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Historical Battle Of Waterloo Facts That You Won't Believe

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The Battle of Waterloo made history on June 18, 1815.

The battle caused chaos in the land of Waterloo, found in the ancient Netherlands that later came to be Belgium. It was a collision that changed the fate of the Napoleonic Wars.

World War II was fought with Great Britain and France on the same side, but the former was one of the European nations engaged in erasing French rule from Europe. The Battle of Waterloo is also penned down in history as the Battle of Mont-Saint-Jean, and the La Belle Alliance, both referring to the same decisive battle in different words.

The tale of the battle fought at Waterloo began with the disastrous invasion of France that infiltrated the whole of Europe. There was hardly any land left that had not hoisted the French flag. However, the very beginning of this story stems from those few regions that could not be captured before 1814. It was them that the most feared man in all of Europe had given little thought to the concept of conquering. These remnants came together and agreed on reinforcing what was left of the others, merging to form the mightiest force that the French Army ever had to struggle to take down. This coalition was a powerful promise between the Anglo-allies, otherwise known as 'Wellington's Army', led by the 'Iron Duke' of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, and the Prussian Army under the command of Gebhard von Blucher, also declared 'Blucher's Army'. The Anglo-allies consisted of troops from Hanover, Nassau, Brunswick, The Netherlands, and even the British Army. They all joined forces to strike at one man and his army.

Napoleon Bonaparte was a man from France with no match. He wrote his own destiny since his early days; rising to an eminent throne was his main goal. Thus, it was during the French Revolution that Napoleon climbed through several ranks of the French Army, grasping for control of the French Government, and finally, was crowned Emperor of France in 1804. Napoleon had commanded the French troops in several battles that had marked most of Europe in his victory, unstoppably defeating European armies one after the other. All went well in his favor. Napoleon's return from exile, a time he spent on an island called Ebla located off Italy, did not do him well.

The land of victory, it seemed, had closed its gates to the 'God of War'. Napoleon's army was all over the place. Myriads of them were either on leave or remained deserted. Apart from scanty men, there was also a disheartening shortage of weaponry. It was not enough to even cover whatever of his scattered force was left. There was not a single man skilled enough to command the highest of the French cavalry, even the Corps Commanders from France that Napoleon trusted did not do a satisfying job at holding these elevated ranks. His old rivals were now standing guard, merged and thereby reinforced, challenging the God of War to come and prod at the protected kingdoms that he had not been able to claim yet. Napoleon was blinded by the truth of how these joined forces would be impossible to break past. He knew his army was not what it used to be and that defeat seemed inevitable. Thus, a grey cloud of absolute hopelessness loomed over Napoleon and his French force, crippling morale.

Still, the leader of France was willing to take a hit at the allied forces.

If you enjoy this article, you can also read about the battle of Gallipoli and the battle of France.

How long did the Battle of Waterloo last?

The Battle of Waterloo was only a day long. On June 18, 1815, bloodshed inked the pages of history.

It was somewhere in early June when Napoleon started plotting the assault on the Belle Alliance. He began by convening his soldiers on the land of Maubeuge in France. During this period, those who had originally deserted from the French Army had taken it upon themselves to warn the targeted alliance about the approaching attacks. The latter force, however, had paid no serious heed, a little too unbothered by something that would surely hit them where it hurt. To cut off a connection of any sort between the Prussian and British forces, Napoleon had ordered his army in such a way as to leave the only path that would allow the allies to come together. It was the path of Nivelles-Namur, a highway of those times.

Then, Napoleon proceeded to split his army into two wings, the left-wing and the right-wing. Marshal Michel Ney, a commander who was experienced with commanding the VI Corps in an earlier campaign, was entrusted with leading the left-wing, an army with no more than 50,000 soldiers, to Quatre Bras, a village. The right-wing, also restricted to less than 50,000 men, was to be commanded by Marshal Emmanuel Grouchy, a man deeply devoted to the God of War, having proven his capabilities in combat before. It was notable how neither of these men was elevated enough to drive troops with strength as large as 50,000 to war, for they had never done so before.

Napoleon, however, had a backup plan. The Imperial Guard was his most elite and able set of excellent soldiers. Instead of sending them to these two attacks, the French Emperor deemed it better to hold them back until the ideal time came to reveal their power.

