18 June, 1815
fighting at Waterloo could
increasingly be heard in the distance, France's Marshal
Grouchy had a hard choice to make for his 33,000 men.
March to the guns and give support to his Emperor, or carry
on with his orders to keep his sword in Field
Marshal Blucher's back and, hopefully, force the Prussians
from linking with Anglo-Allied army under the Duke
chose to follow orders and spent the day attacking the tenacious
17,000-man Prussian rearguard under General Thielmann.
The Prussians were aided by a strong defensive position
on the River Dyle and the villages of Limale and Wavre and
the day ended with about 2500 casualties on each side -
a slight tactical victory for Grouchy, but a massive strategic
loss for Bonaparte.