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Waterloo

Jun 14-18, 1815


Strategic Context
Napoleon Bonaparte returns to France in February 1815, assimilating every French soldier he meets into his growing army.
Bonaparte reaches Paris in March and offers peace to the opposing Allied coalition but they choose war. Bonaparte appoints
his most talented and trusted subordinate, Louis Davout, as his minister of war and begins rebuilding an army. By June,
Bonaparte is able to field forces numbering over 230,000 against Allied forces of over 850,000 although the latter are dispersed
and under various commands. Bonaparte deploys small, defensive armies to guard the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Rhine River
against the Spanish, Italian and Austrian armies and concentrates a large, offensive army against the Anglo-Dutch and Prussian
armies; the Russian armies march slowly but steadily across Europe. Bonaparte plans to destroy the Anglo-Dutch and Prussian
armies before the other Allied armies can affect the situation. The French situation is not hopeless; Britains military is still
dispersed after its war with the United States, Belgians, Germans and Poles are relatively anti-Allied while a decisive victory may
force others to switch sides. Allied commander-in-chief Karl Phillipp Schwarzenberg plans an advance towards Paris by all
armies on June 27 but Bonaparte strikes two weeks earlier.

Stakes
+ A French victory would strain the Allied
coalition and gain Bonaparte valuable time to
build up his armies to deal with the Austrians,
Russians, Italians and Spanish if need be.
+ An Allied victory would contain Bonaparte and
demoralize the French nation, allowing the vast
Allied armies to invade France.

By Jonathan Webb,

Waterloo, 1815
Strength
Grande Arme

Allied Armies

Napoleon Bonaparte

Gebhard Leberecht von Blcher

Duke of Wellington
123,000

Well

217,000

Well

By Jonathan Webb,

Bonaparte concentrates
crosses the Sambre
his army
butbehind
traffic the
congestion
Sambre and
River.
desertion
Bonaparte
of aplans
division
to organize
commander
his army
in Gerards
in two IV
wings
Corps
and
slow
a reserve
the maneuver.
left under
Nonetheless,
Ney, rightFrench
under
Grouchy,
cavalry
surprise
reserveZiethens
under himself
I Corpswhich
and drive
falls back
a wedge
on Fleurus,
between
prompting
the twoBlcher
opposing
to order
armies,
his thus
armyinvoking
to concentrate
a different
at Sombreffe.
response Pirch
from and
each
Thielmann
of their vastly
begin
different commanders
marching
but Blow does
temperament-wise.
not take the reportAfter
seriously
using and
his reserve
does nottomarch.
support
Onone
the wing
left, Ney
and assumes
crush thecommand
most vulnerable
as Reilles
army,
II Corps
he plans
approaches
to turn Quatre-Bras
against the
other, defeating
which
Perponchers
each2nd
in Dutch-Belgian
detail. Wellingtons
Division
Anglo-Dutch
resolves army
to hold.
is spread
Bonaparte
out and
orders
expects
Neyno
to imminent
occupy Quatre-Bras,
attack and feels
using
itshis
western
numerical
flank is
superiority,
secure, believing
but he
it to be Bonapartes
bivouacs
for the nightbest
instead;
option.
hisBlchers
units are Prussian
slow to advance,
army is less
he can
spread
hearout
fighting
and is
to ready
his right
to begin
rear and
concentrating
is familiar with
dueWellingtons
to confusedtactics
but insistent
of concealing
reportshis
of
French preparations.
troops.
Wellington meanwhile
Wellington
attends
and Blchers
a social event
only plans
and does
are tonot
concentrate
send out orders
at Nivelles
until and
late Sombreffe
at night. respectively.

