Napoleon     Part Two     session viiiWaterloo & St. Helena
Napoleon     Part Two     session viiiWaterloo & St. Helena     La Paix de 1815
I felt that Fortune was abandoningme, I no longer had the feeling thatI was sure to succeed.            --Napoleon
I felt that Fortune was abandoningme, I no longer had the feeling thatI was sure to succeed.            --Napoleon
major topics for this session✦   18 June✦   D’Erlon’s Attack✦   Ney’s Charge✦   The Crisis✦   St. Helena✦   Postscript
A Wet Miserable NightThe enemy followed close after us. The rain began to fall in torrents… Thenight was very bad. The fiel...
18 June
At first light on the 18th both armies gratefully stretched themselves andshrugged off the miseries of the previous night. ...
Blücher and Gneisenau planned boldly. Instead of merely reinforcingWellington they would seize the initiative from Napoleo...
Bülow’s corps was as yet undefeated, and Bülow himself was the bestof the Prussian corps commanders. However, he had bivou...
Napoleon, as previously noted, had planned to begin his attack at0900. At that hour, however, Reille’s sluggish corps was ...
Though Napoleon believed himself slightly outnumbered (he knewWellington’s total strength, but was not aware that almost a...
As his troops formed, Napoleon again rode along his outpost line for afinal study of Wellington’s position, sending out sev...
Grouchy could easily have marched at 0300, but there were delays,and it was almost 0730 before Vandamme moved out. Grouchy...
Meanwhile, Exelmans had pushed aggressively on Wavre. Around0930, his scouts developed masses of Prussians (Pirch, plus st...
[Napoleon’s] attack plan was simple enough: Drouet’s corps to strikeWellington’s center which was defending the ridge nort...
Napoleon’s line stretched about 3 miles east from the Nivelles-Brusselsroad, the allied line about 2 ½ miles northeast fro...
British Battalion StrengthsAt Waterloo, only three battalions had 1,000 or more of all ranks, two ofthem Foot Guards, the ...
Wellington’s position was deceptively strong. It’s backbone was a low, narrow plateau, running generally west-east...its c...
(Of Wellington’s whole army, only Bijlandt’s Dutch-Belgian brigade was completely exposed.) Across the southernapproaches ...
Wellington’s left flank was in the air, but it was anticipated that Blücher’s early arrival would correct this. He hadthoro...
Between the two armies, the ground was relatively open and level, offering good fields of fire. To theeast, the terrain was ...
Napoleon’s dispositions were such as to permit him to maneuver in any direction, yet gave nopreliminary hint as to the pro...
Napoleon’s plan was simple and drastic. He needed a quick, complete victory, both to restore his oldprestige and to free h...
could only proceed at a crawl. Wellington would have warning enough to withdraw to the west ornorthwest, leaving Napoleon ...
Reille was ordered to mask Hougoumont by occupying the woods south of it. At about 1120, hisartillery (reinforced by Kelle...
An officer of the Tenth Hussars noted:   It was the ground that took off the effect of shot, much from its being deep mud, ...
Mike Chappell, The King’s German Legion (2) 1812-1816 in the Osprey MEN-AT-ARMS series, p. 23
Wellington’s Strong Points✦   Hougoumont✦   La Haye Sainte✦   Papellotte-La Haye-Smohain (PLHS)
The Coldstream Guard Close the Gate at Hougoumont
The battle of Waterloo began at Hougoumont; the fighting therethroughout the afternoon of 18 June was extremely important i...
A giant French lieutenant2 seized an axe from one of his pioneers andweakened the bar where it was exposed between the doo...
A giant French lieutenant2 seized an axe from one of his pioneers andweakened the bar where it was exposed between the doo...
The battle for Hougoumont was to continue all day, and this serves as areminder that events were taking place simultaneous...
Diagram drawn in the 1830s                                                 reproduced in Chappell,                        ...
The Defense of La Haye Sainte-Adolph Northen in the 1850s
8th Line Bn KGL                                  1st Nassau Regt                Grubenhagen Bn                  York Bn   ...
PLATE J: LA HAYE SAINTEThe defense of the farmhouse of La HayeSainte was one of the epics of the battle ofWaterloo….the po...
All these roads cut so deeply into the              sandy clay hillsides as to present              extreme problems for c...
All these roads cut so deeply into the              sandy clay hillsides as to present              extreme problems for c...
SMOHAIN                                 LA HAYE        PAPELOTTEPhoto taken from the southwest
Saxe-Weimar’s position was naturally strong; the Nassauers appear to havehad both time and tools to strengthen it with bar...
Shortly before 1300 (1 pm), the great battery was ready to fire. Ney requested permission tolaunch the main attack. Even as...
The situation demanded a quick decision, which might determine the fate of France andNapoleon. The French army was fully d...
Napoleon courageously chose the bolder course. Even if Wellington should be considerablyreinforced, he was certain of his ...
Bülow had marched slowly, apparently forgetting his orders en route. Arriving at St.-Lambert,he neither kept his troops un...
Bois de Soignes    At Walhain, Grouchy’s lunch was interrupted by the swellingsound of artillery fire off to the west. Loca...
Bois de Soignes  At this point (about 1230), Exelmans’ courier came in to reportWavre swarming with Prussians. Grouchy at ...
Bois de Soignes  Fighting had already begun east of Wavre, the Prussian detachment from Mont-St.-Guibert havingmade a dash...
Bois de Soignes  Thielmann had received orders at about 1500 (3 pm) to march on Couture, leaving two battalionsto garrison...
Bois de Soignes   At St.Lambert, Bülow gingerly began crossing Lasne Brook sometime after 1500. The slopes weresteep, the ...
D’Erlon’s Attack
The great battery had pounded the Anglo-Dutch left center and left flank forabout a half-hour when (at roughly 1345) d’Erlo...
The French quickly cleared the enclosures around La Haye-Sainte, but--lacking artillery--could not break into the main bui...
Seizing the exact moment, Uxbridge charged. Somerset’s brigade of Britishguard cavalry caught Travers crossing the Ohain r...
According to a local peasant, Decoster, forced to serve Napoleon as a guideon June 18, the Emperor was greatly impressed w...
Negotiating the difficult sunken road, the Scots Greys charged into action.“All of us were greatly excited,” recalled Corpo...
Scotland Forever!                Lady Elizabeth Butler, 1881    depicting the start of the charge by the Royal Scots Greys...
The Eagle of the French 45th Ligne captured by theRoyal Scots Greys. Painted by Stanley Berkeley itdepicts the Scots Greys...
Cotton, A Voice from Waterloo, pp. 60-61
Unfortunately, [the British cavalry] now yielded individually and collectively,officers and men alike, to their greatest we...
...the cavalry was hit by French counterattacks from front, and, moreseriously, from the lancers on their left. Due to the...
The final defeat of the heavy cavalry does not entirely alter the importance oftheir early success. The situation before th...
Cotton, A Voice from Waterloo, p. 69
Ney’s Charge
Ney’s ChargeFrench Cuirassiers attacking a Highland Square by Felix Philippoteau                     (a reconstruction pai...
The French cavalry came forward in all its magnificence. Men, horses, uniforms and weapons were remarkable.      The First ...
D’Erlon’s shaken corps was not reformed untilalmost 1600. Meanwhile Wellington reinforced LaHaye-Sainte; Napoleon ordered ...
Assessing the situation, Napoleon now decided to smash the English center. Ordering Ney to clearthe way by taking La Haye-...
Under this pounding, Wellington’s fraying line fell back behind the crest of the plateau; Lambert, theBrunswickers, and el...
Half glimpsing this withdrawal through the smoke, Ney excitedly concluded that Wellington wasabout to retreat. He ordered ...
Napoleon had Domon’s report that Bülow wasfinally advancing, and Grouchy’s message fromWalhain, indicating that Grouchy was...
Except for Vivian and Vandeleur, all of Wellington’s British cavalry was used up; much of his artillerywas out of action.
Ney suddenly remembered that he hadBachelu’s division and one of Foy’sbrigades available, and thrust them,unsupported, aga...
Wellington and his staff were present, controlling this crucial stage of thebattle, with the duke needing to take shelter ...
If the French cavalry, the very first squadrons of it, could have maintainedtheir speed and formation they would have won. ...
“We dashed them back as cooly as the sturdy rock repels the ocean’sfoam...we presented our bristly points like the peevish...
Weller, pp. 206-207
Weller, pp. 206-207
The French force was formidable, but it faced several major hurdles. First,there were the serious disadvantages of cavalry...
Three-quarters of the French generals in the French cavalry attack on theBritish squares were killed or wounded.          ...
The Crisis
The Crisis
No man but a veteran who had displayeduncommon valor could join the Guard.Guardsmen were paid more than other troops,and u...
they had returned and been reunited with theirold comrades and been given new colors to flybeneath new Eagles. The Guard wa...
7:30 pm    yards
French skirmishers had worked up close to La Haye-Sainte, and the defenders’ ammunition wasrunning low. Two of Ompteda’s b...
Personally leading an infantry regiment and a company of engineers, Ney took his objective at 1800in a furious no-quarter ...
Personally leading an infantry regiment and a company of engineers, Ney took his objective at 1800in a furious no-quarter ...
Napoleon was fighting for his army’s life against Blücher.                                                            7:30 ...
Blücher’s enveloping attack finally had captured Placenoit. Prussian artillery fire was finally beginningto reach French unit...
7:30 pm    yards
Lobau likewise had counterattacked [at Placenoit] successfully.  Though denied reinforcements, Ney pressed his attack. All...
Kemp was battered, Omptedawas dead and his brigadeshattered; Kruse wavering;French guns were demolishingKielmansegge’s rui...
Stalemated aroundHougoumont, theFrench bypassed itto the west, drivingin Clinton’s rightflank.                       7:30 p...
Counterattacks by the Brunswickers and Kruse’s Nassau contingent collapsed. Even English regimentsfaltered, having “fed de...
With Blücher repulsed [at Placenoit], Napoleon returnedat 1900 (7 pm) to his original battle. From the smokinguproar east ...
Prussian help was slow. Pirch begancrawling across Lasne Brook at about1830. Thielmann [in Wavre] beggedfor reinforcements...
> THIELMANN >Napoleon had eleven battalions of Old Guard infantryavailable. Eight would attack Wellington’s center, with a...
> THIELMANN >
The Old Guard
As the battle drew to a close, Napoleons Middle Guard launched an assault                  on the British line, to the 52n...
As the Old Guard battalions came forward, Napoleon turned them over toNey, galloped eastward to rally Durutte’s reeling di...
Instead of striking straight ahead, along the short, relatively sheltered routeinto Wellington’s wrecked center, Ney led t...
Raked front and flank by artillery fire, the first battalion attacked just west of theBrussels highway, routing the Brunswick...
The Guard’s repulse (around 2010)staggered the French. La Garde recule!Wellington ordered his whole lineforward. “Maitland...
Napoleon did what he could. While his escort squadrons charged desperately to gainminutes, he stationed the four uncommitt...
Though some French batteries fought to the last, the Allied advance swept Reille andd’Erlon before it. Donzelot had a brig...
Dernier carre de la Garde et Général Hill
This more acceptable quote was produced by a newspaperman.         The actual response was most likely Merde!    "La Garde...
