18 June, 1815

As 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 of Wellington.

Grouchy 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.


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