Anglo-Dutch Army

Prussian Army

(Wellington)

(Blcher)

Subordinates

Subordinates

RES

June 15
16

Landmarks
1st DB

4th

IV

II Corps
(Hill)
GDE

2nd

II

2nd DB

3rd

I Corps
(Orange)

3rd DB

DB

(+)

III
(-)

Subordinates

Grande Arme
(Bonaparte)

During
the night,
Wellington
issuesdifficult;
ordersitfor
histime
units
to conduct
forced
east.
TheyCharleroi
make substantial
progress
but
Neys occupation
of Quatre-Bras
is proving
takes
for him
to extract his
units marches
from the traffic
around
not completely
sure of all
of
their
locations
and Reille
is preparing
trap.
Neypossession
sees no reason
hurry
and rests
his unitsand
while
an aide
Napoleon
bearing
noneexact
reach
Quatre-Bras
bysuspects
dawn. Wellington
The French
army isa in
firm
of to
the
central
position
does
nottosee
any British
a
penciled
note
DErlons I Corps
and orders
it east, unbeknownst
to Wellington
Ney. In the east,
Blcher deploys In
hisaccordance
available forces
for battle
against Bonaparte
units,
only
a finds
Dutch-Belgian
division,
so Bonaparte
assumes
is withdrawing.
with
Bonapartes
plan to
who leaves Lobaus VI Corps near Charleroi, ready to march in any direction. Wellingtons forces draw nearer to Quatre-Bras and he can only tell Blcher
strike
at the
which
itself,
he resolves to strike at Blcher who is rushing his other corps to Sombreffe;
that he will
send first
troopsforce
east only
if he presents
is not attacked
himself.
Bonaparte orders Reille to detach Girards 7 th Division to the right wing.

Anglo-Dutch Army

Prussian Army

(Wellington)

(Blcher)

Subordinates

Subordinates

Landmarks

June 16

II Corps
(Hill)
4th
1st DB

IV

RES
I Corps
(Orange)

2nd

3rd
GDE
2nd DB
3rd DB

DB

2nd DB

Orange vs Ney
at QuatreBras

Subordinates

Grande Arme
(Bonaparte)

(-)

I
(+)

II
III
I

II

III

Blcher vs Bonaparte
at Ligny

Foy clears Gemioncourt


Perponcher
deploys his division
while Bachelu
in a long
clears
thin line
Piraumont,
to appear
making
largerPerponchers
as only Merlens
position
smallwest
cavalry
of the
unitBrussels
stands in
road
support
untenable.
to the
rear. Perponcher
Perponchers
forces
plans
retreat
to hold
to up
Bossu
the Wood,
French hotly
advance
pursued
on three
by Pirs
townscavalry,
until reinforcements
and rally onlyarrive.
in theNey
safety
deploys
of theFoy
woods.
and Bachelu
By this
to theJrmes
time,
front withdivision
Pirs cavalry
deploystointhe
front
rear;
of Bossu
he does
Wood
not know
for thewhere
French.
thePictions
rest of his
division
forcesdeploys
are but to
expects
strengthen
themthe
anyleft
minute.
wing Ney
and
plans to scatter
Brunswicks
corps
thedeploys
few units
along
to his
thefront
Brussels
by driving
Road for
in the
the Anglo-Dutch
Anglo-Dutch.left
These
wingforces
and occupy
arrive just
Quatre-Bras,
after Wellington
thus separating
himself who
the
two enemy
takes
command.
armies.

