Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Battle Of Waterloo.

On the night before the battle it had rained heavily and both the French and Allied armies had spent the night in the mud and the pouring rain. The troops of Wellington occupied the northern part of the plains of Mont-Saint-Jean and were situated behind a sunken lane, which later proved to be a strategic advantage for the Duke, because the French infantry and cavalry kept fallen inside this sunken land and thereby hindering each other to move further north.

The battlefield was situated around three large farmhouses . On the far left was the HOUGOUMONT house ( see picture on the right ) , in the middle the HAIE SAINTE farm and at the extreme right was the PAPELLOTTE farm. The French offensive started at 12 0'clock at Hougoumont farm. It was never taken. It was garrisoned by British trops from before the battle began and was held at the time of the victory. Later during the day heavy fights took place around the farms of Haie Sainte and Papellote. La Haie Sainte was taken in late afternoon but for only a short period, because the French for most of the day poured their resources into trying to take Hougoumont.
By the late afternoon the chances for both armies were still fifty-fifty. But, around that time the Blücher's troops started to arrive coming from Wavre to assist the army of Wellington. By then, the French army was surrounded by the two forces and could no longer withstand the joint attacks of allied troops. By the beginning of the evening Napoleon had to withdraw his troops from the battlefield and start the escape back to France. Later, Blücher and Wellington met each other near the BELLE ALLIANCE farmhouse and congratulated each other with the final victory over Napoleon.

On the 18th of June 191.300 soldiers fought one of the most decisive battles in the history of Europe in only one day. The Wellington army had 67.000 soldiers, Blücher's army 52.300 and Napoleon's army 72.000. A total of 48.500 men fell or were severely wounded.

After the battle, the territory of the battlefield was given to the Wellington family by the newly formed state of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Later several monuments were erected in commemoration of the different army divisions who fought the battle of Waterloo.

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