100 Days (Waterloo) Campaign 2
attacked the Prussians at Ligny
on 16 June and ordered Ney to advance towards Quatre
Bras and do the same if Wellington's forces came within
struggle for Ligny was a brutal affair and the day long
struggle ended with the Prussians losing 16,000 killed and
wounded and a further 9000 through desertion. Although the
Prussians fled the field, the French had also suffered heavily
with up to 12,000 casualties.
Quatre Bras, Ney mishandled his command and allowed a small
contingent of Anglo-Allied troops to hold up his force long
enough for reinforcements to arrive. By the time the French
made a serious attack the defenders, now under Wellington
himself, were able to hold him off.
were high, 4000 French and 4800 Anglo-Allies, but Ney's
inability to take the vital crossroads had fatally injured
both Wellington and Blucher retreating on parallel courses
the chance to force them away from each other had gone,
but Bonaparte now set his sights on smashing the British
who had retreated just south of Waterloo.
a corps under Marshal Grouchy
to pursue the Prussians, Bonaparte caught up with Wellington
and on June 18 the battle of Waterloo
another horrendously bloody clash, the French launched attack
after attack upon the Anglo-Allies, but were unable to breakthrough.
Casualties were high on both sides and when the exhausted
troops of Wellington seemed on the verge of breaking, Blucher's
Prussians entered the fray and Bonaparte was doomed.
cost Wellington 15,000 dead and wounded, and Blucher some
7000. For Bonaparte, the price of the battle was 25,000
dead and injured, 8000 prisoners and his crown.
the same day as Waterloo was the battle of Wavre
where Grouchy defeated a small Prussian covering force.
for Paris, Bonaparte was urged by Marshal
Davout to fight on - for French armies on other fronts
had beaten off Austrian forces - but an exhausted emperor
abdicated a second time on June 22.
for the man who had conquered most of Europe, was exile
on a tiny Atlantic island called St