Waterloo Tour | Battle
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on the battle | British
Order of Battle | French
Order of Battle | Prussian
Order of Battle | Waterloo
the importance of the position, neither side would give
quarter and bloody hand-to-hand fighting tested the mettle,
and resolve, of all.
bolster his outnumbered defenders, Bonaparte sent in a division
of the Young Guard and, when they too began to be forced
backwards, he sent in two battalions of his elite Old Guard.
In a stunning attack, the Old Guard shattered 14 Prussian
battalions and by 7pm the French lines were able to regroup.
Just before 6pm, Ney seemed to regain his military prowess,
and launched a combined attack with cavalry, infantry and
time the French were able to hold the British in square
through the threat of cavalry attack. But this time the
accompanying infantry and artillery tore great holes in
the dense ranks with musket and cannon fire.
British resolve, so indomitable in the years of war to date,
began to weaken. Hours of absorbing huge casualties had
left the army dangerously wounded and finally La Haye Sainte
fell in the centre.
Ney immediately positioned an artillery battery there and
in order to hold the centre Wellington called in all his
Despite being like a boxer staggering and awaiting the knock-out
blow, the Allied troops held on only to be faced by a sight
that had terrified many fresh armies - the advance of the
one final attempt to deal with Wellington, Bonaparte threw
his undefeated veterans at the recalcitrant thin red line,
which buckled under the strain.
moment of victory was at hand when upon Wellington's command,
1500 Guardsmen stood immediately in front of their French
counterparts and stopped the advance with a withering point-blank
series of volleys.
The Chasseurs of the Guard finally reeled away in disorder
and the sight of their retreat sent panic through Bonaparte's
disintegration of a once-proud army into a mass of panicking
men took place almost within a blink of an eye and Bonaparte's
dreams, and reputation, lay shattered.
British and Prussian pursuit after Waterloo was relentless
and prevented any chance of French consolidation.
ended Bonaparte's hold on power had been a costly one. Wellington
lost 17,000 men, Blucher 7000, and Bonaparte 32,000, with
at least another 7000 captured.