Though his corps slowly frayed away as Zieten advanced into its rear, Lobausomehow kept Blücher from the vital highway. Th...
Though his corps slowly frayed away as Zieten advanced into its rear, Lobausomehow kept Blücher from the vital highway. Th...
Guard Chasseurs atPlacenoit, Dan Horsechief
Guard Chasseurs atPlacenoit, Dan Horsechief
Guard Chasseurs atPlacenoit, Dan Horsechief
LOBAU        Though his corps slowly frayed away as Zieten advanced into its        rear, Lobau somehow kept Blücher from ...
Covered by the remaining units of the Guard, intermixed fragmentsof other commands streamed toward Genappe. Reille attempt...
Meeting in La Belle Alliance, Blücher and Wellington agreed thatthe Prussians would continue the pursuit. Accordingly, ele...
Though dazed and exhausted, Napoleon had dispatched anadministrative officer to evacuate the army’s trains from Charleroi, ...
Napoleon continued southward to Philippeville (0900). Reorganizationnow became possible, contact with the enemy being comp...
Waterloo casualties were approximately:                           Casualties      Prisoners   Missing                     ...
June 22. This morning I went to visit the field of battle,which is a little beyond the village of Waterloo, on theplateau o...
June 22. This morning I went to visit the field of battle,which is a little beyond the village of Waterloo, on theplateau o...
The Morning after the Battle of Waterloo, (Detail)John Heaviside Clarke (1771 - 1863)          England, 1816, oil on canva...
a contemporary picture. Note the naked corpses, right.  Dead and wounded were stripped of their clothing. Ithad economic v...
“Well, thank God, I don’t know what it is to lose a battle; butcertainly nothing can be more painful than to gain one with...
In the Waterloo campaign, Wellington made no mistakes. His distribution ofthe Allied troops along the Belgian frontier, hi...
The Waterloo Medal a silver medal for officers and common soldiers alike“As we had all shared equally in the dangers of the...
After the Russian disaster of 1812 and the French defeat at Leipzigin 1813, materiel had been replaced, and patriotism rev...
Wellington and Blücher realized that the way to prevent such a revival was to take full advantage of their victoryand move...
The return of Louis XVIII (“Louis the Unavoidable”) and thedismemberment of the French army brought on the so-called White...
Ney was arrested (on 3 August 1815), and tried (4 December 1815) for treason by theChamber of Peers. On 6 December 1815 he...
Ney was arrested (on 3 August 1815), and tried (4 December 1815) for treason by theChamber of Peers. On 6 December 1815 he...
Ney was arrested (on 3 August 1815), and tried (4 December 1815) for treason by theChamber of Peers. On 6 December 1815 he...
Ney was arrested (on 3 August 1815), and tried (4 December 1815) for treason by theChamber of Peers. On 6 December 1815 he...
The return of Louis XVIII (“Louis the Unavoidable”) and thedismemberment of the French army brought on the so-called White...
Blücher’s Revenge ForestalledIn 1807, Napoléon I ordered, by an imperial decree issued inWarsaw, the construction of a bri...
“By God, I don’t think it would have done if I had not beenthere.”                      Wellington, to the diarist Thomas ...
“Not a private in the ranks but felt that the Duke of Wellington--the man of Wealth, Rank, and Success with the World at h...
The Duke was now the most powerful man in Europe; his militaryreputation soared. He was made a prince of the Netherlands, ...
Well, almost everything...        Wellington Testimonial              Phoenix Park, Dublin          the foundation stone w...
Well, almost everything...     Wellington Monument          Wellington, Somerset,                England     is a 175 feet...
Well, almost everything...     Wellington Monument          Wellington, Somerset,                England     is a 175 feet...
n                                 Well, almost everything...     Wellington Arch       Hyde Park, London    The arch, and ...
Well, almost everything...                             Wellington Statue                              Hyde Park, London   ...
Well, almost everything...  Wellington  MonumentSt. Paul’s Cathedral,      London   completed in 1872
Battlefield Toursbegan the next day, as civilians, both upper and lower class, came to seethis amazing, and now historic si...
Battlefield Toursbegan the next day, as civilians, both upper and lower class, came to seethis amazing, and now historic si...
Wellington’s Smallest VictoryIn 1830, he was offered a commission to create a model of the Battle ofWaterloo, which was to...
Wellington’s Smallest Victory                          William Siborne                              1797–1849
Wellington’s Smallest Victory                          William Siborne                              1797–1849
Wellington’s Smallest Victory                          William Siborne                              1797–1849
The Board Game, 1962
Re-enacting Waterloo                                     The [private estate] became Vauxhall Gardens in 1785             ...
Ready to Join Up for the Bicentennial? http://www.napoleonicassociation.org/promo_vidio.htm
America’s First Lady and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabethbetween two ceremonial guards. On the left, the uniformis that of the...
The Blues and Royals (Royal HorseGuards and 1st Dragoons) is acavalry regiment of the British Army,part of the Household C...
battle honors of the Coldstream during the Napoleonic Wars:Egypt, Talavera, Barrosa, Fuentes dOnoro, Salamanca, Nive,Penin...
St Helena
St HelenaNapoleon on the Island of St. Helenaby Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky, 1897
!   3 July-a French frigate was ready at                                  Rochefort, but the winds were contrary and      ...
Ascension, the nearest island, was 700 miles away!
Napoleon’s Exile “Family”What Napoleon called his court was a mixed bag….General CountBertrand, veteran of many battles an...
Napoleon’s Exile “Family”What Napoleon called his court was a mixed bag….General CountBertrand, veteran of many battles an...
Napoleon’s Exile “Family”What Napoleon called his court was a mixed bag….General CountBertrand, veteran of many battles an...
Napoleon’s Exile “Family”What Napoleon called his court was a mixed bag….General CountBertrand, veteran of many battles an...
Napoleon’s Exile “Family”What Napoleon called his court was a mixed bag….General CountBertrand, veteran of many battles an...
Napoleon’s Exile “Family”What Napoleon called his court was a mixed bag….General CountBertrand, veteran of many battles an...
Exile Family (cont.)The oldest member of this weird group was the marquis de Las Cases, 49years old. From a noble family, ...
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
Napoleon Part 2, session viii
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Napoleon Part 2, session viii

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This concludes the life of Napoleon, from the battle of Waterloo to his death on St Helena. The Postscript looks at the fate of his son, the French cult of Bonapartism and the continuing fascination which this man's life continues to evoke.

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Napoleon Part 2, session viii

  1. 1. Napoleon Part Two session viiiWaterloo & St. Helena
  2. 2. Napoleon Part Two session viiiWaterloo & St. Helena La Paix de 1815
  3. 3. I felt that Fortune was abandoningme, I no longer had the feeling thatI was sure to succeed. --Napoleon
  4. 4. I felt that Fortune was abandoningme, I no longer had the feeling thatI was sure to succeed. --Napoleon
  5. 5. major topics for this session✦ 18 June✦ D’Erlon’s Attack✦ Ney’s Charge✦ The Crisis✦ St. Helena✦ Postscript
  6. 6. A Wet Miserable NightThe enemy followed close after us. The rain began to fall in torrents… Thenight was very bad. The field where we were was all mud. I got a bundle ofstraw to lie upon, and I smeared an old blanket with thick clayey mud, andcovered myself with the blanket, which prevented the rain from passingthrough, and kept me tolerably warm. At daylight the weather cleared. The men commenced cleaning their armsand preparing for the tremendous contest. Simmons, Rifle Man, p. 364
  7. 7. 18 June
  8. 8. At first light on the 18th both armies gratefully stretched themselves andshrugged off the miseries of the previous night. At long last it had stoppedraining, although the ground underfoot remained sodden. The soldiers of bothsides were hungry, for the supply arrangements were far from satisfactory,but the British 95th made the most of their limited resources, as CaptainKincaid related. “We made a fire...and boiled a huge camp kettle full of tea,mixed up with a suitable quantity of milk and sugar, for breakfast; and, as itstood on the edge of the high road, where all the bigwigs of the army hadoccasion to pass, in the early part of the morning, I believe almost every oneof them, from the Duke downward, claimed a cupful.” Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon, p. 1064 Lady Elizabeth Butler, Dawn of Waterloo, c. 1893
  9. 9. Blücher and Gneisenau planned boldly. Instead of merely reinforcingWellington they would seize the initiative from Napoleon. Bülow,marching shortly after 0400, 18 June, would proceed to Chapelle-St.-Lambert (hereafter referred to as St.-Lambert). If Wellington was notengaged, Bülow was to hold his corps under cover behind that town,thus conserving his freedom of action. If the battle had begun, he wasto attack Napoleon’s right flank. Pirch would follow immediatelybehind him. Zieten and Thielmann were told to stand ready. Blücher,despite his injuries, would lead the Prussian advance. Gneisenau,knowing that the Prussians would be dangerously exposed ifWellington either withdrew or was quickly defeated, was chieflyconcerned with learning whether Wellington really would fight.
  10. 10. Bülow’s corps was as yet undefeated, and Bülow himself was the bestof the Prussian corps commanders. However, he had bivouacked welleast of Wavre, and Gneisenau’s orders routed him by one crookedroad, through the heart of the town. Pirch, also on the east bank,could have cleared Wavre before Bülow appeared, but he wasrequired to watch Bülow march past, as it proved, from 0500 to 1300(1pm). Thielmann, whose corps had suffered least of those engaged atLigny--and who was already on the west bank--was left placidlysitting. Wavre soon was packed with an enormous traffic jam asnorthbound wagon trains, and those elements of Thielmann’s corpswhich had spent the night on the east bank, wedged into Bülow’scolumns. At noon, Zieten was ordered to Ohain….
  11. 11. Napoleon, as previously noted, had planned to begin his attack at0900. At that hour, however, Reille’s sluggish corps was just passingLe Caillou, with most of the Guard infantry, Kellermann, Lobau, andDurutte still behind him. (The Guard infantry had become scatteredthe night before in attempting to get forward along footpaths and sideroads.) Moreover, the senior artillery officers considered the groundstill too soft. While waiting, Napoleon dictated an order to Grouchy,explaining that he was about to attack Wellington, but had becomeconcerned over reports that the Prussians were massing at Wavre.Grouchy was to move against any Prussians in that area, detaching afew light cavalry to observe those who retired eastward.
  12. 12. Though Napoleon believed himself slightly outnumbered (he knewWellington’s total strength, but was not aware that almost a fifth of itwas waiting uselessly at Hal), he was full of confidence. According toseveral moralizing legends, Soult, Reille, and d’Erlon warned him ofWellington’s skill in defensive fighting and were rudely rebuked,Napoleon having no taste for defeatist talk before action. Sometimebefore 1000, he received a message (written at 0600) from Grouchy.Grouchy reported that he was leaving Gembloux at that moment forWavre, and that most of the Prussians seemed to be attempting to joinWellington by way of Brussels. At about 1030, Napoleon orderedJacquinot to detach a hussar regiment to reconnoiter Lasne, Couture,Mousty and Ottignies. This regiment’s primary mission probably wasto seek contact with Grouchy; any enemy information picked up in theprocess would be a useful bonus.
