1815 Waterloo

Item added by GenghisTheHun. Added on 05/26/2005
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1815 Waterloo 5

Today is June 18, and on this date in history, in 1815, we witness the Battle of Waterloo fought in present day Belgium between the Empire of the French, under the great Napoleon Bonaparte and the coalition under the equally great, Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington.

It was the decisive battle at the end of the Napoleonic Wars and sealed the fate of the Emperor, Napoleon. Modern Europe resulted from the battle, and a general war did not break out for almost 100 years, 1815-1914. Waterloo allowed Europe to grow and prosper to the extent that it built the modern world.

Scores, if not hundreds of books, appear on the this battle, and it was, indeed, a crucial event in history. It basically started the modern age and ended the old era of aristocratic ascendancy. Hereafter, nationalism, the virus started in Europe by the French Revolution and spread by Napoleon, increasingly came to the fore. Another spawn of the French Revolution, Marxism, also started to spread. Imperialism, another affliction from the French Revolution increasingly became apparent.

The wars of the 19th Century were wars of Nationalism and Imperialism. WWI was really the last war of the 19th Century.

The wars of the 20th century generally were wars the various ideologies, Nazism, Fascism and Communism, attempting some degrees of world dominance. At the end of the century democratic imperialism came front and center.

It is too early to tell what "ism" will drive the 21st Century, but imperialism appears to be holding is own.

As a footnote, the battlefield has been greatly altered by the building of a mound with a monument by the King of the Netherlands who was able to grab Belgium for a couple of decades after Waterloo. His worthless son, the Prince of Orange, had been wounded at Waterloo. (If you have read Cornwell's Sharpe series, in Sharpe's Waterloo, it was Sharpe, himself who shot the Prince of Orange, who had ordered the slaughter of units of good soldiers through his fecklessness and incompetence.)

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1815 Waterloo 5

Immensely important, and "a damn close run thing" as Wellington said later.

While it is likely that had Napoleon won the battle, his weakened army would have been defeated by one of the other groups of allies gathering on his frontier, the defeat created a Europe that lasted almost unchanged for 100 years.

Wellington fought his usual calculated defensive battle, Napoleon was uncharacteristically indecisive, and the half-mad Blucher's march to the sound of the guns and arrival on the French flank late in the day are all immense factors.

The Anglo-allies survived several errors (the over-exuberance of the Scot's Greys, for example) and benefitted from a number of French ones (over committing at Hougoumont for example) but were still battered and reeling as the day drew down.

Wellington, surveying his army and seeing the French massing for yet another attack is reputed to have said "Give me Blucher, or give me night" shortly before advance units of the Prussian army arrived on the field.

Blucher, elderly, and demented to the point where he believed himself pregnant with an elephant by one of Napoleon's chausseurs, drove into the French flank, pinning potential reinforcements for the final French assault.

Napoleon launched the theretofore invinceable Imperial Guard at the centre of the Anglo-allied line, and they swept the first units aside easily as they stormed the slope. Slowed by some cannon fire, they paused for a moment, and Wellington gave what may be the most famous (and unorthodox) order in the history of battle. Turning to the commander of the 1st Brigade of Guards he said, "Now, Maitland, now's your time."

The Guards, who had been laying down to minimize the effect of bombardment, stood up in the path of the advancing French and poured volley after volley into them. The Imperial Guard, halted, faltered, and for the first time in their history, retreated.

With them when the last hope of French victory, and the last slim hope of Napoleons empire.

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1815 Waterloo 5

Does anyone know were the Channel tunnel departs from in London?     

Well strangely enough it is Waterloo station and about 4 years ago the French goverment sought to get the name changed because of the amount of French complaints!!! The British refused them and I get the impression that the station was planned to be salt in the wound for France!! Sad but True!!!! This battle was very important as the Britts feared Napoleon because he was a great general!!! If anyone had the capability to invade England it was Napoleon and his Army!!

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1815 Waterloo 5

europe is the most important contenent in history and waterloo was the single most important battle in european history

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