellermann to put forward his Cuirassiers. The most dangerous point of the battle for both sides was reached. First lancers, then hussars tried to break the troops at Quatre Bras. When the waves of horsemen flowed back the horse artillery would fire into the compact targets which the Allied squares presented. But the infantry feared another cavalry attack, so they didn’t want to disperse.0 1 2 3
    • Finally, Ney ordered Kellermann to put forward his Cuirassiers. The most dangerous point of the battle for both sides was reached. First lancers, then hussars tried to break the troops at Quatre Bras. When the waves of horsemen flowed back the horse artillery would fire into the compact targets which the Allied squares presented. But the infantry feared another cavalry attack, so they didn’t want to disperse. Cuirassier of the Armée du Nord0 1 2 3
    • Finally, Ney ordered Kellermann to put forward his Cuirassiers. The most dangerous point of the battle for both sides was reached. First lancers, then hussars tried to break the troops at Quatre Bras. When the waves of horsemen flowed back the horse artillery would fire into the compact targets which the Allied squares presented. But the infantry feared another cavalry attack, so they didn’t want to disperse. Cuirass holed by a cannon ball Cuirassier of the Armée du Nord0 1 2 3
    • ! unlike his fathers, his title to fame did not rest on one fortunate opportunity. Though not the most famous, he was perhaps the ablest of all Napoleons cavalry leaders! 1800-at the Battle of Marengo , he commanded a heavy cavalry brigade under the First Consul and he initiated and carried out one of the most famous cavalry charges of history, which, with Desaixs infantry attack, regained the lost battle and decided the issue of the war! 1805-at Austerlitz his light cavalry division distinguished themselves! in Spain, he continued his successes, marred only by the looting and brutal atrocities of his men! at Quatre Bras, his four separate charges broke the square of the 69th Foot and captured a color, scattered a Hanoverian battalion and sent the 33rd and 73rd Francois Étienne de Kellermann, Foot fleeing for the safety of a nearby wood. The 2nd Duc de Valmy horsemen briefly seized the crucial crossroads, but the 1770 – 1835 odds were too great. Unhorsed, Kellermann narrowly escaped by holding onto the stirrup of one of his cavalrymen
    • The 28th Regiment at Quatre Bras-Elizabeth Thompson, Lady Butler, 1875! unlike his fathers, his title to fame did not rest on one fortunate opportunity. Though not the most famous, he was perhaps the ablest of all Napoleons cavalry leaders! 1800-at the Battle of Marengo , he commanded a heavy cavalry brigade under the First Consul and he initiated and carried out one of the most famous cavalry charges of history, which, with Desaixs infantry attack, regained the lost battle and decided the issue of the war! 1805-at Austerlitz his light cavalry division distinguished themselves! in Spain, he continued his successes, marred only by the looting and brutal atrocities of his men! at Quatre Bras, his four separate charges broke the square of the 69th Foot and captured a color, scattered a Hanoverian battalion and sent the 33rd and 73rd Francois Étienne de Kellermann, Foot fleeing for the safety of a nearby wood. The 2nd Duc de Valmy horsemen briefly seized the crucial crossroads, but the 1770 – 1835 odds were too great. Unhorsed, Kellermann narrowly escaped by holding onto the stirrup of one of his cavalrymen
    • Once through the line...French lancers attacked the flank and rear of the42nd [Black Watch]. Colonel Macara...endeavored to have his men formsquare; they could not complete this manoeuvre before the French lancerswere into the temporarily exposed Highlanders.1 But the 42nd did close theirsquare by main strength and killed every French cavalryman caught inside;their regular rolling fire soon defeated those outside. Serious casualties,including their colonel and two other field-officers, were sustained, however,in these few seconds of disorganization.2 Weller, p. 58______________1 the square was nearly formed, but the two flank companies were not quite closed togetherin the rear2‘Colonel Macara was severely wounded, and whilst some of his men were conveying him tothe rear, a party of the French cavalry rode up and killed him and his faithful attendants’probably with lances.