  13. 13. As his troops formed, Napoleon again rode along his outpost line for afinal study of Wellington’s position, sending out several officers onspecific reconnaissance missions. One of these, General Haxo of theengineers, was to locate any field fortifications that Wellington mighthave erected. Haxo reported that there were none, which was notentirely correct, Wellington having hastily barricaded the roads andloopholed the houses along his front. His inspection completed,Napoleon rode through the ranks of his army, supervising andhastening their deployment, and rousing them to a savage pitch of furyand devotion.
  14. 14. Grouchy could easily have marched at 0300, but there were delays,and it was almost 0730 before Vandamme moved out. Grouchyreached Walhain at about 1000. Here an aide-de-camp, whom he haddispatched earlier on a reconnaissance toward Mousty, rejoined toreport that there were no Prussians between Grouchy and the DyleRiver. (This meant that he had managed to overlook Bülow’sreinforced regiment in Mont-St.-Guibert.) Highly pleased by thisnews, Grouchy sent off an awkwardly worded written letter toNapoleon, requesting orders for 19 June, and prepared to enjoy hislunch.
  15. 15. Meanwhile, Exelmans had pushed aggressively on Wavre. Around0930, his scouts developed masses of Prussians (Pirch, plus strayelements of Thielmann) east of the town. Heavily outnumbered andunable to attack effectively because of the broken, wooded countryalong the Dyle, Exelmans nevertheless snatched enough prisoners toprove that Blücher’s whole army had been on the move since morningto join Wellington. Sending this alarming news back hotspur toGrouchy, Exelmans took up a position to cover the Gembloux-Wavreroad and the Ottignies bridge.
  16. 16. [Napoleon’s] attack plan was simple enough: Drouet’s corps to strikeWellington’s center which was defending the ridge north of La BelleAlliance; simultaneously Prince Jérôme’s division of Reille’s corps tomove on Hougoumont farm to threaten Wellington’s right sufficiently tocause him to weaken his center. Asprey, p. 397
  17. 17. Napoleon’s line stretched about 3 miles east from the Nivelles-Brusselsroad, the allied line about 2 ½ miles northeast from Hougoumont.Opposing strengths have been variously cited but Napoleon probablymustered around 70,000 effectives with nearly 250 guns, Wellingtonperhaps 65,000 with 150 cannon. If Napoleon had weakened himself bysending off Grouchy’s right wing, Wellington had reciprocated by leaving acorps 17,000 strong to guard what he still feared to be his vulnerableextreme right…. Asprey, p. 397
  18. 18. British Battalion StrengthsAt Waterloo, only three battalions had 1,000 or more of all ranks, two ofthem Foot Guards, the strongest was the 52nd (1,167) and the weakestthe 42nd (338, having suffered heavy losses at Quatre Bras two daysbefore) with an average strength of 600….the average number of officerswas about 34 per battalion, ranging from the 52nd’s 59 to the 42nd’s 17(the latter having suffered 18 officer casualties at Quatre Bras). Haythornthwaite, British Napoleonic Infantry Tactics, pp. 11 & 19
  19. 19. Wellington’s position was deceptively strong. It’s backbone was a low, narrow plateau, running generally west-east...its crest marked by the [Ohain] road. The plateau’s south slope was relatively steep; this combined with thefortuitous bogging at its foot, would take much of the shock out of the French attacks. Wellington’s second line andreserves, held behind the plateau, were relatively shielded from French observation and fire. East of the Brusselshighway, his first line was given considerable cover and concealment by high, thick hedges along the Ohain road; for450 yards west of the highway, the road itself was sunk to a depth of from five to seven feet, forming a naturalentrenchment. 1000 0 scale in yards
  20. 20. (Of Wellington’s whole army, only Bijlandt’s Dutch-Belgian brigade was completely exposed.) Across the southernapproaches to the plateau was a line of strongly built farmhouses--each surrounded by walled gardens andoutbuildings--and small woods, which Wellington had organized for defense. Of these, the strongest and bestprepared for defense was Hougoumont; next, covering the British center, was La Haye-Sainte and the sandpitbehind it; to the east Papelotte and La Haye. 1000 0 scale in yards
  21. 21. Wellington’s left flank was in the air, but it was anticipated that Blücher’s early arrival would correct this. He hadthoroughly intermixed the various national units under his command, so that his veteran British and Germanregiments would stiffen their less reliable comrades. Most of his artillery was placed in his front line. 1000 0 scale in yards
  22. 22. Between the two armies, the ground was relatively open and level, offering good fields of fire. To theeast, the terrain was wooded and rough. Generally steep-banked and swollen by the recent rains,Lasne Brook was a definite obstacle. The ridgeline along which the French formed was slightly higher that Wellington’s position, but nothigh enough to provide good observation of his second line and reserves. k oo e Br sn La 1000 0 scale in yards
  23. 23. Napoleon’s dispositions were such as to permit him to maneuver in any direction, yet gave nopreliminary hint as to the probable direction of his main effort. Though generally far more efficientlyorganized than its opponent, his army now suffered from several crippling weaknesses: with Grouchyabsent and Mortier ill, neither the reserve cavalry nor the Guard had a commander of its own; Ney,left in command of Reille and d’Erlon, assumed that his authority still extended to Kellermann’s corps;Soult had not yet mastered his assignment, remaining content to send one copy of an order when “mypoor Berthier would have sent six.” k oo e Br sn La 1000 0 scale in yards
  24. 24. Napoleon’s plan was simple and drastic. He needed a quick, complete victory, both to restore his oldprestige and to free his hand to deal with his other enemies. Under normal conditions, he undoubtedlywould have maneuvered to envelop Wellington’s left flank, exploiting his greater mobility to thusstrike Wellington’s tactical flank and, at the same time, drive him away from Blücher. But such amovement at best would be time-consuming, and now--with the ground still boggy in every hollow--could only proceed at a crawl. Wellington would have warning enough to withdraw to the west ornorthwest, leaving Napoleon only an indecisive tactical success. He therefore chose a direct attack onWellington’s left. Reille would launch a secondary attack toward Hougoumont, in the hope ofattracting some of Wellington’s reserves, while a heavy artillery preparation would be put down on theEnglish left and center. D’Erlon would then attack toward Mont-St.-Jean….Once it was cleared, hisengineers would organize it as a strong point….Approximately 80 cannon were massed in one greatbattery along a low ridge in front of d’Erlon. Though the best position then available, it wasapproximately 1,000 yards from Wellington’s front--a rather long range, even for 12-pounders. k oo e Br sn La 1000 0 scale in yards
  25. 25. could only proceed at a crawl. Wellington would have warning enough to withdraw to the west ornorthwest, leaving Napoleon only an indecisive tactical success. He therefore chose a direct attack onWellington’s left. Reille would launch a secondary attack toward Hougoumont, in the hope ofattracting some of Wellington’s reserves, while a heavy artillery preparation would be put down on theEnglish left and center. D’Erlon would then attack toward Mont-St.-Jean….Once it was cleared, hisengineers would organize it as a strong point….Approximately 80 cannon were massed in one greatbattery along a low ridge in front of d’Erlon. Though the best position then available, it wasapproximately 1,000 yards from Wellington’s front--a rather long range, even for 12-pounders. k oo e Br sn La 1000 0 scale in yards
  26. 26. Reille was ordered to mask Hougoumont by occupying the woods south of it. At about 1120, hisartillery (reinforced by Kellermann’s horse artillery) opened. While Pire demonstrated west of theNivelles road, Jerome led a brigade into the woods, clearing them by 1215. This brought him upagainst the massive chateau. Wild with success, Jerome tried to rush its six-foot park walls, wasbloodily repulsed, then committed his second brigade west of the chateau. Though mauled by Britishartillery, this attack momentarily lapped around to the north face of the chateau. A handful of Frenchbroke in the gate there, but were quickly wiped out. Wellington fed in more and more reinforcements,but the drain on the french was proportionately greater. All of Jerome’s division and, later, onebrigade of Foy’s became entangled in this fight for an objective Napoleon never wanted. k oo e Br sn La 1000 0 scale in yards
  27. 27. An officer of the Tenth Hussars noted: It was the ground that took off the effect of shot, much from its being deep mud, from the rain and the tramping of horse and foot---so that often shot did not rise---and shells buried and exploded up and sending up the mud like a fountain. I had mud thrown over me in this way often. quoted in Black, p. 96
  28. 28. Mike Chappell, The King’s German Legion (2) 1812-1816 in the Osprey MEN-AT-ARMS series, p. 23
  29. 29. Wellington’s Strong Points✦ Hougoumont✦ La Haye Sainte✦ Papellotte-La Haye-Smohain (PLHS)
  30. 30. The Coldstream Guard Close the Gate at Hougoumont
  31. 31. The battle of Waterloo began at Hougoumont; the fighting therethroughout the afternoon of 18 June was extremely important in the finaloutcome. The large farm or château with its walled garden, hedge-enclosed orchard and woods was so located that possession meant a greatdeal. As we have seen, Wellington may well have considered thisrectangle the center of his position early in the day. It formed a kind ofnatural strong point which drew enemy units towards it as a magnet doesiron filings. The French attacked Hougoumont with ferocity anddetermination for many hours, but never succeeded in taking itcompletely. They may have expended more military strength here thanwas warranted by its value to the Duke, or to them. Weller, p. 86
  32. 32. A giant French lieutenant2 seized an axe from one of his pioneers andweakened the bar where it was exposed between the doors. He then led acharge which crushed the doors inward breaking the bar. In an instant,many French rushed into the courtyard. But Macdonell himself andseveral officers and men including Sergeant Graham3 closed the gates bymain strength, replaced the bar and killed or incapacitated every enemysoldier inside, probably helped by musket fire from the surroundingbuildings._________2 Sous-Lieutenant Legros of the 1st Légère, nicknamed L’Enforceur3Sergeant James Graham received in 1817 a small annuity as being ‘the bravest man’ at Waterloo Weller, p. 91
  33. 33. A giant French lieutenant2 seized an axe from one of his pioneers andweakened the bar where it was exposed between the doors. He then led acharge which crushed the doors inward breaking the bar. In an instant,many French rushed into the courtyard. But Macdonell himself andseveral officers and men including Sergeant Graham3 closed the gates bymain strength, replaced the bar and killed or incapacitated every enemysoldier inside, probably helped by musket fire from the surroundingbuildings._________2 Sous-Lieutenant Legros of the 1st Légère, nicknamed L’Enforceur3Sergeant James Graham received in 1817 a small annuity as being ‘the bravest man’ at Waterloo Weller, p. 91
  34. 34. The battle for Hougoumont was to continue all day, and this serves as areminder that events were taking place simultaneously across the battlefield.Although it was (and is) [and will be in this account] the general pattern ofexposition, in practice there was no sequence of isolated grand Frenchattacks staged while other units, both French and British, remained isolatedas spectators. Black, p. 100
  35. 35. Diagram drawn in the 1830s reproduced in Chappell, op. cit.Weller, Wellington at Waterloo, map 7, p. 234
  36. 36. The Defense of La Haye Sainte-Adolph Northen in the 1850s
  37. 37. 8th Line Bn KGL 1st Nassau Regt Grubenhagen Bn York Bn Halkett’s Brigade 33rd Kielmansegge’s Brigade Ompteda’s Brigade Bremen Bn Verden Bn 5th Line Bn KGL 1st Light Bn KGL Lüneburg Bn 2/73rd 2/69th 2/30th Cleves’ Battery KGL 17 La Haye Sainte and barricade across the highway, held by 2nd Light Bn KGL 16 Divisional skirmishers; note 2 light 18 Sandpit Lloyd’s Battery RA companies in reserve behind the line (R) held by 1/95thHaythornthwaite, British Napoleonic Infantry Tactics, PLATE G
  38. 38. PLATE J: LA HAYE SAINTEThe defense of the farmhouse of La HayeSainte was one of the epics of the battle ofWaterloo….the post was entrusted to MajorGeorge Baring and six companies of the 2ndLight Battalion, King’s German Legion. Thefarm and its outbuildings were held until thegreat French attack late in the day, Baringhaving been reinforced by the skirmishers ofthe 5th KGL Line Bn and some 200 Nassauers.This plate depicts a moment in the defense,with an officer and men of the 2nd Light Bn,and a sharpshooter from the 5th Line Bn,whose equipment was of ‘rifle’ style but inwhitened leather. Haythornthwaite, British Rifleman, 1797-1815, NOTES ON PLATE J, p. 60
  39. 39. All these roads cut so deeply into the sandy clay hillsides as to present extreme problems for cavalry or infantry in formation trying to cross them. AGAIN orientation oppositeThe most important feature here is the defile south of the two farms Weller, Wellington at Waterloo, map 8, p. 234
  40. 40. All these roads cut so deeply into the sandy clay hillsides as to present extreme problems for cavalry or infantry in formation trying to cross them. AGAIN orientation opposite The small stream running through marshland, the sunken roads and the defile itself were considerable military obstacles, particularly in view of the wet condition of the countryside on 18 June 1815. Weller, p. 134The most important feature here is the defile south of the two farms Weller, Wellington at Waterloo, map 8, p. 234
  41. 41. SMOHAIN LA HAYE PAPELOTTEPhoto taken from the southwest
  42. 42. Saxe-Weimar’s position was naturally strong; the Nassauers appear to havehad both time and tools to strengthen it with barricades, loop-hole walls andbuildings, and to post artillery so as to be partially protected, but able tosupport the infantry. Saxe-Weimar was a first-rate leader and a better thanaverage tactical commander. He held La Haye and Papelotte securelyduring a period that was perilous for the Duke’s first line farther to thewest. The stability of Wellington’s left virtually depended upon his connectionwith the Prussian Army… Weller, pp. 138-139
  43. 43. Shortly before 1300 (1 pm), the great battery was ready to fire. Ney requested permission tolaunch the main attack. Even as Ney requested orders, Napoleon’s attention was called to an oddchange in the appearance of the ridge around St. Lambert. The whole area was darkening, as if alarge body of troops was massing there. Some of his staff dismissed it as merely the shadow of acloud, but cavalry was sent to make certain. If there were troops at St. Lambert, they could onlybe enemy. The riddle was solved when Jacquinot’s hussars brought in a group of Prussianprisoners and an intercepted message from Bülow to Wellington, revealing that Bülow was at St.Lambert and Blücher’s other three corps around Wavre. Grouchy, the prisoners said, was not incontact with the Prussians.
