Arthur Wellesley (2)
of Wellington, General and British
followed was a regular advance, then retreat, style of campaign
that kept Wellington one step ahead of his often numerically superior
in doubt about his army's ability to defeat larger enemy forces
he would often retire - much to his men's fury - behind the Lines
of Torres Vedras.
While careful with soldiers' lives in an open battle, Wellington
is said to have often lost his caution in a siege and the bloody
assaults on Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz
back this up.
his brilliant victories at Salamanca
and Vitoria paved the way for victory
in the Peninsula and went a long way towards defeating Napoleon's
In 1814, it took all of Wellington's skill to push a fiesty Soult
back through the Pyrenees into France.
the abdication of Napoleon he represented Britain at the Congress
of Vienna, but was drawn back into military life by the return
of the former Emperor.
the 100 Days Campaign he found
himself out manouevred by Bonaparte - "Humbugged" as he called it
- but managed to hold off the French at Quatre
Bras long enough to stabilise his defensive line at Waterloo.
In the only battle between the British aristocrat and the French
emperor, Wellington's tactics, and the gutsy support of a bloodied
Prussian army under Marshal Blucher,
ended Bonaparte's hopes of a triumphant return to power. Instead,
it ushered him into an ignominious exile and death on St
as Old Hookey (because of his nose), Our Atty (Arthur) and the Bugger
that Beats the French, Wellington was worshipped by his men, but
had hanged too many for looting to be anything other than feared,
but his policy made the red-coated army not only a formidable fighting
machine, but a disciplined one as well. Albeit an army disciplined
by the lash and the fear of the gallows.
long and turbulent political life followed for the Conqueror of
Bonaparte and he became Britain's Prime Minister in 1828 despite
his own reluctance for the position.
conservative by nature, he allowed Catholic emancipation in Ireland,
but drew the line at a more democratic system for the House of Commons.