Anglo-Dutch Army

Quatre Bras

(Duke of Wellington)
Sart-Dames

Brunswick
Perponcher

Avelines

19,780
8,780

Picton

Brussels
Road
Perponcher

Bossu Wood
Thyle

Gemioncourt

Piraumont

Foy
Bachelu
Jrme
Foy
Pierrepoint
Pir

French Left Wing


(Michel Ney)
18,300
11,300

Bachelu

Pir
Landmarks

Ney
attack.
begins front.
clearing
Bossuhalf-heartedly
Wood; Foy advances
halts
when
his right wing
becomes
after Bachelus
advance
is
Ney continues
maintains the
pressure
onJrme
Wellingtons
Bachelu
attacks but
Thyle
which
Wellington
reinforces
with vulnerable
some of Altens
forces; Foy
engages
Kellermann
Wellington
launches
cuts
his
a way
triple
back
to and
recapturing
French
lines.
Bossu
Ney
Wood,
tries
Gemioncourt
to also
renew
the
and
Piraumont
and
seize
intoawithdraw
swift
the
halted by
Kempts
brigade
behind
a attack,
slightmore
rise
then thrown
back
by
awest.
bayonet
charge.
Pir
is active
allattack
fronts,
Kempt
Picton;
Jrme
clears
Bossu hidden
Wood but
sights
even
Anglo-Dutch
forces
to the
Kellermann
takes
parton
in the
attack forcing
when Ney
instructs
him in
after
cavalry
charge
and
to exploit
gap
between
Perponcher
andto
Brunswick.
The
latter
charge
inflicts
many
casualties
butline
Wellington
a furyatostiff
tread
the
enemy
into
thetrying
ground
with
a the
single
cavalry
Kellermann
putsthe
his cavalry
into crossroads
aof
quick
trot
towards
Anglo-Dutch
sobut
they
crossroads
advance
before
by
joining
dusk
Foys
ends
front-lines
the
fighting.
butbrigade.
Ney
cannot.
failsWith
seize
arrival
the
Cookes
division,
oftheQuatre-Bras
Wellington
effectively
seals
the
gap
with
Brunswicks
troops.
By
now
Ney
receives
Napoleons
orders
to
drive
off
the
enemy
to
his
immediate
front
and
march
to
do not have time to realize they are attacking, and then suddenly charges in a sprint. It succeeds in cutting through the Anglo-Dutch line and runningeast
down
completely
prevents
outnumbers
fromNey.
sending
a single
help
Blcher.
hit the
PrussianWellington
flank
only
discover
his
reserve, DErlons
corps, soldier
is marchingto
east!
Hes is
further enraged when only part of Kellermanns cavalry arrive to
two
regiments
before
beingtosurrounded.
support him while Altens division arrives to support Wellington.

Anglo-Dutch Army

Perponcher
Alten

Quatre Bras

(Duke of Wellington)