  44. 44. The situation demanded a quick decision, which might determine the fate of France andNapoleon. The French army was fully deployed, but not committed, and so could still withdraw.Napoleon believed Wellington slightly stronger than himself; in addition, he now had a bigPrussian corps on his right flank, with the rest of Blücher’s army behind it. In 1814, Napoleonprobably would have retired. Now, only quick and decisive victory would suffice. Even if hewithdrew successfully and recalled Grouchy, he would find himself badly outnumbered by thecombined armies of Blücher and Wellington, while other Allied armies were closing in all alongFrance’s frontiers.
  45. 45. Napoleon courageously chose the bolder course. Even if Wellington should be considerablyreinforced, he was certain of his ability to beat both Wellington and Bülow. Also, Bülow plainlywas not rushing to the rescue of his ally, and Grouchy should now be close enough to Wavre tohave fixed a considerable portion of the Prussians there. Lobau, with Domon and Subervie,would cover the French right flank. Grouchy was warned that he must march at once to rejointhe main army and crush Bülow.
  46. 46. Bülow had marched slowly, apparently forgetting his orders en route. Arriving at St.-Lambert,he neither kept his troops under cover nor attacked. At 1500 (3 pm), with his corps fullyassembled, he was still sitting bashfully in full view around St.-Lambert, unwilling to risk a crossing of Lasne Brook. A small Prussian detachment had entered the Bois de Paris, but made noeffort to establish contact with the French right flank. Blücher was back along the road fromWavre, urging his troops forward through the mud.
  47. 47. Bois de Soignes At Walhain, Grouchy’s lunch was interrupted by the swellingsound of artillery fire off to the west. Local citizens placed it alongthe southern edge of the Bois de Soignes. Gerard and several othersenior officers immediately urged Grouchy to march to the sound ofthe guns. The discussion grew hot, Grouchy, disliking both theadvice and the vehemence with which it was offered, stood stifflyon his orders--as he understood them--to “follow the Prussians,”and refused Gerard’s request to be allowed at least to take his owncorps westward. (Had he taken this advice, Grouchy could havereached the outskirts of Napoleon’s battle by 1900. His mereapproach probably would have kept Blücher off Napoleon’s rightflank.)
  48. 48. Bois de Soignes At this point (about 1230), Exelmans’ courier came in to reportWavre swarming with Prussians. Grouchy at once moved on thattown with Vandamme and Gerard. Pajol now reported no trace ofPrussians around Tourinnes; Grouchy ordered him to seize Limale.
  49. 49. Bois de Soignes Fighting had already begun east of Wavre, the Prussian detachment from Mont-St.-Guibert havingmade a dash through Exelmans’ outpost line to reach the town. Grouchy ordered Vandamme to seizethe heights along the east bank of the Dyle, while Exelmans turned the left flank of the Prussian rear-guard position there. He then rode briefly southward toward Limelette in hopes of getting a betteridea of the constantly growing battle to the west. Returning, still unenlightened, he was overtaken bya staff officer with Napoleon’s order of 1000, directing him to march on Wavre. Feeling therebyjustified, Grouchy continued to Wavre, to find that Vandamme had, despite his orders, shoved hishead into a sack. Attacking from march column, without reconnaissance or artillery preparation,Vandamme had quickly cleared the east bank, but lost heavily in repeated, unsuccessful attempts torush the Wavre bridges. Caught under the plunging fire of the Prussian batteries on the high westbank, his troops in the eastern suburb could neither advance nor withdraw.
  50. 50. Bois de Soignes Thielmann had received orders at about 1500 (3 pm) to march on Couture, leaving two battalionsto garrison Wavre. On attempting to march, he found the roads blocked by Pirch and Zieten untilaround 1600. Considering Exelmans no real threat, he then began moving off, but Vandamme’sappearance forced him to halt and improvise a defense. His effort was somewhat haphazard. One ofhis brigades, ordered to retire into corps reserve, wandered off to Ohain. Fortunately, one of Zieten’sbrigades (probably equally lost and confused) had remained at Limale. The fighting was hard, butindecisive. Grouchy made several attempts to cross above and below Wavre, but was thwarted byswampy terrain and the determined defense.
  51. 51. Bois de Soignes At St.Lambert, Bülow gingerly began crossing Lasne Brook sometime after 1500. The slopes weresteep, the bridge narrow, the troops weary; more important, Bülow was unenthusiastic. About 1600,an unexpected outburst of artillery fire from the direction of Wavre shocked the Prussians. ButBlücher, seeing Wellington under heavy pressure, finally browbeat Bülow into continuing thecrossing (1630). By 1800, all of his corps was across and ready for action.
  52. 52. D’Erlon’s Attack
  53. 53. The great battery had pounded the Anglo-Dutch left center and left flank forabout a half-hour when (at roughly 1345) d’Erlon advanced. Thanks to itssheltered position, the anglo-Dutch infantry (except Bijlandt’s brigade) hadsuffered relatively little.
  54. 54. The French quickly cleared the enclosures around La Haye-Sainte, but--lacking artillery--could not break into the main buildings. The sand pit andPapelotte were captured; Bijlandt’s ill-used brigade ran away. Wellingtonsent a battalion to reinforce La Haye-Sainte, but Travers rode it down, thenhunted the skirmishers covering Wellington’s center. Marcognet plungedacross the Ohain road, but Donzelot halted just short of it to deploy. As hisjumbled battalions struggled into line, Picton shouted Pack and Kemptforward in a counterattack. Staggered by English volleys and artillery fire,the French gave some ground, but then hung just below the Ohain road in afurious fire fight. Picton was killed.
  55. 55. Seizing the exact moment, Uxbridge charged. Somerset’s brigade of Britishguard cavalry caught Travers crossing the Ohain road, and drove him down-hill. Somerset then turned on Bachelu, but was thoroughly repulsed.Ponsonby’s three regiments charged the flanks of Allix’s, Donzelot’s, andMarcognet’s struggling divisions. Completely surprised, the French wereherded back across the valley, losing 3,000 men and two eagles. Twocompanies of French artillery, caught in the stampede were overrun.Brilliantly begun, the charge now ran wild. Seeing the great batterythreatened, Napoleon ordered another of Milhaud’s brigades forward;Jacquinot swung his lancers to the left. Ponsonby was killed, his brigadewrecked. Durutte had been advancing steadily until the defeat of d’Erlon’sother divisions left his flank exposed. Though attacked by Vandeleur, heretired in fair order. Repulsed by Durutte’s reserve regiment, Vandeleur wasfinally driven off by Jacquinot.
  56. 56. According to a local peasant, Decoster, forced to serve Napoleon as a guideon June 18, the Emperor was greatly impressed with the bearing of suchAllied troops as he could see from near La Belle Alliance. “How steadily thosetroops take the ground! How beautifully those cavalry form! Look at thosegrey horses! Who are those fine horsemen? These are fine troops, but in halfan hour I shall cut them to pieces.” Chandler, p.1066
  57. 57. Negotiating the difficult sunken road, the Scots Greys charged into action.“All of us were greatly excited,” recalled Corporal John Dickson, “and begancrying, ‘Hurrah, Ninety-Second! Scotland Forever!’” It so happened thattheir advance took them through the 92nd Highlanders, whose blood was alsofully up, and many of the kilted infantry grabbed hold of the horses’ stirrupsand were borne into the fray. There was no withstanding such pressure.Although the French infantry “fought like tigers” they were inexorably sweptback. Many men were cut down, more than 3,000 forced to surrender, andboth the 45th and the 105th Regiments lost their coveted eagles, the first beingcaptured by Sergeant Charles Ewart of the Scots Greys, the latter by anofficer and corporal of the Royal Regiment of Dragoons. Very soon, two-thirds of d’Erlon’s shattered men were running down the slope in completedisarray. Chandler, pp.1078-1079
  58. 58. Scotland Forever! Lady Elizabeth Butler, 1881 depicting the start of the charge by the Royal Scots Greys at the Battle ofWaterloo in 1815. In actuality, it appears that Scots Greys never started the charge at a gallop, due to the broken ground, and instead advanced at a quick walk.
  59. 59. The Eagle of the French 45th Ligne captured by theRoyal Scots Greys. Painted by Stanley Berkeley itdepicts the Scots Greys famous charge. The figures inkilts carrying muskets are men of the 92nd Highlanders.According to legend, the men of the 92nd hung on to thestirrups of the Scots Greys during the charge. Althoughboth regiments record it as part of their history,independent eyewitness accounts do not bear the legendof the "stirrup charge" out.