Napoleon's troops had rattled the Prussian forces at Ligny, bruising the bravest of their armies, even sending Blücher to the ground whilst he was directing a calvary charge. Still, the Prussian Army did not give up. General Gneisenau, chief of Blucher staff, led the remaining forces on a northward march to get to their other half. They would join Wellington's forces to converge and fight the upcoming storm as one. Wellington, on the other hand, was leading the Anglo-allies through the assault launched upon them by Napoleon's main force. They had no choice but to back down and halt at Waterloo. But, the thought of their Prussian reinforcements advancing to their aid, the reminder of what they were fighting for, was enough to get the British allies back on their feet. Wellington decided to hold on just a little longer. He led his troops up the ridge of Mont St Jean. If it were not for his experience from the Peninsular War, the allied forces would have had a tougher time climbing the steep and narrow path.

Battle of Waterloo Significance

The Battle of Waterloo was a significant event in history, and it opened up a new world that was void of a French-controlled Europe.

Napoleon Bonaparte had risen from his period of exile. His return was best recognized by the fallen French infantry. The French Army was not at its peak as it had been throughout its quest of conquering Europe. There were not many soldiers. The French artillery fire had never been more insufficient. There were no officers able enough to lead the highest of ranks to battle. Right when the battle seemed lost before it had even begun, Napoleon strategized a plot to take down the coalition forces. Napoleon's plan was to divide the allies into two by cutting off communication between them. The key was to invade what is now Belgium and strike until no strings were connecting the British cavalry with the Prussian cavalry. Despite this, Arthur Wellesley and Gebhard Leberecht von Wahlstatt Blücher remained collected, as they trusted each other to be linked as no Coalition armies had ever been.

The Battle of Waterloo is also significant for many eminent nation figures coming together to join hands in a fight against their common enemy. The Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, from Great Britain, had agreed with Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Wahlstatt Blücher, of Prussia, to lead the greatest forces of the coalition armies. While the Prussian Army stood on one end with Blücher in command, the Duke of Wellington's line, commanded by Arthur Wellesley himself, directed the British troops, soldiers from the Netherlands, the Nassau troops, men from Brunswick, Hanoverian troops, and basically every force of alliance that had promised defense to the nation.

The Battle of Waterloo also highlighted the marvelous conduct of every army that fought on the battlefield of Waterloo. Napoleon did not let himself break when he realized how the strength of his army was not comparable in terms of both men and munitions to the British and Prussian forces that seemed more dominant at that moment. Instead, Napoleon prepared the French troops to launch two different assaults on the same day: one for the Prussian regime and the other for the British. These French attacks startled the British infantry and even forced the Prussian Army to retreat. Wellington feared losing troops too, so he ordered them off as well, withdrawing from the field and proceeding to the north while still keeping in touch with Blücher. After this, he took a halt in Waterloo to fend off the French rivals once again. Another fine instance of how a soldier's spirit never dies was portrayed by the allied armies. Wellington and his force stood back up, bruised but not broken, and marched forward on June 18, 1815, waiting at Waterloo to merge with the Prussian force that Napoleon thought he had completely crippled.

'Waterloo Teeth' extracted from the slain soldiers at Waterloo were used even during the Civil War.

Why was the Battle of Waterloo important?

The Battle of Waterloo was an important chapter in the history of several kingdoms.

The Battle of Waterloo marked the end of the domineering reign of the French Government led by Napoleon Bonaparte, the French Emperor. Napoleon was a man with a military history that remained unrivaled. He had terrorized the whole of Europe with his regime. His rarity had earned him the feared title of 'God of War'. No man in this period was as brutally superior as Napoleon Bonaparte. He had successfully conquered everywhere in Europe in a manner that left lands afar trembling.

The French Emperor indescribably lost his last battle. He did not lay his life down for victory at Waterloo, but he surrendered himself to the British. The God of War dropped his sword and surrendered himself to the forces he had spent so long trying to break.

Why did Napoleon lose the Battle of Waterloo?

History blames Napoleon for the French defeat in the Battle of Waterloo.

The Battle of Waterloo began on the morning of June 18, 1815. It was a clear morning, and the sky was cloudless. The French Army had done its job of taking brutal hits at the British, Dutch, and German forces, sending the allies reeling back and giving them a fight for their lives. Despite this, the 'Iron Duke' and his forces stood tall and strong; they took every bullet that came their way rather mightily. Then came the Prussian side of the Belle Alliance, much to British relief. Together, they pushed back just as hard.

The most memorable moment of the Battle of Waterloo was when Napoleon sent the Imperial Guard as a last resort, a decisive factor that he thought would put a climactic end to the battle in his favor. This, however, was greatly miscalculated. The allied forces took repeated shots at the charging rival forces, taking down a large chunk of their men, retaliating with holes in their formation just as hard as they had been hit. This shook the God of War as his army stumbled back in retreat.

On June 18, 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte lost more than just his last war.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our Battle of Waterloo facts, then why not take a look at our Battle of Jutland facts or Battle of Chancellorsville facts.

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