Waterloo (3)

Our Waterloo Tour | Battle Simulator | Map | Waterloo Tour | Tour Guides | Documentary on the battle | British Order of Battle | French Order of Battle | Prussian Order of Battle | Waterloo Diorama

Realising the importance of the position, neither side would give quarter and bloody hand-to-hand fighting tested the mettle, and resolve, of all.

To bolster his outnumbered defenders, Bonaparte sent in a division of the Young Guard and, when they too began to be forced backwards, he sent in two battalions of his elite Old Guard. In a stunning attack, the Old Guard shattered 14 Prussian battalions and by 7pm the French lines were able to regroup.

Just before 6pm, Ney seemed to regain his military prowess, and launched a combined attack with cavalry, infantry and artillery.

This time the French were able to hold the British in square through the threat of cavalry attack. But this time the accompanying infantry and artillery tore great holes in the dense ranks with musket and cannon fire.

The British resolve, so indomitable in the years of war to date, began to weaken. Hours of absorbing huge casualties had left the army dangerously wounded and finally La Haye Sainte fell in the centre.

Ney immediately positioned an artillery battery there and in order to hold the centre Wellington called in all his reserves.

Despite being like a boxer staggering and awaiting the knock-out blow, the Allied troops held on only to be faced by a sight that had terrified many fresh armies - the advance of the Imperial Guard.

In one final attempt to deal with Wellington, Bonaparte threw his undefeated veterans at the recalcitrant thin red line, which buckled under the strain.

The moment of victory was at hand when upon Wellington's command, 1500 Guardsmen stood immediately in front of their French counterparts and stopped the advance with a withering point-blank series of volleys.

The Chasseurs of the Guard finally reeled away in disorder and the sight of their retreat sent panic through Bonaparte's ranks.

The disintegration of a once-proud army into a mass of panicking men took place almost within a blink of an eye and Bonaparte's dreams, and reputation, lay shattered.

The British and Prussian pursuit after Waterloo was relentless and prevented any chance of French consolidation.

Waterloo ended Bonaparte's hold on power had been a costly one. Wellington lost 17,000 men, Blucher 7000, and Bonaparte 32,000, with at least another 7000 captured.



Napoleon Bonaparte
Career Portraits
Quotes Family
Loves Letters
Plots Murdered?
His will Places
Era of Napoleon
Powers Opponents
Coalitions Allies
People Timelines
Key sites Shrapnel
Campaigns Battles
Armies Generals
Marshals Winners
Glossary Medical
Weapons 1812 War
Uniforms Battlefields
War at Sea
Naval War Heroes
Artworks Signals
Nelson Trafalgar
Key Maps Peninsula
Animated 1796/1800
1809 Russia
French Revolution
Revolution Guillotine
Posters People
Art, Film, Games
Education Goya
Sharpe Hornblower
Books Movies
DVDs Music
Wargames Images
Cartoons Caricatures
About Us Sources
Awards Sitemap
Links Militaria
Miniatures Reenactors
Forum Quizzes
Home Waterloo Diorama
Copyright Richard Moore 1999-2017 | Privacy Policy | Contact Us