  60. 60. Cotton, A Voice from Waterloo, pp. 60-61
  61. 61. Unfortunately, [the British cavalry] now yielded individually and collectively,officers and men alike, to their greatest weakness. They became intoxicatedwith what they had already done, and endeavored to accomplish theimpossible. Superbly mounted young officers were determined todemonstrate their personal gallantry and forgot they were supposed to beprofessional soldiers. Older officers who should have known better joinedthem with no more appreciation of the proper employing of cavalry on abattlefield than a novice in a nunnery. Nearly 2,000 heavy horsemen, who hadsuffered trifling loss until this time, crashed through the French grandbattery, inflicting casualties and putting some guns out of action. They werenow completely out of hand; all order and formation were lost. They dashedforward, however, individually and in small groups, on blown horses, inmuddy fields, against 30,000 formed French infantry, cavalry and artilleryincluding the entire Imperial Guard.. Uxbridge himself, as gallant anddashing a man as ever lived, led the Household Brigade, but lost all control ofit. Ponsonby led his own with equal bravery and even less knowledge of hisjob….There was no appreciation of the professional duty of an officer in cavalryregiments; they insisted on thinking of combat as a kind of glorious foxhunt. Weller, pp.104-105
  62. 62. ...the cavalry was hit by French counterattacks from front, and, moreseriously, from the lancers on their left. Due to the vulnerability of theexhausted and disorganized British cavalry, these lancers, who could lackflexibility against prepared forces, proved particularly deadly, their longlances unmatched by British swords….The British cavalry were driven backwith heavy casualties---including the commander of the Union Brigade,Ponsonby, who was killed---while the French regained the guns of the GrandBattery. Black, p.106
  63. 63. The final defeat of the heavy cavalry does not entirely alter the importance oftheir early success. The situation before their charge had been critical. Eventhough they finally destroyed themselves, they inflicted further casualties onthe enemy, temporarily broke three divisions of French infantry andcompletely drove back Napoleon’s second main attack. ‘It was a harrowingsight to see the English cavalry breaking through and slaughtering these finedivisions as if they were flocks of sheep. Intoxicated with slaughter, incitingeach other to kill, they pierced and cut down the miserable mass with glee.The columns were shattered, divided, scattered, and hurled down to theslopes by the swords of the dragoons.’ The final broken retreat of the Britishheavy cavalry was covered in part by rockets discharged by Whinyate’sBattery, R.H.A.3_______3 Wellington thought less than nothing of rockets because of their extreme inaccuracy and...ordered Whinyates to placehis in store and draw guns. But this battery definitely used both at Waterloo. Duncan, 438, says that it fired 52 rockets onthe 18th, all probably at this time. Weller, p.105
  64. 64. Cotton, A Voice from Waterloo, p. 69
  65. 65. Ney’s Charge
  66. 66. Ney’s ChargeFrench Cuirassiers attacking a Highland Square by Felix Philippoteau (a reconstruction painted in 1874)
  67. 67. The French cavalry came forward in all its magnificence. Men, horses, uniforms and weapons were remarkable. The First Line of Cuirassiers shone in burnished steel, relieved by black horse-hair crested helmets. Next came the Red Lancers of the Guard in their gaudy uniforms and mounted on richly caparisoned steeds, their fluttering lance flags heightened the brilliancy of their display. The Third Line comprising the Chasseurs of the Guard in their rich costumes of green and gold, with fur-trimmed pelisses à la hussard, and black bearskin shakos completed the gorgeous, yet harmonious, colouring of this military spectacle.1 These were the French veterans who had been so often victorious underMurat, Marshal Ney, the bravest of the brave, now led them. Hearts quailedin the Allied army; more than one young soldier has set down in his memoirsthat he could not see how anything could withstand the mighty host ofmounted Frenchmen.2 Only the Peninsular veterans realized how little theyhad to fear cavalry so long as they kept their formation and fire discipline.________1Siborne, 4432Morris, 219 says, “Their appearance was of such a formidable nature, that I thought we could not have the slightestchance with them.” Weller, p. 109
  68. 68. D’Erlon’s shaken corps was not reformed untilalmost 1600. Meanwhile Wellington reinforced LaHaye-Sainte; Napoleon ordered howitzers employedagainst Hougoumont, where pointless brawling stillcontinued. Shellfire soon set the chateau afire, but itsreinforced garrison held out in its walled garden andchapel.
  69. 69. Assessing the situation, Napoleon now decided to smash the English center. Ordering Ney to clearthe way by taking La Haye-Sainte, he reinforced the great battery, told Pire to demonstrate towardBraine l’Alleud, and began preparing his main attack. Pire accomplished nothing. Ney again occupied La Haye-Sainte’s grounds, but could not take thebuildings. By 1600 the artillery duel reached an intensity surpassing Wagram. The more numerousFrench guns got the upper hand; Anglo-Dutch losses in men and cannon mounted rapidly.
  70. 70. Under this pounding, Wellington’s fraying line fell back behind the crest of the plateau; Lambert, theBrunswickers, and elements of Chasse were summoned from his right to rebuild his sagging center, aswas Vincke from his extreme left.
  71. 71. Half glimpsing this withdrawal through the smoke, Ney excitedly concluded that Wellington wasabout to retreat. He ordered Milhaud forward. By some error, Lefebvre-Desnoëttes followed him.The beginnings of this great cavalry charge were hidden from Napoleon by the dead space in thevalley below his command post. It was in full career when he first glimpsed it, and he could onlyremark that it was an hour too early. Again Ney bungled. Veering erratically across the field, he sent the cavalry against Wellington’sright center, the least-damaged part of the Anglo-Dutch line. Neither horse artillery nor infantryfollowed in support. The British artillerymen fired till the last minute, then took refuge in the nearestsquare or ran. Slowed by the muddy slope, artillery fire, and the passage of the Ohain road and theabandoned guns, the French cavalry came over the crest of the plateau to find the Anglo-Dutchinfantry in two lines of squares placed checkerwise. Without room enough to work up momentum,met by point-blank musketry, their best efforts to break that infantry failed. Uxbridgecounterattacked, forcing them back down the slope. They rallied, and drove him in. Some Englishguns got into action between charges, but many cannoneers simply vanished.
  72. 72. Napoleon had Domon’s report that Bülow wasfinally advancing, and Grouchy’s message fromWalhain, indicating that Grouchy was still farto the east. Grimly deciding that, premature ofnot, Ney’s attack must be supported, heordered Kellermann and Guyot forward. Thisactually was more cavalry than there was roomto use, but their attack was bitter andprolonged. British accounts insist no squareswere broken; nevertheless, several seem to havebeen thoroughly cut up. After a fourthunsuccessful charge at 1800 (6 pm), the Frenchretired, shaken and discouraged, most of theircommanders wounded or dead.
  73. 73. Except for Vivian and Vandeleur, all of Wellington’s British cavalry was used up; much of his artillerywas out of action.
  74. 74. Ney suddenly remembered that he hadBachelu’s division and one of Foy’sbrigades available, and thrust them,unsupported, against Wellington’s line.Caught in converging fire, this effortquickly crumbled. Lobau meanwhile had repeatedlydefeated Bülow’s attempts to emergefrom the Bois de Paris. However,exploiting their greatly superior numbers,the Prussians began working clumsilytoward Placenoit.
  75. 75. Wellington and his staff were present, controlling this crucial stage of thebattle, with the duke needing to take shelter inside squares. His doing soreflected Wellington’s personal stamina on what was a very long day and hispreference for direct presence in the key zone of conflict, as well as the factthat he spent much of the battle on the right side of his position where theconflict was fiercest. Wellington indeed wrote next day to Lady FrancesWebster, “The finger of Providence was upon me, and I escaped unhurt.”Such a remark was at once a commonplace, a testimony to the extent towhich soldiers were religious and fatalistic, and an indication of the sense thata great struggle, one wiyh pronounced religious and moral worth, was takingplace. Black, pp. 117-118
  76. 76. If the French cavalry, the very first squadrons of it, could have maintainedtheir speed and formation they would have won. A cuirassier and his horseprobably weighed about 2,000 pounds. Half a dozen acting together withkamikaze courage in man and beast could have broken any battalion. Thisnever happened for a variety of reasons. The firepower of the squares wasprobably most important, but the horses themselves often refused, perhapswith some help from their riders. The lines of bayonets and the regularvolleys from such compact small human fortresses were too much for theFrenchmen and their horses. The squadrons tended to funnel between thesquares rather than careering into them. An average battalion square wasonly about 60 feet on a side; there was a much wider open space between twosquares. A maximum swerve of about 35 feet would take a horse and rideraround the formation and clear of its bayonets. Even the oblongs were usuallyless than 100 feet. Weller, p. 110
  77. 77. “We dashed them back as cooly as the sturdy rock repels the ocean’sfoam...we presented our bristly points like the peevish porcupines assailed byclamorous dogs.”--Ensign Edmund Wheatley, KGL quoted in Black, p. 153
  78. 78. Weller, pp. 206-207
  79. 79. Weller, pp. 206-207
  80. 80. The French force was formidable, but it faced several major hurdles. First,there were the serious disadvantages of cavalry attacks on unbroken andprepared infantry. Secondly, the French were outnumbered, and indeedheavily so in the contact zone. Although there were ancillary French infantryassaults on Hougoumont and La Haie Sainte, the cavalry attacked withoutinfantry support and faced a formidable force of about 14,000 infantrysupported by sixty-five cannon, and with nearly 8,000 cavalry available insupport. In a very different context, the situation pre-figured the Germantank attack on the well-entrenched and -prepared Soviets at Kursk in 1943,an attack that also failed and, indeed, was seen as a turning point of the waron the eastern front. Black, p. 114
  81. 81. Three-quarters of the French generals in the French cavalry attack on theBritish squares were killed or wounded. Black, p. 120
  82. 82. The Crisis
  83. 83. The Crisis
  84. 84. No man but a veteran who had displayeduncommon valor could join the Guard.Guardsmen were paid more than other troops,and uniformed in more splendor. In return morewas expected of them, yet the Guard had alwaysgiven it. The Guard had never been defeated.Other French troops might grumble at theGuard’s privileges, but when the bearskins andlong coats marched, victory was certain. TheGuards wore side-whiskers and mustaches… asmarks of their prowess. To be a Grenadier of theGuard a man had to be six feet tall, an élite of anélite. The Guard were the Emperor’s ‘immortals,’passionate in their loyalty to him, and fearsomein battle for him. When Bonaparte had beendefeated and sent to Elba the Guard had beenordered to disband, but rather than surrendertheir colors they had burned the silk flags,crumbled the ash into wine, and drunk themixture. Some of the immortals had gone intoexile with their Emperor, but now
  85. 85. they had returned and been reunited with theirold comrades and been given new colors to flybeneath new Eagles. The Guard was the élite,the undefeated, the immortals of the Empire,and the Guard would deliver the final lethalblow that would obliterate the British. But not yet. It was only six o’clock, therewere more than three hours of daylight left,and the Prussians were far from ready to fight,so there was time for the Emperor to wear theBritish down yet further. Cornwell, Waterloo, pp.314-315