Perponcher
Perponcher
Perponcher

28,280
24,280
19,780

Picton

Brunswick
Picton
Brussels
Road

Alten
Picton
Bossu Wood
Thyle

Gemioncourt
Cooke
Foy

Piraumont

Foy
Jrme

Kellermann

Pir

Foy
Bachelu

Pierrepoint
Pir
Jrme

French Left Wing


(Michel Ney)
Pir
19,100
18,300

Kellermann
Landmarks

Bonaparte
adds
the
Guards
artillery
to
the
great
center
battery
which
rakes
the
forward
slopes,
decimating
the
Prussian
reserves
Blcher
is rushing
to
support
his off
right.
French
The
mysterious
artillery
column
continues
is finally
to wreak
identified
havoc
ason
DErlons
Prussian
reserves.
but,
before
With
Bonaparte
Ligny
still
can
athe
costly,
give
indecisive
orders,
all
but
stalemate,
a division
Blcher
of
infantry
draws
and
forces
cavalry,
from
march
and
to
Bonaparte
deploys
Vandamme
on
the
left,
Grard
atFrench
thecorps
center,
Grouchy
on
the
right
with
theitGuard
and
Milhauds
cavalry
inorder;
reserve.
He
plans
to Pirch
keep
the
With
Thielmann
covering
the
retreat
from
the
heights
of
Brye,
the
Prussian
army
retreats
in decent
Gneisenau
and
his
Before
Blcher
can
renew
his
attack
on
the
left,
Bonaparte
orders
Guard
and
supporting
cavalry
forward
as
Vandamme
and
Bonaparte
hears
no
fighting
to
the
west
and
logically
concludes
that
Ney
has
occupied
Quatre-Bras
Blcher
deploys
much
of hison
reserve
artillery
to
the
French
batteries
but
many
casualties
in their
exposed
position.
Blcher
forms
a strong
force
on hisofextreme
Thielmann
the
west.
Although
for
an
attack
baffled,
he
thecontinues
right.
Bonaparte
tocounter
prepare
responds
for
the decisive
by
shifting
stroke
asuffer
cavalry
against
division
the
Prussian
from
the
center.
right
The
to the
Guard
extreme
infantry
left
deploys
and stiffening
onPrussian
either
Vandamme
side
Ligny,
with
Prussian
left
in
play
with
Grouchy,
clear
the
St.
Amands
with
Vandamme
and
storm
Ligny
with
Grard.
Once
Ney
arrives
to
envelop
the
right,
staff
on Wavre
as
rally
because
iteither
is his
the
only
name
they
read
on their
maps in
the
darkness.
Grouchy
launch
pinning
attacks.
The point
Prussian
line aon
side
of town
Ligny
buckles,
thencan
breaks.
promptly
leads
his
cavalry Rather
against
right
toagree
hit the
French
left
flank
butthe
Vandamme
contains
it with
shift
right
division
to for
the
area.
Ziethen
launches
a Blcher
vicious
counterattack
to
retake
the
supported
Young
Guard.
by
cavalry;
then
Milhauds
brings
cavalry
up the
scatters
rest
ofvictory.
the
Thielmanns
andof
cavalry
Milhauds
attack;
cavalry
the
Young
Guard
decisive
first
attack
halts
against
Blchers
the
attack
Prussian
and
center
then
throws
butSt.
is Amand-le-Chateau
it
interrupted
back;
Grouchy
by a
Bonaparte
plans
toHe
commit
thethe
Guard
to advances
clinch
Throughout
thedestroy
battle,
artillery
fire
is tomeanwhile
rake
thetwo-thirds
St.
Amand
salient,
taking
advantage
the
and
will
reach
the
battlefield
inGuard
time
toBlcher
orthe
capture
the
Prussian
army.
but Vandamme
commits
his
entire
force
and
steadily,
capturing
St.
Amand-le-Hameau.
Grard
captures
most
of of
Ligny
buthis
is
held
upbeyond
at of
Ligny
Creek
and
the
Guard
on
the
left
but
elite
unit
repulses
it
easily.
is
unhorsed
and
vanishes
but
gains
time
for
infantry
to
withdraw.
than
organizing
a
pursuit,
Bonaparte
sets
up
headquarters
at
Ligny,
thinking
the
Prussian
army
is
shattered
repair.
mysterious
launches
pins
column
Thielmanns
to
the
entire
northwest.
line
with
Blcher
an
attack.
sees
Ligny
Vandammes
meanwhile
men
continues
waver
and
to
absorb
launches
men
a
at
grand
an
alarming
attack,
recapturing
rate
as
Grard
part
throws
of
St.
in
Amand-le-Chateau.
his
last
reserve.
excellent
ongrind
the forward
slopes.
Blcher
deploys
Ziethen
on the
right,
Thielmann
on theclearing
left andBoigne
Pirch inand
reserve.
He Tongrenelle.
plans to useBonaparte
the fields
rough In
the
battle targets
begins
to
both
sides
down.grasps
On the
French
right,
Grouchy
pins
Thielmann
by
suddenly
attacking
remembers
Prussian
Chief
of
Staff
Gneisenau
the
danger
the
army
is
in
and
moves
one
of
Thielmanns
divisions
to
reserve.
For
the
French,
Vandamme
begins
clearing
the
St.
Amands
with
one
of
his
right
wing
divisions
as
Grard
attacks
Meanwhile,
an
aide
miraculously
finds
an
unharmed
Blcher
in pushes
the
of
thefrom
battlefield
and hurries
north.
Meanwhile,
the
Prussian
Thielmann
camp,
learns
hisorders
cavalry
thatitWellington
down
is
road
deeply
towards
engaged
Fleurus
at Quatre-Bras
and
the
andFrench
cannot
away
send
troops;
Tongrenelle.
he therefore
collectshim
his last
reserves to finish
terrain,
defending
ofsends
the
guarding
thethe
Ligny
Creek,
to fight
the
French
to wreckage
a standstill.
Lobaus
corps
is
still all
toBlcher
the
reartowns
and
forward
the
battlefield.
Lobaus
corps
arrives
at
Fleurus
too
late
to to
affect
the battle.
off
the
French
left
and
hit
the
center
in
flank.
Ligny with his two left wing divisions.

Prussian Army

Marbais

Prussian Army
(Blcher)

Pirch

(Gebhard Leberecht von Blcher)


83,000

Thielmann

June 17

Ziethen

Sombreffe
Brye

Ziethen

Mazy
Mont-Potraiux

Wagnel

St. Amand-leHameau

St. Amandla-Haye

Ligny Creek

Tongrinne
Tongrenelle

Ligny

St. Amand-leChateau
Boigne

Balatre

Grard
Vandamme
Grouchy

Fleurus
Landmarks

French Right Wing


(Bonaparte)