    • The Black Watch at Bay-William Barnes Wollen Francois Étienne de Kellermann, 2nd Duc de Valmy 1770 – 1835
    • Wellington was at his very best at QuatreBras as a commander of troops in battle. Insix hours of combat, he was almostcontinuously at the right spot at the righttime. He flawlessly handled his own troopsand those of his Allies right down to thebattalion level. When necessary, he gaveorders directly to the men in ranks. In a half-dozen critical situations, he managed to staveoff defeat; when he finally had the forcenecessary to win, he took full and efficientadvantage of it….He behaved in a mannerwhich left no doubt of his superlativepersonal courage and set an example to hisinexperienced troops. Weller, p. 68
    • Only after [Napoleon] reached Fleurus and made his own reconnaissancedid he realize that Blücher intended to stand and fight. This more thansuited [him]…. His plan was simple and deadly. While cavalry pinned down the Prussianleft, he would hit the center and right. Ney would come from Quatre-Brasto fall on the right rear, at which point the Guard would smash through thecenter to deliver the coup de grâce. This plan was not dissimilar to that of thebattle of Bautzen and it was to meet with just as many snags, the result ofover-confidence on Napoleon’s part, poor intelligence, confused orders,inadequate communications, slow-moving commanders and a determinedenemy defense. Asprey, pp.393-394
    • Blücher’s position was quite strong. Though not large, Ligny Creek was steep-banked and marshy.The clusters of stone-built villages, walled gardens, and farmhouses along its north bank provided anideal system of strong points, linked by hedgerows and orchards. Ligny Cre ek Sa mb re
    • But, as Napoleon promptly realized, Blücher’s right was “in the air” [= not anchored in a strongdefensible position], his left overextended, and the irregular trace of his front line gave the Frenchartillery excellent opportunities for “enfilade fire” [= fire where the major axis of the cone of firecorresponds to the major axis of the target]. Ligny Cre ek Sa mb re
    • Ligny Cre ekBy mid-afternoon, the whole Prussian position was under attack. Napoleon called Lobau forwardfrom his position in Fleurus, and ordered (1515) Ney to Sambrmaneuver against Blücher’s right rear eimmediately. If Ney advanced promptly, Blücher was lost. The psychological impact of his destructionupon the Allies would be tremendous--all rested with Ney. “The fate of France is in your hands!” E & E, commentary on MAP 159
    • By 1700 Vandamme had carried the three St. Armands, routing a Prussian attempt to envelop theFrench left flank, but could advance no farther against heavy fire from around Brye. Gerard was heldalong Ligny Creek. Gradually, however, this savage, no-quarter fighting favored the French.
    • By 1700 Vandamme had carried the three St. Armands, routing a Prussian attempt to envelop theFrench left flank, but could advance no farther against heavy fire from around Brye. Gerard was heldalong Ligny Creek. Gradually, however, this savage, no-quarter fighting favored the French.Counterattacking wildly with whateverbattalions he could easiest snatch up,Blücher fed his men into the fire ofNapoleon’s massed guns. Prussian unitsbecame increasingly intermixed and shaken;Blücher steadily lost control of his army.
    • Watching the battle ripen, Napoleon saw Blücher crowd more and more men into the strugglingPrussian right flank. A breakthrough around Ligny would trap at least half of Blücher’s army againstNey, who already should be moving against the Prussian right rear. There was considerable firing in thedirection of Quatre Bras, but Ney had not reported himself unable to execute his orders. Napoleonbegan forming his Guard for the decisive assault.
    • D’Erlon’s misadventure remains an enigma.Concentrated south of Gosselies that morning, hehad been slow to move out. At Gosselies, he hadhalted to investigate rumors that an Anglo-Dutchcolumn was advancing from Mons. Resuming hismarch at about 1500 (3 pm), he was overtaken nearFrasnes by a staff officer (never definitelyidentified) with a written order to join Napoleon...