  86. 86. 7:30 pm yards
  87. 87. French skirmishers had worked up close to La Haye-Sainte, and the defenders’ ammunition wasrunning low. Two of Ompteda’s battalions, sent to their relief, were surprised by cuirassiers. One wasdestroyed, the other badly hurt before Uxbridge extricated it. Having ridden along his lines to checkthe battle’s progress, at 1730 (5:30) Napoleon again ordered Ney to seize La Haye-Sainte. This time,there was heavy artillery support, directed at both L H-S and the Anglo-Dutch positions behind it. 7:30 pm yards
  88. 88. Personally leading an infantry regiment and a company of engineers, Ney took his objective at 1800in a furious no-quarter assault. Simultaneously, Durutte retook Papelotte. French skirmishersswarmed through the sandpit; Ney got several guns into action on the knoll just north of L H-S.Seeing Wellington’s center definitely flinching, he called on Napoleon for infantry reinforcements. 7:30 pm yards
  89. 89. Personally leading an infantry regiment and a company of engineers, Ney took his objective at 1800in a furious no-quarter assault. Simultaneously, Durutte retook Papelotte. French skirmishersswarmed through the sandpit; Ney got several guns into action on the knoll just north of L H-S.Seeing Wellington’s center definitely flinching, he called on Napoleon for infantry reinforcements. 7:30 pm yards
  90. 90. Napoleon was fighting for his army’s life against Blücher. 7:30 pm yards
  91. 91. Blücher’s enveloping attack finally had captured Placenoit. Prussian artillery fire was finally beginningto reach French units along the Brussels Highway--Napoleon’s Line of Communications (LOC).Napoleon committed Duhesme’s Young Guard division (4,000), recapturing Placenoit. Bülowcounterattacked, took a costly repulse, rallied, and attacked again--north, west and south. Duhesme wasmortally wounded; the Young Guard thrown out in disorder. Napoleon sent two Old Guard battalionswith orders to use the bayonet. Two battalions against fourteen, they flushed Placenoit, chasing thePrussians back. Checked at last when Blücher concentrated every available man against their rush, theyretired unpursued. Some 3,000 Prussian casualties marked their track. 7:30 pm yards
  92. 92. 7:30 pm yards
  93. 93. Lobau likewise had counterattacked [at Placenoit] successfully. Though denied reinforcements, Ney pressed his attack. All along Wellington’s left flank and center,clouds of French skirmishers, supported by aggressively handled guns, worked up onto the plateauin snarling, short-range fighting. A few cuirassier squadrons followed, forcing the Anglo-Dutch tostay in squares, or riding them down if they deployed. 7:30 pm yards
  94. 94. Kemp was battered, Omptedawas dead and his brigadeshattered; Kruse wavering;French guns were demolishingKielmansegge’s ruined brigadeat 100-yard range. 7:30 pm yards
  95. 95. Stalemated aroundHougoumont, theFrench bypassed itto the west, drivingin Clinton’s rightflank. 7:30 pm yards
  96. 96. Counterattacks by the Brunswickers and Kruse’s Nassau contingent collapsed. Even English regimentsfaltered, having “fed death’ almost beyond endurance. The British and German cavalry sacrificed vainly;Dutch-Belgian cavalry refused to charge; a Hanoverian hussar regiment ran away. The wounded, andgrowing numbers of unwounded fugitives, streamed northward. Through this gathering disaster rodeWellington, to all outward appearances icily unshaken, herding the Brunswickers forward again,patching his gaping center with his last reserve artillery. Further reinforcements were en route from hisextreme right; meanwhile, it still would take the French some time to kill what remained of his veterans. 7:30 pm yards
  97. 97. With Blücher repulsed [at Placenoit], Napoleon returnedat 1900 (7 pm) to his original battle. From the smokinguproar east towards Wavre, Grouchy obviously was atgrips with a part of the Prussian army. In front, the battlewas at high crisis: some reinforcements had reachedWellington’s center; Ney’s guns, north of L H-S, werebeing smothered; in places, the French were being forcedoff the plateau. But Durutte had taken Papelotte, andWellington’s right flank was sagging. Insofar as Napoleoncould determine, Bülow was whipped, and Wellington’sarmy so shattered that one more hard blow would finish it.
  98. 98. Prussian help was slow. Pirch begancrawling across Lasne Brook at about1830. Thielmann [in Wavre] beggedfor reinforcements, which Gneisenau(ignorant of Grouchy’s true strength) > THIELMANN >refused. It was 1800 before Zieten’sadvance guard reached Ohain.Wellington demanded that he reinforcethe Anglo-Dutch left; Blücher orderedhim to support Bülow. Both seemedlike unattractive lost causes. Afterconsiderable mental jiggling, Zietenfinally moved against Durutte. Hisconfused artillerymen opened on Saxe-Weimar’s brigade [because of theirblue uniforms!], stampeding it, butZieten’s advance gradually forcedDurutte back.
  99. 99. > THIELMANN >Napoleon had eleven battalions of Old Guard infantryavailable. Eight would attack Wellington’s center, with aninth detached to cover their left; two would remain inreserve at Rossome. Several companies of Guard horseartillery would advance with them, and Ney wouldsupport them with every serviceable unit of Reille, d’Erlonand the cavalry. Weary French artillerymen redoubledtheir pounding.
  100. 100. > THIELMANN >
  101. 101. The Old Guard
  102. 102. As the battle drew to a close, Napoleons Middle Guard launched an assault on the British line, to the 52nds left, and were met by a number of regiments including the 1st Foot Guards, who repulsed the 3rd Chasseurs, but had to themselves retreat when the 4th Chasseurs moved forward to threaten their left. The 52nd, under Sir John Colborne, wheeled to the left, deploying parallel to the French column, and fired volleys against their left flank. William Hay, a Light Dragoon watching from the right, later recalled that "so well-directed a fire was poured in, that down the bank the Frenchmen fell and, I may say, the battle of Waterloo was gained." Seeing the 52nd begin an advance, Wellington reputedly ordered "Go on, Colborne, they wont stand!"; the battalion then advanced diagonally across the field.When this was later followed by a bayonet charge by all of General Adams 3rd Brigade, the Guard broke, forced into full retreat. Having pursued the French down the escarpment of Mont St Jean, the 52nd crossed the valley floor (that at the start of the battle had separated the armies) and on the other side attacked a square of Old Guard (part of the personal body guard of Napoleon,) that had formed up to the British right of the inn La Belle Alliance and forced it to retreat. The 1/52nd were the largest battalion at Waterloo, and one of the few British battalions operating at full strength. Of the 1,130 men and officers present, Grenadier 168 were wounded, and 38 killed.52nd Regiment WikipediaLight DivisionHill’s II Corps
  103. 103. As the Old Guard battalions came forward, Napoleon turned them over toNey, galloped eastward to rally Durutte’s reeling division, then dashed backto press his main attack. He was too late. Ney---gone berserk---hadcommitted the first five battalions as they came up. D’Erlon attacked oncemore, but Reille scarcely budged. Only a handful of cavalry joined theadvance.
  104. 104. Instead of striking straight ahead, along the short, relatively sheltered routeinto Wellington’s wrecked center, Ney led the five battalions northwestwardalong the same diagonal track where he had sent the cavalry. Anglo-Dutchguns behind Hougoumont enfiladed their advance. Ney moved with them,on foot, losing all control of the action.
  105. 105. Raked front and flank by artillery fire, the first battalion attacked just west of theBrussels highway, routing the Brunswickers and driving Halkett’s battered troops. ButChasse, arriving with a Dutch-Belgian brigade and battery, overwhelmed it by a flankattack. Minutes later, the second battalion momentarily broke into Wellington’s center.The third column (two battalions which had linked up during their advance) collidedwith Maitland’s brigade and was driven downhill after a savage fight. The fifthbattalion, pushing through intense artillery fire, drove Maitland back, but was itselfoutflanked by Adam.
  106. 106. The Guard’s repulse (around 2010)staggered the French. La Garde recule!Wellington ordered his whole lineforward. “Maitland, now’s your time!They won’t stand!” Zieten wedged inbetween Durutte and Lobau; Blücheragain assailed Placenoit. The panic cryof “Sauve qui peut!” spread fromd’Erlons right flank.
  107. 107. Napoleon did what he could. While his escort squadrons charged desperately to gainminutes, he stationed the four uncommitted Old Guard battalions in a line of squaresbelow La Haye-Sainte. The two reserve battalions formed squares astride the Brusselshighway, just south of La Belle Alliance, flanked by a battery of the Guard artillery.Lobau was told that he must hold Blücher until the army withdrew behind him
  108. 108. Though some French batteries fought to the last, the Allied advance swept Reille andd’Erlon before it. Donzelot had a brigade firmly in hand to cover his withdrawal, butNey wasted it in a hopeless counterattack---intended, apparently, merely to get himselfkilled. The four Guard squares easily checked the British and Prussian cavalry, butgradually disintegrated under the combined pressures of fugitives seeking protectionand Allied infantry and cavalry attacks.
  109. 109. Dernier carre de la Garde et Général Hill
  110. 110. This more acceptable quote was produced by a newspaperman. The actual response was most likely Merde! "La Garde meurt, elle not rend pas!" The Guard dies, it does ne sesurrender! The last remnant de la Garde et Général Hill Dernier carre
  111. 111. Though his corps slowly frayed away as Zieten advanced into its rear, Lobausomehow kept Blücher from the vital highway. The Guard sold Placenoit houseby blazing house,
  112. 112. Though his corps slowly frayed away as Zieten advanced into its rear, Lobausomehow kept Blücher from the vital highway. The Guard sold Placenoit houseby blazing house,
  113. 113. Guard Chasseurs atPlacenoit, Dan Horsechief
  114. 114. Guard Chasseurs atPlacenoit, Dan Horsechief
  115. 115. Guard Chasseurs atPlacenoit, Dan Horsechief
  116. 116. LOBAU Though his corps slowly frayed away as Zieten advanced into its rear, Lobau somehow kept Blücher from the vital highway. The Guard sold Placenoit house by blazing house, the Old Guard battalions bayoneting their way out at the end. Blücher’s one feeble attempt at a deep envelopment was routed by the Old Guard battalion covering Napoleon’s headquarters. Twilight and the confused convergence of the Anglo-Dutch and Prussian advances delayed any immediate effective pursuit. The Guard’s two squares near La Belle Alliance shrugged off all attacks, withdrawing slowly, in perfect order. The Guard artillerymen there fired their last round, then stood stoically by their empty guns. Their bluff gained their comrades a few minutes. Until the first crisis passed, Napoleon remained with one of the squares; he then rode ahead to see if a stand could be made at Genappe.
  117. 117. Covered by the remaining units of the Guard, intermixed fragmentsof other commands streamed toward Genappe. Reille attempted tojoin them by a cross-country march, but most of his remainingtroops scattered when attacked by Prussian cavalry….The Frenchhad fought furiously, only to have victory repeatedly snatched fromthem. Their reaction was discouragement,indiscipline, and growingpanic. (Also, being veterans, they understood the danger of beingtrapped between Wellington and Blücher, and saw no sense inlingering.) Real panic began in Genappe, where the main streetended in a narrow bridge. This was soon almost blocked byoverturned and abandoned vehicles, but---though the Dyle waseasily fordable---men fought among themselves to cross it.Attempting to restore order, Radet was beaten unconscious. FindingGenappe jammed with fugitives, the Guard bypassed it to the east.Napoleon and his escort spent an hour working their way throughthe town.
