Battle of Waterloo–Videos
The Battle of Waterloo Movie (1970)
Background Articles and Videos
History The battle of waterloo
Battlefield Detectives – Massacre at Waterloo
Napoleon’s Waterloo Part 1 of 6
Napoleon’s Waterloo Part 2 of 6
Napoleon’s Waterloo Part 3 of 6
Napoleon’s Waterloo Part 4 of 6
Napoleon’s Waterloo Part 5 of 6
Napoleon’s Waterloo Part 6 of 6
Battle of Waterloo
“…In the Battle of Waterloo (Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo, Belgium) forces of the French Empire under Napoleon Bonaparte and Michel Ney were defeated by those of the Seventh Coalition, including an Anglo-Allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington and a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher. It was the decisive battle of the Waterloo Campaign and Bonaparte’s last. The defeat at Waterloo put an end to Napoleon’s rule as the French emperor, and marked the end of Napoleon’s Hundred Days of return from exile.
Upon Napoleon’s return to power in 1815, many states that had opposed him formed the Seventh Coalition and began to mobilise armies. Two large forces under Wellington and von Blücher assembled close to the northeastern border of France. Napoleon chose to attack in the hope of destroying them before they could join in a coordinated invasion of France with other members of the Coalition. The decisive engagement of this three-day Waterloo Campaign (16 June – 19 June 1815) occurred at the Battle of Waterloo. According to Wellington, the battle was “the nearest-run thing you ever saw in your life.”
Napoleon delayed giving battle until noon on 18 June to allow the ground to dry. Wellington’s army, positioned across the Brussels road on the Mont St Jean escarpment, withstood repeated attacks by the French, until, in the evening, the Prussians arrived in force and broke through Napoleon’s right flank. At that moment, Wellington’s Anglo-allied army counter-attacked and drove the French army in disorder from the field. Pursuing Coalition forces entered France and restored Louis XVIII to the French throne. Napoleon abdicated, surrendered to the British, and was exiled to Saint Helena, where he died in 1821.
The battlefield is in present-day Belgium, about eight miles (12 km) SSE of Brussels, and about a mile (1.6 km) from the town of Waterloo. The site of the battlefield is today dominated by a large mound of earth, the Lion’s Hillock. As this mound used earth from the battlefield itself, the original topography of the part of the battlefield around the mound has not been preserved. …”
Battle of Waterloo
“…Waterloo, battle of (1815), last battle of the Napoleonic wars, fought on 18 June, towards the end of the Hundred Days. After defeating Blücher at Ligny while Ney tangled indecisively with a late-arriving Wellington at Quatre Bras on the 16th, Napoleon fielded 72, 000 men and 346 guns to attack an Anglo-Dutch-Belgian army of 68, 000 men and 156 guns under Wellington, drawn up along the Mont St Jean ridge and blocking the road to Brussels.
The numbers are deceptive: although smaller than many armies he had commanded in the recent past, Napoleon’s force included a high proportion of veterans and morale was high. By contrast the Allied force was heterogeneous, with a mixture of British, German, and Dutch-Belgian units and part of it deserted in the course of the battle. However, Napoleon was not well served by his subordinates: Grouchy failed to keep Blücher away, Soult was no Berthier, and Ney was well past his best. But Wellington had to cope with the loss of much of his cavalry and with the feckless Prince of Orange, who nearly threw the battle away. The crucial difference was certainly that Napoleon’s generalship had been declining for years and on this day he was also suffering from cystitis and prolapsed haemorrhoids, whereas Wellington—who had been caught flat-footed at the campaign’s opening—was now at the peak of his form and spent fourteen hours in the saddle, riding to every crucial point to direct the battle personally. …”