Lobau

French Right Wing


(Napoleon Bonaparte)
65,000
80,500
70,500

All Bonaparte
As
troops camp
leads
in miserable
hisPrussian
troopsconditions
west,
receives
throughout
Neys
thereport
night
and
as the
becomes
rain
continues
convinced
almost
that
non-stop
Wellington
until
is present
dawn.
in
full force.
being
He
beaten
rushes
to days
Quatre-Bras
before
and
but
Wellington
learns
of
the
defeat he
early
in the morning
and prepares
to retreat
just before
one
of Gneisenaus
aidesDespite
arrives
to
inform
him oftwo
the
retreat
to Wavre,
is too late;
greatly
inhibited
Wellington
by traffic,
is responds
already
the Prussian
retreating.
army
Bonaparte
is in
remarkably
sends
DErlons
high
spirits
I Corps
asifBlcher
in
pursuit
leads
but it
a corps
west.
model
Inrearguard
thetonight,
action
Exelmans
Uxbridges
defiespossible
orders
cavalry
and
delays
leads
the
his
challenging
him.
Wellington
that he will
make
a stand
in front
of Mont-St.Jean
a single
Prussian
comes
his aid.
Thisby
is certainly
as
both
Ziethen
and
Pirch
rally
their
during
the
while
Thielmann
covers
their
withdrawal
andworried
Blowisapproaches.
Meanwhile,
Bonaparte
leaves
Grouchy
with 33,000
men
on the
the
French
cavalry
until
all
the
heavy
waytroops
rainfall
to Wavre,
ends
capturing
allnight
pursuit
enough
near
prisoners
Mont-St.
Jean.
to prove
Wellington,
the Prussian
still
army
marching
about his to
right
support
flank,Wellington.
leaves most
Soon
of Hills
after,II Grouchy
Corps
near
hears
Hal.
artillery
In
right
wing
neutralize
the Prussian
armyat
forGembloux
abattle;
few days
but
unfortunately
issuesvehemently
orders
leisurely
and he
does
notBlow
dismiss
him
until
thatbut
evening.
Bonaparte
to
take
his
east,to
fire
Exelmans
thetowest
as
discovers
Bonaparte
Thielmann
commences
his
but
subordinates
is
unable toargue
prevent
his withdrawal;
to march
to
and
the
soundlink
of
the
up
guns
before
retreating
Grouchy
to
insists
join plans
the
he is
rest
following
of the
remaining
units
and
detachments
from
Grouchys
forceitto
joinpromise
with
Neys
altogether
72,000
menhe
totocan
smash
the Anglo-Dutch
army.and
Neyworded
is not
yet
Bonapartes
plan
army attoWavre.
orders
pursue
Blcher
the
Prussian
returnsarmy
to take
andcommand
prevent
and
from
intervening
Wellington
in thehe
west,
will which
march
his
support
do from
with
Wavre.
twoAcorps
vaguely
all
four
message
if aware
able. of
Grouchys
from
Bonaparte
directs
and awaits orders all morning instead of pinning the Anglo-Dutch force.
his reconnaissance
only
confirms his decision.
to the northeast and cannot conclusively report where the Prussian army is retreating to.

Anglo-Dutch Army

Prussian Army

(Wellington)

(Blcher)

Subordinates

Subordinates

June 18
17

Landmarks

IV
II

III

III

I
II

Thielmann vs Grouchy
at Wavre

RES

IV
I

RES

Wellington vs Bonaparte
at Waterloo

I
II

III

Bonaparte
Grouchy
Subordinates

Grande Arme
(Bonaparte)

