Discussion in 'RAC' started by Blind_Pew, Jun 15, 2005.
Anyone been to the Waterloo Battle Field?
If so what did you think?
I lived in Mons for two years so did the regulars visitors thing to the battle site.
Apparently, we didn't win at all!
I went on a Richard Holmes walk round waterloo. It certainly looked like we won to me.
I climbed over the fence and up the Lion mound to avoid paying the fee. The Belgian plod appeared at the bottom and said come down. I refused. They said come down. I refused. They said etc etc for the next 45 minutes until they either got bored or were called away to fight crime.
I won that one.
Wellington apparently was most unimpressed by the changes to the battlefield when he visited a few years later.
If you mean that "we" as a nation were aided by various others, then yes, thats a fair comment.
The crux of the matter though, is that Boney lost. Hurrah!
What he means is that most of the Museums, Guest Houses, Souvenir shops, etc., seem to be celebrating Napoleon, rather than the Hook-Nosed One. It's well worth a visit - apart from th Lion Mound, it's pretty unspoilt, and you can chart the course of the battle on the ground very well. La Haye Sainte in particular is in very good nick. Well worth a visit.
Why is it that some European Countries insist on seeing Nap as a liberator and moderniser, while we all know that he was an evil fascist git, intent on making us eat garlic and frog's leags, and dress like poufs?
I went on a John Homes walk around and we won, then he blew his XXXXXXXXXXX over her silky white xxxxxxx
I think Muppet might have been referring to the amusing fact that if you had visited the battle field a few years ago, you would have come away thinking that Napoleon had won. It has changed a bit since they refurbed the museums eetc but it's still a close run thing (to quote Nosey himself).
I lived in Belgium for 6 years as a sprog and, having a massive interest in the army, visited quite a few times. Lots of memorials to the regiments etc and easy to follow the terrain if you know the history but you'll need to find a decent guidebook elsewhere. Last time I went was with my platoon from the Factory and we had one of the War Studies lecturers with us which made it much better.
Well, the French legal system is still based on the justice code that he introduced so from that point of view, he was a moderniser. He also did rather well at bringing military theory up-to-date (combined arms operations, concentrated pressure on the schwerpunkt etc). No one really did it better until the blitzkrieg.
Having said that, of course, Wellington did wipe the floor with the Frogs every time he faced them.
A German historian was recently claiming that Germans had more influence than the British, now admitedly the KGL fought very well but they were vritually the same as the British and a relatively small number.
The claim is that the Prussians "won" the battle, despite arriving several hours later than planned .
I took part in the 190th anniversary re-enactment at Waterloo this year. Every year the French try and win but we still kick their arse with sheer British determination and 'stiff upper lip'!
Theirs loads of pictures on the net, the 95th Rifles have loads of pictures and a couple of short videos aswell.
95th Rifles - Waterloo Pics
Type Plancenoit 2005 into Google and you get loads more.
It's true we would have been hard pressed to beat the French without the Prussians, but considering they were defeated at Wavre its a bit unfair to claim victory over, British blood spattered, Waterloo.
It was thier last minute appearence on Boneys flank during one of the crucial turning points of the battle that helped demoralise the French army into retreat, but our grim determination in defeating the 'Old Guard' (Napoleons elite infantry) that finnaly showed the French that we could not be beaten. To put it briefly.
Its the same in America, Napolionic Eagles everywhere. But when you suggest to them that the only reason that they got independance and the reason they celebrate Napoleon so much is that we were busy fighting a real war against Napoleon, therefore couldn't send enough troops to give them the slapping down the deserved, they tend to get a bit upset.
They still can't give me another reason as to why they celebrate Napoleon!
I did a battlefield visit there a few years ago with bits of my Bty. Our BC was a history fan, and gave us a great speil, with special emphasis on the artillery (as you'd expect).
We were able to visit La Haye Saint & Hougemont, although you will need prior permission usually as they are both private residences.
By spooky co-incidence there was an episode of Battlefield Detectives yesterday looking at how the battlefield had changed with the construction of the Lion Mound. Originally the British positions along the ridge would have been even better protected as the ridge was steeper than it is these days.
One of the beardies reckoned that Wellington's eye for the ground was absolutely decisive, although they also had a team of Gunners pulling 12 pdrs around through the mud to show how difficult it was due to the poor weather.
If I can find the gunner map of Waterloo, I'll post it here.
Haven't been for a few years, but there's a dirty great hotel-type affair just behind the Lion mound, which is adorned with "Mille succes, un revers" (sp?) - we took this literally and asked if this was one of a hotel chain, with similar establishments at Borodin, Leipzig etc.
Waterloo town is not much, IIRC there are 2 branches of McDonalds between the battlefield and the town - speaks volumes.
Certainly a day to trudge round, don't think there's public admission to Hougomont - perhaps too many Coldies liberating bricks for December.
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