    • Key French units were missing. Lobau’s VI Corps did notarrive early enough on the battlefield, while a clash ininstructions between demands for assistance from bothNapoleon and Ney, a clash that owed much to poor staff workand something to Ney’s temper, ensured that d’Erlon’s I Corps,a substantial force, marched between the two battlefields butwithout firing a shot in either. Black, p. 80
    • As a result of this tragicomedy of order and counterorder, d’Erlon’scommand spent the entire afternoon and evening marching andcountermarching between the two fields of battle without firing a shotat either; and the full irony of the situation was, of course, that the IstCorps’ effective intervention on either scene of action would haveresulted in a major French victory. Chandler, p. 1052
    • ! Napoleon’s preparations to send the Guard in were interrupted when Vandamme reported a “hostile” column advancing eastward into his left rear! it’s appearance shook Vandamme’s hard-used corps, which gave up St. Amand-la-Haye in something of a panic! the wavering of this corps led to a major Prussian counterattack! 1830-Napoleon’s aides reported that the strange column was d’Erlon. Concurrently, it began to recoil westward 0 1 2
    • D’Erlon said Ney recalled him; Ney, that Napoleon sent him back. Realizing! Napoleon’s preparations that he would get no help from Ney, Napoleon determined to at least cripple to send the Guard in were Blücher as thoroughly as possible. A thunderstorm helped conceal his interrupted when preparations, while the Guard artillery battered the Prussians behind Ligny. Vandamme reported a At about 2000 (8pm), Napoleon led his Guard forward, Gerard attacking “hostile” column between its columns. Surging out of the rain, the French shattered the advancing eastward into Prussian center at first impact. his left rear E & E, MAP 160! it’s appearance shook Vandamme’s hard-used corps, which gave up St. Amand-la-Haye in something of a panic! the wavering of this corps led to a major Prussian counterattack! 1830-Napoleon’s aides reported that the strange column was d’Erlon. Concurrently, it began to recoil westward 0 1 2
    • The Guard finally swept into Ligny in late evening, a bayonet attackowing to a violent thunderstorm that prevented musket fire, and movednorthward toward Brye. Blücher still refused to admit defeat. While ridingto the attack at the head of some 30 cavalry squadrons, his horse fell deadfrom a bullet and nearly killed its master by rolling on him. An aide finallymanaged to extricate him and dragged him to safety…. Asprey, pp. 394-395
    • Blüchers Sturz bei Ligny (Fall)
    • Blüchers Sturz bei Ligny (Fall)
    • Blüchers Sturz bei Ligny (Fall)
    • Blüchers Sturz bei Ligny (Fall)
    • Blüchers Sturz bei Ligny (Fall)
    • Because of the broken terrain around Ligny, effective cavalry pursuit after nightfall was impossible.Not having heard from Ney since noon, Napoleon contented himself with attempting to maintaincontact with the retiring Prussians. Pajol would scout toward Namur; Exelmans toward Gembloux;other cavalry… toward Tilly. 0 5 10
    • Because of the broken terrain around Ligny, effective cavalry pursuit after nightfall was impossible.Not having heard from Ney since noon, Napoleon contented himself with attempting to maintaincontact with the retiring Prussians. Pajol would scout toward Namur; Exelmans toward Gembloux;other cavalry… toward Tilly.When the Prussian center evaporatedand Blücher vanished, Gneisenau hadordered a general withdrawal on Tilly.Thanks to the lack of pursuit, Pirch’s andZieten’s corps recovered somewhatduring the night. Blücher rejoined themat Melioreux, his reappearance helpingmightily to restore morale. Blücherwanted to fight again; Gneisenausuggested retiring on Liege. They finallydecided to concentrate on Wavre,whence they could either join Wellingtonor retire eastward. This was the After a liberal dosage of his favorite medicine--garlic and gin--the criticalAllied strategic decision of the dauntless warrior began to discuss the situation with aged butcampaign. Gneisenau. Thielmann had been crowded Chandler, p.1058eastward towards Gembloux. Early onthe 17th, he established contact withBülow, who --as senior--decided towithdraw on Wavre. 0 5 10
    • Because of the broken terrain around Ligny, effective cavalry pursuit after nightfall was impossible.Not having heard from Ney since noon, Napoleon contented himself with attempting to maintaincontact with the retiring Prussians. Pajol would scout toward Namur; Exelmans toward Gembloux;other cavalry… toward Tilly.When the Prussian center evaporatedand Blücher vanished, Gneisenau hadordered a general withdrawal on Tilly.Thanks to the lack of pursuit, Pirch’s andZieten’s corps recovered somewhatduring the night. Blücher rejoined themat Melioreux, his reappearance helping WAVREmightily to restore morale. Blücherwanted to fight again; Gneisenausuggested retiring on Liege. They finallydecided to concentrate on Wavre,whence they could either join Wellingtonor retire eastward. This was the criticalAllied strategic decision of thecampaign. Thielmann had been crowdedeastward towards Gembloux. Early onthe 17th, he established contact withBülow, who --as senior--decided towithdraw on Wavre. 0 5 10