Jrme
Wellington
renews
deploys
his
attack
his
army
onthree
along
Hougomont,
afighting
reverse
sucking
slope
to
in
hide
the
rest
his
reserves
ofBachelu
his
division
with
the
and
exception
then
part
of
athe
brigade
Foys.
Anglo-Dutch
masking
his
artillery
leftNey
center
fire
and
prevents
another
the
occupying
French
La
Bonaparte
his
army
in
lines
on
high
ground
but
still
cannot
see
Wellingtons
reserves.
The
first
line
comprises
Reille
and
infantry
under
Ney;
the
Picton
More
The
Prussian
isdeploys
killed
cavalry
forces
as
DErlons
push
arrive,
Uxbridges
massive
forcing
Lobau
cavalry
assault
to
back
appears
retreat
and
to
to
reengage
aoverwhelm
ridge
in
the
front
the
Anglo-Dutch
of
Anglo-Dutch
Plancenoit
right
center.
while
center.
Wellington
cavalry
Wellingtons
screen
orders
cavalry
tofor
a
his
local
left
reserve
cavalry
deters
is
CostlyFrench
and
ineffective
attacks
against
Hougomont
continue
as
also
becomes
involved,
tying
down
ever
more
French
troops.
On
the
right,
Ney
Wellington
Neys
infantry
uses
attack
an
overall
wavers
lull
against
in
La
Haye-Sainte.
to
rebuild
his
Based
center
on
from
wagon
hisfor
reserve.
movement
Jrme
to
finally
Anglo-Dutch
brings
uparear,
artillery
toDErlons
concludes
set
Hougomont
Wellington
ablaze
tofrom
but
be
Bonaparte
agrees
with
Druot
that
they
must
allow
the
ground
artillery
toof
be
effective
and
delays
the
attack
over
two
full
Haye and
encircling
Papelotte.
the chateau
Hisand
main
allows
line
Wellington
is almost
entirely
to feed
infantry
in Milhauds
reinforcements,
withcavalry
virtually
butallproportionately
of his command;
artillery,
less
interspersed
than
Reille
with
commits.
various
As
nationalities;
The
British
guardsmen
he
holds
back
continue
a strong
to
second
comprises
Lobaus
infantry
along
with
Kellerman
and
under
vague
the
third
comprises
the
Guard
infantry
and
cavalry
under
Bonaparte.
sends
DErlons
entire
corps
forward
but
overlooks
the
outdated
divisional
columns
three
of
its
four
divisions
are
in,
severely
reducing
its
firepower
and
charge
Blow
now
a
from
spent
which
attacking
force
Uxbridge
and
prematurely.
swiftly
the
subsequent
executes
Bonaparte
with
battle
two
sees
inflicts
brigades,
Neys
heavy
bloody
shattering
casualties
cavalry
DErlons
on
charge
both
attacks
sides.
and
despairingly
and
The
capturing
French
cavalry
thousands
he
still
must
fail
of
prisoners.
to
at
break
least
its
retreating
defenders
and
still
orders
hold
out
a mass
in
thecavalry
walled
charge
garden.
by
Bonaparte
Milhaud
receives
against
the
Grouchys
enemy
afternoon
center.
The
message
Guard
which
cavalry
definitively
on realizes
the
right
shows
gets
he
will
caught
not
arrive
up
in
hours.
The
battle
finally
opens
with
Jrmes
attack
against
Hougomont;
using
only
part
of
his
division,
he
clears
the
woods
to
He
placeswaves
third
of French
his
artillery
on aHis
ridge
in is
front
his
aexpectance
great
battery.
plans
to
thishis
great
battery
to blow
ain
hole
in
Wellingtons
left
center
while
Reille
reserve
repulse
ofa cavalry
of
and
infantry.
infantry,
Bonaparte
left
up of
in
orders
thearmy
air
theshaken
ingreat
battery
of
toBonaparte
Blchers
fire.
Its
effect
arrival
is use
while
spectacular
right
but
is ineffective:
deployed
the
depth,
slight
anchored
ridge
protects
byshouts
his Wellingtons
elite
Guards
increasing
its
vulnerability.
Bylandts
brigade,
already
by
its
losses
at
Quatre-Bras
and
todays
artillery
fire,
quickly
routs.
Picton
his
entire
in
Milhauds
support.
movement
Bonaparte
and
thus
also
orders
charges;
Ney
to
this
capture
congested
La
Haye-Sainte
cavalry
charge,
immediately,
with
no
which
supporting
he
attacks
infantry,
with
the
on
less
wet
damaged
ground,
against
units
from
Wellingtons
DErlons
Uxbridge
support
through
it
when
loses
so
he
only