  118. 118. Meeting in La Belle Alliance, Blücher and Wellington agreed thatthe Prussians would continue the pursuit. Accordingly, elements ofPirch’s and Bülow’s corps moved slowly on Genappe. At itsnorthern edge, a few still acrimonious Frenchmen held animprovised barricade until Prussian artillery demolished it.Thereafter, the Prussians sabered and shot the milling fugitives untilfright drove them to ford the Dyle. Most of the Prussians thenhalted, but Gneisenau, ordering Pirch to aid Thielmann, himselfpushed on with 4,000 men, harrying and slaughtering stragglersuntil exhaustion halted him south of Frasnes. (Though energetic, hisoperations were less effective than commonly believed. Organizedgroups were not molested; the hard core of practically every Frenchregiment engaged withdrew successfully.) Bülow’s cavalry joinedGneisenau the next morning, but all contact with the French hadbeen lost.
  119. 119. Though dazed and exhausted, Napoleon had dispatched anadministrative officer to evacuate the army’s trains from Charleroi, andordered the division at Ligny to Quatre-Bras. Reaching Quatre-Brasat 0100, he learned that this division, which could have ruinedGneisenau’s pursuit, had not arrived. The army obviously could not berallied, especially since the Guard had continued toward Charleroi.There was no news of Grouchy. Dispatching couriers to warn Grouchyand other detachments, Napoleon proceeded to Charleroi, but found(0500) the town in wild confusion. A drunken garrison commanderhad hampered the administrative officer’s attempt to organize theevacuation. Consequently, it had hardly begun when the fugitive hordeengulfed it, turning the Charleroi bridge into another tumultuous jam.
  120. 120. Napoleon continued southward to Philippeville (0900). Reorganizationnow became possible, contact with the enemy being completely broken,and the fugitives halting from complete exhaustion. Giving thenecessary orders, Napoleon left Soult in command, and proceeded toParis to organize a defensive campaign.
  121. 121. Waterloo casualties were approximately: Casualties Prisoners Missing KIA & WIA 15,094 plus several Anglo-Dutch thousand temporarily missing Prussian 7,000 French 26,000 9,000 9,000 E & E, opposite map 168
  122. 122. June 22. This morning I went to visit the field of battle,which is a little beyond the village of Waterloo, on theplateau of Mont-Saint-Jean; but on arrival there thesight was too horrible to behold. I felt sick in the stomachand was obliged to return. The multitude of carcasses,the heaps of wounded men with mangled limbs unable tomove, and perishing from not having their woundsdressed or from hunger, as the Allies were, of course,obliged to take their surgeons and waggons with them,formed a spectacle I shall never forget. The wounded,both of the Allies and the French, remain in an equallydeplorable state. —Major W. E Frye After Waterloo: Reminiscences of European Travel 1815–1819
  123. 123. June 22. This morning I went to visit the field of battle,which is a little beyond the village of Waterloo, on theplateau of Mont-Saint-Jean; but on arrival there thesight was too horrible to behold. I felt sick in the stomachand was obliged to return. The multitude of carcasses,the heaps of wounded men with mangled limbs unable tomove, and perishing from not having their woundsdressed or from hunger, as the Allies were, of course,obliged to take their surgeons and waggons with them,formed a spectacle I shall never forget. The wounded,both of the Allies and the French, remain in an equallydeplorable state. —Major W. E Frye After Waterloo: Reminiscences of European Travel 1815–1819
  124. 124. The Morning after the Battle of Waterloo, (Detail)John Heaviside Clarke (1771 - 1863) England, 1816, oil on canvas (from the copy in the German Historical Museum, Berlin)
  125. 125. a contemporary picture. Note the naked corpses, right. Dead and wounded were stripped of their clothing. Ithad economic value. Soldiers “traded up” on shoes, boots
  126. 126. “Well, thank God, I don’t know what it is to lose a battle; butcertainly nothing can be more painful than to gain one with theloss of so many of one’s friends.” Wellington, to Dr. John Hume, on 19 June, after being presented with the preliminary casualty list
  127. 127. In the Waterloo campaign, Wellington made no mistakes. His distribution ofthe Allied troops along the Belgian frontier, his rapid concentration atQuatre Bras in concert with the Prussian Army at Ligny, his success onJune 16th, his subsequent withdrawal to Waterloo, the manner in which hehandled his troops before and during the battle, and the arrangements hemade with Blücher for the flank attack from Wavre and for the pursuit ofthe defeated enemy, prove him to be a profound master of the art of war. General, Lord Roberts, The Rise of Wellington, London, 1895, p. 190, quoted in Weller, p. 186
  128. 128. The Waterloo Medal a silver medal for officers and common soldiers alike“As we had all shared equally in the dangers of the day, we should all partake alike in its glories.” --Sergeant Robertson
  129. 129. After the Russian disaster of 1812 and the French defeat at Leipzigin 1813, materiel had been replaced, and patriotism revived, to anastonishing degree. Weller, p. 156
  130. 130. Wellington and Blücher realized that the way to prevent such a revival was to take full advantage of their victoryand move rapidly on Paris. they decided to put into operation their original plans for moving into France, whether ornot the Austrian and Russian armies were ready….Wellington and his army, now mostly British and Hanoverian,moved to Nivelles on the 20th and the next day in two columns crossed the border into France…. Weller, p. 156
  131. 131. The return of Louis XVIII (“Louis the Unavoidable”) and thedismemberment of the French army brought on the so-called White Terror--an explosion of reactionary hate and fear. It was fanned by the Allies, whowanted the heads of as many of Napoleon’s lieutenants as possible, butpreferred to let Louis take the blame. Ney was shot for treason after agrossly unfair trial (Bourmont being one of the witnesses against him).
  132. 132. Ney was arrested (on 3 August 1815), and tried (4 December 1815) for treason by theChamber of Peers. On 6 December 1815 he was condemned, and executed by firing squad inParis near the Luxembourg Garden on 7 December 1815 – an event that deeply divided theFrench public. He refused to wear a blindfold and was allowed the right to give the order tofire, reportedly saying:"Soldiers, when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It willbe my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles forFrance, and not one against her ... Soldiers, Fire!"
  133. 133. Ney was arrested (on 3 August 1815), and tried (4 December 1815) for treason by theChamber of Peers. On 6 December 1815 he was condemned, and executed by firing squad inParis near the Luxembourg Garden on 7 December 1815 – an event that deeply divided theFrench public. He refused to wear a blindfold and was allowed the right to give the order tofire, reportedly saying:"Soldiers, when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It willbe my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles forFrance, and not one against her ... Soldiers, Fire!" The Execution of Marshal Ney, Jean-Leon Gerome
  134. 134. Ney was arrested (on 3 August 1815), and tried (4 December 1815) for treason by theChamber of Peers. On 6 December 1815 he was condemned, and executed by firing squad inParis near the Luxembourg Garden on 7 December 1815 – an event that deeply divided theFrench public. He refused to wear a blindfold and was allowed the right to give the order tofire, reportedly saying:"Soldiers, when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It willbe my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles forFrance, and not one against her ... Soldiers, Fire!"Neys execution was an example intended for Napoleons other marshals and generals, manyof whom were eventually exonerated by the Bourbon monarchy. Ney is buried in Paris atPère Lachaise Cemetery.
  135. 135. Ney was arrested (on 3 August 1815), and tried (4 December 1815) for treason by theChamber of Peers. On 6 December 1815 he was condemned, and executed by firing squad inParis near the Luxembourg Garden on 7 December 1815 – an event that deeply divided theFrench public. He refused to wear a blindfold and was allowed the right to give the order tofire, reportedly saying:"Soldiers, when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It willbe my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles forFrance, and not one against her ... Soldiers, Fire!"Neys execution was an example intended for Napoleons other marshals and generals, manyof whom were eventually exonerated by the Bourbon monarchy. Ney is buried in Paris atPère Lachaise Cemetery.
  136. 136. The return of Louis XVIII (“Louis the Unavoidable”) and thedismemberment of the French army brought on the so-called White Terror--an explosion of reactionary hate and fear. It was fanned by the Allies, whowanted the heads of as many of Napoleon’s lieutenants as possible, butpreferred to let Louis take the blame. Ney was shot for treason after agrossly unfair trial (Bourmont being one of the witnesses against him).Lavalette, the postmaster general and a loyal and honest public servant, waslikewise condemned to death, but escaped, thanks to a gallant wife and somedisgusted English officers. Other proscribed officers were warned in time,thanks to professional collusion between Macdonald (whom Louis placed incharge of the army’s demobilization) and Davout. Soult vanished;Vandamme visited America; Brune was murdered by a mob. Murat made aharebrained attempt to recover his former Kingdom of Naples, but wasquickly captured and executed. Esposito & Elting, A Military History and Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars, “EPILOGUE.”
  137. 137. Blücher’s Revenge ForestalledIn 1807, Napoléon I ordered, by an imperial decree issued inWarsaw, the construction of a bridge overlooking the MilitarySchool, and named the bridge after his victory in 1806 at the Battleof Jena. Prussian General Blücher wanted to destroy the bridgeafter the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and when the Prussians were thefirst to capture Paris, but was persuaded not to by the Allied forces.Blücher had been present at the humiliating defeat of the Prussiansby Napoleon at the Battle of Jena, where approximately 28,000Prussians were killed to Frances 2,480, after which Prussia wasoccupied by France. Wikipedia
  138. 138. “By God, I don’t think it would have done if I had not beenthere.” Wellington, to the diarist Thomas Creevey, on 19 June Black, p. 37
  139. 139. “Not a private in the ranks but felt that the Duke of Wellington--the man of Wealth, Rank, and Success with the World at hisfeet--was jeopardising his life to at least the same degree as thepoor outcast who had become a soldier from starvation.” Sir William Fraser, Words on Wellington (1902), quoted in Weller, pp. 167-168
  140. 140. The Duke was now the most powerful man in Europe; his militaryreputation soared. He was made a prince of the Netherlands, and receivedmany foreign honors, but there was little more that Britain could do otherthan grant him another 200,000 pounds. He had received almost everythingthere was to give at home in 1814. Weller, p. 159
  141. 141. Well, almost everything... Wellington Testimonial Phoenix Park, Dublin the foundation stone was laid in 1817. However, in 1820 it ran short of its construction costs and therefore remained unfinished until 18 June 1861 when it was opened to the public.
  142. 142. Well, almost everything... Wellington Monument Wellington, Somerset, England is a 175 feet high triangular tower located on the highest point of the Blackdown Hills
  143. 143. Well, almost everything... Wellington Monument Wellington, Somerset, England is a 175 feet high triangular tower located on the highest point of the Blackdown Hills
  144. 144. n Well, almost everything... Wellington Arch Hyde Park, London The arch, and Marble Arch to the north of Hyde Park, were both planned in 1825 by George IV to commemorate Britains victories in the Napoleonic Wars
  145. 145. Well, almost everything... Wellington Statue Hyde Park, London Sculpted by Matthew Cotes Wyatt, it was the largest equestrian statue in Britain when it was unveiled at its original location at Hyde Park Corner in 1846.
