The Battle of Waterloo 18th June 1815

Oo oo, me! Can I start a thread?

Ok, my first 'big book' (ie no pictures) was 'Waterloo' - the book of the film. That and Airfix Waterloo Highlanders c.1969 sparked an interest.
It progresed through David Howarths book 'Waterloo, A Close Run Thing' c. 1975 and an impromptu (and disappointing) swift visit to the battlefield (not a single red coat on display! What's going on?) c.1990.

A book on Sibornes Waterloo diorama rekindled an interest in the various controverses of who was where, when, and laterly, Adkins 'Waterloo Companion' and a book contrasting Wellington and Napoleons careers (think it may have been Corringtons) that made me realise there are so many misconceptions, that this will doubtless be refought from now until June.

Forewarned is forearmed; did we fight it and the Prussians win it? Was it all more or less, exactly as The Duke imagined it strategically?
A guy I never gave much thought to, despite A level history, was Talleyrand who I re evaluated after reading 48 Rules of Power, by Robert Greene, not that he had much to do with the battle, but I can't help thinking, he could out think Napoleon and any of his ambitions.

Arrsers - discuss! (Laphroaig kicking in, kids tucked up in bed)

Happy 2015
 
We kicked off against the Frogs.

Got a few early goals in.

The Boxheads showed up at half time, ate all the oranges and got stuck into the Frogs.

Whacked a few in and saved the whole thing going to penalties.

Then we dug the pitch up and built a hill.

Done. What was your point again?
 

ACAB

LE
As usual, it was all down to the Guards.
 

DieHard

LE
Book Reviewer
Didn't the british infantry march twenty miles to a field, dig some holes then March twenty miles to another field before marching back to the other field to fill in the holes before endex?
 
ACAB I've found myself agreeing with many of yor posts - but I put it to you sir thst that's bollox and that the 33rd Foot held at the crucial moment and it all came good after that.

Speaking as an Engineer I'd like to say we did the important bit drawing the maps up and then sat it out once it got smokey and muddy.

I'm off to bed, @Notachance, I agree with you - only about the Laphroaig though
 

ACAB

LE
@BiscuitsAB

Why the dislike?

The Guards held the right flank, the most dangerous spot in Napoleonic Warfare, at Hougoumont Farm against a Division (it was meant to be nothing more than a diversionary attack yet Jerome got a tad carried away and used the Reserve)

And, just before Endex we saw the Emperors Guards do one as well.
 
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Yes, Wellington credited holding Hougoumont with the bravest single deed (aided by KGL and other allies who were derided despite the fact they only retired after firing their last rounds) but I'm sure I've read its tactical value was overrated and that if the centre of the allied line broke (where Napoleons main thrust was aimed whilst Jerome was happily banging his head on Hougoumont) then it would have been a rout.

PS I see no dislike!
 

ACAB

LE
Yes, Wellington credited holding Hougoumont with the bravest single deed (aided by KGL and other allies who were derided despite the fact they only retired after firing their last rounds) but I'm sure I've read its tactical value was overrated and that if the centre of the allied line broke (where Napoleons main thrust was aimed whilst Jerome was happily banging his head on Hougoumont) then it would have been a rout.

PS I see no dislike!
It's tactical value may have been over rated but that did not stop Jerome (not Joseph, my bad) from sending a full Division against it
 
the Cassion carrying the KGL Baker rifle rounds was ditched about 10 miles north of Waterloo.... turned out to be a busy road and boots on the ground was a priority.
 
Napoleon HAD to win, we just had to not lose, he was warned from his Spanish campain Marshals that Wellington was the master of defence (troop husbandy is important if you have had to ship them in, as opposed to opportunity of marching them everywhere, a dynamic he failed to master, especially after 1805). I would go further but I'd end up writing a book
 
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@BiscuitsAB

Why the dislike?

The Guards held the right flank, the most dangerous spot in Napoleonic Warfare, at Hougoumont Farm against a Division (it was meant to be nothing more than a diversionary attack yet Jerome got a tad carried away and used the Reserve)

And, just before Endex we saw the Emperors Guards do one as well.
Not quite true if some historians are to be believed.
 
Old Guard were not the old Guard, want to find the real old Guard, look towards Moscow.. they 1809 guard may have done won Waterloo for Napoelon, But a 1809 British Peninsula Army in the same place would have clusterfucked them before we lost, (it's a manpower thing).

Alllll hypothetical, we won, they lost.
 
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3a6ae3e1c6fde16de755b01332d0fc8e.jpg
 
As usual, it was all down to the Guards.

Irish police weren't in that battle are you thinking of the Inniskillings?
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Ney's wasting of the French Cavalry did not help much either
 
For a decent but non-academic look at the battle may I suggest Bernard Cornwall's book Waterloo.
He covers all the actions fought over the 4 days and draws his material from both historic and modern materials. He also tries to resolve some of the discrepancies evident in the historic accounts of the battle.
What appears very strongly is that Wellington was well aware that he didn't have the army that he had in the Peninsula and he didn't trust some of the regiments to stand up to the French. He was, however, a master of terrain and far more considerate in protecting his men where ever possible.
The ultimate outcome could be said to have hinged on one decision, that of Blucher to retreat northwards after Quatre-Bras rather than protect his lines back to Prussia. This was against the advice of Chief of Staff, Gneisenau who detested the English and was suspicious of their intentions. Without Blucher heading north his forces would not have reached the battle in time.
 
Yes, Wellington credited holding Hougoumont with the bravest single deed (aided by KGL and other allies who were derided despite the fact they only retired after firing their last rounds) but I'm sure I've read its tactical value was overrated and that if the centre of the allied line broke (where Napoleons main thrust was aimed whilst Jerome was happily banging his head on Hougoumont) then it would have been a rout.

The KGL fought at La Haye Sainte, not at Hougoumont. The Germans at Hougoumont were from the 1st Hanoverian Bde.

But the Germans (Prussians) who proved decisive had marched up from Ligny, with four corps, having been defeated by Napoleon there on the 16th June and at Wavre (with only of his corps fighting that particular battle). It was from Wavre that Blücher marched on to Waterloo from the East, turing a tactical defeat into a strategic victory and changing the course of history.
 
The ultimate outcome could be said to have hinged on one decision, that of Blucher to retreat northwards after Quatre-Bras rather than protect his lines back to Prussia. This was against the advice of Chief of Staff, Gneisenau who detested the English and was suspicious of their intentions. Without Blucher heading north his forces would not have reached the battle in time.
At the risk of sounding pedantic, Blücher didn't march north from or after Quatre-Bras, he marched north from Ligny, which is about eight miles east of Quatre-Bras, having been defeated there by Napoleon. The actions at Quatre-Bras were primarily British, Dutch, Brunswickers and Hanoverian and commanded by the Prince of Orange.
 

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