Clément-Auguste Andrieux’s depiction of the Bataille de Waterloo
Like the history cartoon posted on Saturday, this should have gone up last week, but here it is now.
Even if you live in London, Waterloo shouldn’t just mean the station you get off at for the London Eye or the Old Vic.Two hundred years ago, the famous battle that ended the Napoleonic Wars took place in Belgium near the village of Waterloo, about thirteen kilometres (eight miles) south of Brussels. In the days preceding, French troops led by Napoleon Bonaparte had defeated Prussian troops led by Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher in a battle fought at Ligny and successfully held British ones led by Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington at bay in some other skirmishes. Unfortunately, he let these triumphs go to his head (a repetitive flaw in Boney’s character), and failed to press his advantage while he had the Allied Army separated. Instead of pursuing Blücher’s main force (which had got away from him), he went all out against Blücher’s rear guard at Wavre, thus giving the bulk of Blücher’s troops time to rejoin Wellington’s. Once reunited, they, along with the Dutch and Belgians, thoroughly trounced the little Corsican upstart who’d been causing them trouble for so long. He did manage to escape, but surrendered to Captain Frederick Maitland on July 15th, and spent the rest of his days in exile on the island of St. Helena off the coast of Africa.
An account of the Battle of Waterloo can be found at: http://www.battleofwaterloo.org/.