  146. 146. Well, almost everything... Wellington MonumentSt. Paul’s Cathedral, London completed in 1872
  147. 147. Battlefield Toursbegan the next day, as civilians, both upper and lower class, came to seethis amazing, and now historic site. The aristocrats, who the day beforewere planning to flee Brussels, now came to see the place of Napoleon’sdemise. And, sadly, the civilian looters arrived to strip what valuablesremained on the dead and dying bodies which the soldiers hadoverlooked. Over the years a tourist industry developed whichcontinues to this day.
  148. 148. Battlefield Toursbegan the next day, as civilians, both upper and lower class, came to seethis amazing, and now historic site. The aristocrats, who the day beforewere planning to flee Brussels, now came to see the place of Napoleon’sdemise. And, sadly, the civilian looters arrived to strip what valuablesremained on the dead and dying bodies which the soldiers hadoverlooked. Over the years a tourist industry developed whichcontinues to this day. Sergeant Major Edward Cotton (late 7th Hussars). A Voice from Waterloo, 7th rev. ed. (1895), p. 6
  149. 149. Wellington’s Smallest VictoryIn 1830, he was offered a commission to create a model of the Battle ofWaterloo, which was to be the main exhibit of the new United ServicesMuseum and a memorial to Wellingtons crowning victory.Siborne undertook the commission with alacrity and on an understandingthat the War Office would fund the project. To his lasting regret, thatunderstanding was not given in writing. Nevertheless, he put his heartand soul into the enterprise and, at his own expense, spent the next eightmonths on the battlefield of Waterloo making meticulous notes andsketches of the topography. [The WO refunded his expenses up to andincluding 1833, but cut off funding then, forcing Siborne to raise his ownfunds]. He also interviewed survivors on all sides of the last great conflictof the French wars: veterans of the French, German, British and Dutcharmies.The resulting work, first exhibited in 1838, should have brought Sibornepublic distinction and wealth.Intent on portraying the state of affairs at the moment of victory, Siborneset the time of his diorama of the battle at 7:15 p.m. It went on display in1838 and showed the true position of the combatants with 48,000Prussian troops actively engaged. The finished model measured 24 feetby 19 and included over 90,000 hand-painted lead soldiers. Sibornesmodel was a magnificent achievement, but he reckoned without theextreme displeasure of Wellington and his sycophantic supporters. This William Sibornewas bad news for Siborne, who suffered immensely for his honesty of 1797–1849purpose.
  150. 150. Wellington’s Smallest Victory William Siborne 1797–1849
  151. 151. Wellington’s Smallest Victory William Siborne 1797–1849
  152. 152. Wellington’s Smallest Victory William Siborne 1797–1849
  153. 153. The Board Game, 1962
  154. 154. Re-enacting Waterloo The [private estate] became Vauxhall Gardens in 1785 and admission was charged to gain entrance to its many attractions. The Gardens drew all manner of people and supported enormous crowds, with its paths being noted for romantic assignations. [Also a favorite venue for London’s prostitutes] Tightrope walkers, hot air balloon ascents, concerts and fireworks provided amusement. …. In 1827, the Battle of Waterloo was re-enacted with 1,000 soldiers participating. WikipediaPlan of Vauxhall Gardensin the south bank London suburb of Kennington,1826
  155. 155. Ready to Join Up for the Bicentennial? http://www.napoleonicassociation.org/promo_vidio.htm
  156. 156. America’s First Lady and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabethbetween two ceremonial guards. On the left, the uniformis that of the “Blues and Royals.” To the right, theColdstream Guards. Both are dressed as they were in1815 at Waterloo. http://www.drudgereport.com/ on 25 May 2011
  157. 157. The Blues and Royals (Royal HorseGuards and 1st Dragoons) is acavalry regiment of the British Army,part of the Household Cavalry. “Blues and Royals” at trooping the color, 2007
  158. 158. battle honors of the Coldstream during the Napoleonic Wars:Egypt, Talavera, Barrosa, Fuentes dOnoro, Salamanca, Nive,Peninsula, Waterloo
  159. 159. St Helena
  160. 160. St HelenaNapoleon on the Island of St. Helenaby Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky, 1897
  161. 161. ! 3 July-a French frigate was ready at Rochefort, but the winds were contrary and a British squadron blockaded the port ! he rejected a variety of plans, using a swift American vessel or a Danish brig as unworthy of an emperor (lack of dignity + high risk of capture) ! 10 July-he began negotiations with Admiral Maitland, the blockade commander ! 15 July-he boarded Bellerophon, throwing himself on the protection of the “most powerful, the most steadfast, and the most generous of my enemies” ! this was the first step in his quick banishment to the utterly isolated, unhealthy island of Saint Helena, where shabby treatment under a fourth rate local commander contributed to his early deathNapoleon on HMS Bellerophon
  162. 162. Ascension, the nearest island, was 700 miles away!
  163. 163. Napoleon’s Exile “Family”What Napoleon called his court was a mixed bag….General CountBertrand, veteran of many battles and grand marshal of the palace...was 42years old. A refined, intelligent, brave and capable officer, he was a greatfavorite of Napoleon. Not so his small and restless wife…. Next in the pecking order were Count and Countess Montholon andtheir three year old son. General Montholon was a 33-year-old convertedroyalist whose professional career was as mediocre as his social career wasexecrable. The countess, whose reputation was also sordid, was three yearsolder…. His wife although aging was not unattractive physically, sheplayed the piano and sang well. She was also a true schemer, easilyinsinuating herself first into Napoleon’s favor and then his bed. Rivalrybetween the two countesses was keen…. General Baron Gaspard Gourgaud was a year younger thanMontholon…. A rather unattractive bachelor, in or out of drink he was abraggart, conceited, childishly petulant and dangerously jealous of hisposition.
  164. 164. Napoleon’s Exile “Family”What Napoleon called his court was a mixed bag….General CountBertrand, veteran of many battles and grand marshal of the palace...was 42years old. A refined, intelligent, brave and capable officer, he was a greatfavorite of Napoleon. Not so his small and restless wife…. Next in the pecking order were Count and Countess Montholon andtheir three year old son. General Montholon was a 33-year-old convertedroyalist whose professional career was as mediocre as his social career wasexecrable. The countess, whose reputation was also sordid, was three yearsolder…. His wife although aging was not unattractive physically, sheplayed the piano and sang well. She was also a true schemer, easilyinsinuating herself first into Napoleon’s favor and then his bed. Rivalrybetween the two countesses was keen…. General Baron Gaspard Gourgaud was a year younger thanMontholon…. A rather unattractive bachelor, in or out of drink he was abraggart, conceited, childishly petulant and dangerously jealous of hisposition.
  165. 165. Napoleon’s Exile “Family”What Napoleon called his court was a mixed bag….General CountBertrand, veteran of many battles and grand marshal of the palace...was 42years old. A refined, intelligent, brave and capable officer, he was a greatfavorite of Napoleon. Not so his small and restless wife…. Next in the pecking order were Count and Countess Montholon andtheir three year old son. General Montholon was a 33-year-old convertedroyalist whose professional career was as mediocre as his social career wasexecrable. The countess, whose reputation was also sordid, was three yearsolder…. His wife although aging was not unattractive physically, sheplayed the piano and sang well. She was also a true schemer, easilyinsinuating herself first into Napoleon’s favor and then his bed. Rivalrybetween the two countesses was keen…. General Baron Gaspard Gourgaud was a year younger thanMontholon…. A rather unattractive bachelor, in or out of drink he was abraggart, conceited, childishly petulant and dangerously jealous of hisposition.
  166. 166. Napoleon’s Exile “Family”What Napoleon called his court was a mixed bag….General CountBertrand, veteran of many battles and grand marshal of the palace...was 42years old. A refined, intelligent, brave and capable officer, he was a greatfavorite of Napoleon. Not so his small and restless wife…. Next in the pecking order were Count and Countess Montholon andtheir three year old son. General Montholon was a 33-year-old convertedroyalist whose professional career was as mediocre as his social career wasexecrable. The countess, whose reputation was also sordid, was three yearsolder…. His wife although aging was not unattractive physically, sheplayed the piano and sang well. She was also a true schemer, easilyinsinuating herself first into Napoleon’s favor and then his bed. Rivalrybetween the two countesses was keen…. General Baron Gaspard Gourgaud was a year younger thanMontholon…. A rather unattractive bachelor, in or out of drink he was abraggart, conceited, childishly petulant and dangerously jealous of hisposition.
  167. 167. Napoleon’s Exile “Family”What Napoleon called his court was a mixed bag….General CountBertrand, veteran of many battles and grand marshal of the palace...was 42years old. A refined, intelligent, brave and capable officer, he was a greatfavorite of Napoleon. Not so his small and restless wife…. Next in the pecking order were Count and Countess Montholon andtheir three year old son. General Montholon was a 33-year-old convertedroyalist whose professional career was as mediocre as his social career wasexecrable. The countess, whose reputation was also sordid, was three yearsolder…. His wife although aging was not unattractive physically, sheplayed the piano and sang well. She was also a true schemer, easilyinsinuating herself first into Napoleon’s favor and then his bed. Rivalrybetween the two countesses was keen…. General Baron Gaspard Gourgaud was a year younger thanMontholon…. A rather unattractive bachelor, in or out of drink he was abraggart, conceited, childishly petulant and dangerously jealous of hisposition.
  168. 168. Napoleon’s Exile “Family”What Napoleon called his court was a mixed bag….General CountBertrand, veteran of many battles and grand marshal of the palace...was 42years old. A refined, intelligent, brave and capable officer, he was a greatfavorite of Napoleon. Not so his small and restless wife…. Next in the pecking order were Count and Countess Montholon andtheir three year old son. General Montholon was a 33-year-old convertedroyalist whose professional career was as mediocre as his social career wasexecrable. The countess, whose reputation was also sordid, was three yearsolder…. His wife although aging was not unattractive physically, sheplayed the piano and sang well. She was also a true schemer, easilyinsinuating herself first into Napoleon’s favor and then his bed. Rivalrybetween the two countesses was keen…. General Baron Gaspard Gourgaud was a year younger thanMontholon…. A rather unattractive bachelor, in or out of drink he was abraggart, conceited, childishly petulant and dangerously jealous of hisposition.
  169. 169. Exile Family (cont.)The oldest member of this weird group was the marquis de Las Cases, 49years old. From a noble family, he had become a royalist naval officer, hademigrated and spent 10 years in England, becoming something of acelebrity as author of a scholarly and very profitable historical atlas. Uponreturn to France under Napoleon’s amnesty he became a respectedcouncillor of state…. He...begged to accompany the emperor into exile asamanuensis [one who takes down dictation], his plan being to return toFrance and sell the memoirs at vast profit. His idolatry and greed causedhim to leave behind wife and children with the exception of 15-year-oldEmmanuel, a very bright lad who soon became a favorite of the emperor. Finally, there was Barry O’Meara, a Royal Navy surgeon formerly ofHMS Bellerophon, and recruited at the last minute, whose fluency in Italiancaused Napoleon to name him personal physician. In addition, the party included eleven servants: a maître d’hôtel, fourvalets; chef; steward; grooms and footmen….First valet Marchand hadalso served him on Elba and had become a great favorite…. Asprey, pp. 409-410
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