    • Napoleon now had to choose between following up Blücher and turning on Wellington. His basic problemwas to secure enough information to enable him to make a sound decision. The direction of the Prussianretreat was uncertain, for fugitives had followed every available road, and the thousands of deserters andstragglers hid the tracks of the formed units. Ney had made only one brief report; at 0730, Napoleon knewalmost nothing about the situation at Quatre Bras. While waiting for his cavalry to report, Napoleon ordered a reconnaissance westward from Ligny, andwrote to Ney, directing him to occupy Quatre Bras without delay. If he could not, he was to report that factimmediately, in detail, and Napoleon would move immediately to his assistance (Napoleon probably shouldhave gone in person to Quatre Bras). Information gradually accumulated….The reconnaissance toward Tilly was late and feeble, and learnednothing; that toward Quatre bras reported Wellington still there WAVRE strength, and a dispatch from Ney and inconfirmed that. Convinced that he had hurt Blücher enough to force him to withdraw eastward, thus leavingWellington unsupported, Napoleon ordered...Grouchy to follow Blücher, detect any attempt he might maketo join Wellington, and generally cover Napoleon’s right flank and rear. 0 5 10
    • Wellington did not learn of Blücher’s defeat until about 0730, when his left-flank cavalry patrols reported thePrussians withdrawing northward. (A staff officer, dispatched by Blücher the night before to warn him, hadbeen wounded, and his message mislaid.) At once, Wellington began preparations for a withdrawal. When oneof Gneisenau’s staff appeared around 0900--to report Blücher concentrating at Wavre and desirous of knowingWellington’s plans--Wellington stated that he was withdrawing to Mont-St.-Jean, where his engineers hadpreviously surveyed a defensive position. If assured of support by two Prussian corps, he would offer battlethere; otherwise, he would have to retire on Brussels. BRUSSELS WAVRE Mont-St.-Jean 0 5 10
    • Wellington did not learn of Blücher’s defeat until about 0730, when his left-flank cavalry patrols reported thePrussians withdrawing northward. (A staff officer, dispatched by Blücher the night before to warn him, hadbeen wounded, and his message mislaid.) At once, Wellington began preparations for a withdrawal. When oneof Gneisenau’s staff appeared around 0900--to report Blücher concentrating at Wavre and desirous of knowingWellington’s plans--Wellington stated that he was withdrawing to Mont-St.-Jean, where his engineers hadpreviously surveyed a defensive position. If assured of support by two Prussian corps, he would offer battlethere; otherwise, he would have to retire on Brussels. BRUSSELS WAVRE Mont-St.-Jean Almost from the start of Napoleon’s pursuit (of Uxbridge’s cavalry, Wellington’s rear guard), a wild storm burst over the area. The clay soil rapidly became saturated, making movement off the main roads almost impossible, and thereby nullifying the superior tactical mobility of the French. Attempts to follow side roads led many units badly astray, further disorganizing the pursuit. 0 5 10
    • On the seventeenth, Napoleon could have chosen to press either of hisopponents hard, but, with the benefit of hindsight, it was best to do so toboth. To fail to press them hard risked either or both of them movingaway, so lessening the chance for the grand strategy of the sequentialdefeat…. ...June 17 was the great day of opportunity for the French, and likemany days of movement rather than conflict, the day that was crucial tothe campaign, and yet it tends to receive insufficient attention. Neither Ney nor Napoleon, however, understood, let alone grasped,their opportunities that day until too late. Black, pp. 84-85
    • Wellington’s withdrawal began in mid morning 17 June.Marshal Ney as usual had not obeyed orders. While the enemy force wasmoving out in considerable confusion, the French were cooking middaydinner oblivious to the tactical opportunity presented. This idyll was rudelyinterrupted by Napoleon who led whatever cavalry he could get his handson in pursuit of Wellington’s rearguard, Lord Uxbridge’s cavalry, a thrillingbut futile chase hindered by still another violent thunderstorm thatconfined the French to the Quatre-Bras-Brussels road, just possibly savingUxbridge’s bacon. Asprey, p. 395
    • An Eyewitness Account of Uxbridge’s Rear Guard Hussars vs Lancers vs Cuirassiers Sergeant Major Edward Cotton (late 7th Hussars). A Voice from Waterloo, 7th rev. ed. (1895), p. 51
    • An Eyewitness Account of Uxbridge’s Rear Guard Hussars vs Lancers vs Cuirassiers Sergeant Major Edward Cotton (late 7th Hussars). A Voice from Waterloo, 7th rev. ed. (1895), p. 51
    • The Big Picture THE GUARD
    • Napoleon approached Mont-St.-Jean about 1830 (6:30 pm). For a moment, the rain stopped; throughthe evening mist and failing light, he thought he could make out considerable numbers of troops on theplateau before him. To determine whether he had overtaken Wellington, or merely a reinforced rearguard, he sent forward four companies of horse artillery and deployed Milhaud’s cuirassiers, as if for adetermined charge. At once, at least 60 British guns opened fire all across his front. Satisfied that hehad Wellington’s main army before him, he dismounted and made a thorough reconnaissance of theenemy position. The rain soon recommenced, falling heavily until 0600. THE GUARD
    • June 17th was a day of Prussian misery. Blücher was still disabled. Zieten and Pirch had withdrawnrapidly to Wavre, covered by a cavalry rear guard, but their troops were in considerable disorder and THE GUARDalmost out of ammunition. The army’s ammunition train had disappeared. Gneisenau, apparentlysomewhat rattled, wrote to warn Kleist, Schwarzenberg and Barclay that Napoleon might turnsuddenly upon them. Bülow and Thielmann were out of touch for most of the day. The former did notreach Wavre until 2200 (10 pm). Thielmann came in hours later….There were also doubts as toWellington’s intentions. Remembering how false his promises of support had proved during the 16th,Gneisenau had turned suspicious, but Blücher remained staunch. Finally, Napoleon’s whereaboutsremained unknown.
    • THE GUARDBehind Wellington, Brussels was in a panic, sparked by the arrival of fugitive Anglo-Dutch servicetroops. And while proclaiming Quatre Bras a great victory, won against vastly superior numbers,Wellington thought it prudent to warn the governor of Antwerp to begin strengthening that city’sdefenses. At about 0200, he received the long-awaited reply from Blücher: Bülow would march atdaybreak for Chapelle-St.-Lambert; Pirch would follow immediately; the other two corps wereavailable if needed.
    • Reaching Gembloux at 1900 (7pm),Grouchy halted for the night.Exelmans had regained enoughenergy to push a brigade ofdragoons to Tourinnes where it hadfound a large force of Prussians(Bülow’s rear guard), but hadbroken contact after dark. Pajolreported Namur evacuated. Sometime near 2000 (8pm) Grouchydispatched his first report toNapoleon. Its exact text is unknown,but it apparently stated that thePrussians had spit into twocolumns--one moving on Wavre, alarger one probably bound for THE GUARDLiege….If the major Prussian forcewere marching for Wavre, he wouldattempt to head it off from Brusselsand Wellington.
    • That night, Wellington’s second in command and cavalry commander, Henry,Earl of Uxbridge, asked the duke what his plans were. Wellington replied byasking whether he or Napoleon would attack first and by pointing out that “asmy plans will depend upon his, how can you expect me to tell you what mineare? … There is one thing certain, Uxbridge, that is, that whatever happens,you and I will do our duty.” Black, p. 89
    • That night, Wellington’s second in command and cavalry commander, Henry,Earl of Uxbridge, asked the duke what his plans were. Wellington replied byasking whether he or Napoleon would attack first and by pointing out that “asmy plans will depend upon his, how can you expect me to tell you what mineare? … There is one thing certain, Uxbridge, that is, that whatever happens,you and I will do our duty.” Black, p. 89
    • you and I will do our duty
    • It is not known whether Napoleon sent Grouchy any orders during late 17June. According to some accounts, he did direct Grouchy to move againstWellington’s left flank, if Blücher retired on Liege or Brussels. If Blücherconcentrated at Wavre, Grouchy would merely send a detachment to feint anattack. It also asserted that Napoleon sent Grouchy a duplicate of this dispatchearly on the 18th, but this remains equally unproven. After a short nap, Napoleon rose at 0100 and inspected his entire outpostline, returning to his headquarters … at first light. Here he found Grouchy’sreport. Its contents seemed to indicate that Grouchy was aware of his missionand would move promptly, if necessary, to keep between Wellington andBlücher. It also strengthened his preconception that the Prussians would be outof action for some time to come. Interrogations of deserters from Wellington’sarmy confirmed his impression that Wellington would fight. Napoleon was confident and his troops’ morale was high. The water-loggedsoil, however, made it impossible for the French artillery to maneuver. It wouldbe necessary to wait several hours for the ground to drain and dry sufficiently.Even then, low-lying areas would remain swampy. Worse, the effect of artilleryfire would be greatly diminished: round shot would not ricochet effectivelyalong the sodden ground; the fragmentation of howitzer shells would be greatlyreduced. At 0500, Napoleon set the hour of attack at 0900. E & E, commentary on MAP 162