control
orders
a
few
Kellermann
of
artillery
his
force
batteries
and
and
supporting
it
charges
would
be
Guard
the
necessary
French
cavalry
great
to
forward.
pierce
battery;
Wellingtons
Uxbridge
the
Anglo-Dutch
charges
line.
On
Milhauds
cavalry
the
French
cavalry
are
right,
repulsed
and
Blow
pushes
by
attacks
French
it
off
pins
down
his
reserves;
DErlon
is to
then
smash
the
weakened
Anglo-Dutch
left
a stiff maneuver.
infantry
attack,
followed
byline,
theto
Guard
if greatly
necessary.
he
receives
the
south
but
hastily
the
attack
totoaHougomonts
andwith
gates.
The
British
guardsmen
within
barely
able
to
close
division;
main
line
Chasss
and
the
division
shots
docarries
occupies
not
Merbe
over
Braine
it due
to
the
the
west
wetinvolley
ground.
case walls
of
Bylandts
acenter
French
flanking
brigade,
exposed
inWellington
front
of the
suffers
use
towns
however.
inAlthough
front
of
To
his
the
line
east,
to
division
forward
from
behind
thericochet
ridge
and
delivers
crushing
to
DErlons
center
while
Quiots
division
is plans
held up
at
Lathe
Haye-Sainte.
Only
Durutte
on
reorganizing
unbroken
infantry,
corps.
is
Meanwhile,
expectantly
French
ineffective.
artillery
Bonaparte,
conducts
counter-battery
focused
onBlcher
the
bombardments,
security
of
his
right
virtually
flank,
clearing
does
not
the
ridge
notice
of
Neys
Anglo-Dutch
hasty
charge
artillery.
at
Grouchys
report
ofdark
Blchers
movement
west
by
way
of
Brussels
early
in the
morning,
Bonaparte
does
respond
until
six
hours
later.
Bonaparte
rebuffs
his
Chief
offlank.
Staff
artillery
the
Lobau
ridge
with
fire
before
two
and
divisions
then
Kellermann
routed
and
by
intervenes.
besieges
anattack.
opportunistic
Plancenoit.
With
the
charge
arrival
More
by
Prussian
of
Jacquinots
Blows
forces
corps,
cavalry.
arrive
Wellington
as
Blows
transfers
fourth
Winckes
division
approaches
brigade
from
the
his
front,
left
absorb
Bonaparte
the
spots
French
attack
masses
and
of
reinforce
Blows
his
troops
main
and
line
promptly
with
reserves
sends
Lobaus
until
infantry
arrives
along
tonot
with
hit
Domon
the
French
and
right
Subervies
flank.
cavalry
Wellington
to
cover
strictly
hisprohibits
right
his
gates
and
repulse
the
French
the
right
makes
progress,
capturing
Papelotte.
To
the
east,
Blows
corps
rests
before
advancing.
Soult
when
he suggests
explicitly recalling
Grouchy
because
he
isLobau
confident
heWood.
canits
defeat
Wellington
before Blcher arrives.
To
first.
the
Blows
east,
Blow
corps
skirmishes
emerges
from
with
Paris
French
Wood
cavalry
where
around
Paris
strikes
leading
division.
subordinates
Despite
Blows
from
unexpected
advancing
appearance,
down
the
ridge.
Bonaparte
In
case
isof
confident
defeat,
aGrouchy
forest
tois
the
pinning
rear
protects
most
of
against
the Prussian
a cavalry
army.
pursuit.
into
forcing
reserve
Bonaparte
and
recalls
to make
Chasss
urgent
division
plans
to
from
restore
the the
west.
situation.

Anglo-Dutch Army

Prussian Army

(Wellington)

(Blcher)

Break-down by divisions

Mont-St. Jean

Break-down by brigades
Smohain Brook
La Haye
Merbe Braine
La Haye-Sainte
Papelotte

Paris Wood

Hougomont

La Belle Alliance

Plancenoit
Landmarks
Break-down by divisions
Break-down by corps

French Left Wing


(Bonaparte)

Rosomme

Lasne Brook

The
Blcher
Bonaparte
Guard
directs
leads
is repulsed.
Pirchs
the
only
Wellington
division
Guard
orders
forward
south
a
tofor
general
prevent
Ney
advance
the
French
while
army
but
Blcher
withholds
from retreating
continues
the
Old
and
toGuard
push
orders
his
in Blow
reserve.
troops
totheir
forward:
retake
Bonaparte
Plancenoit,
Ziethen
then
proclaims
which
hecavalry
tooutflanks
does
his troops
before
thethat
losing
French
the
it
The
cavalry
fightMiddle
bitterly
but
must
retreat;
they
failto
tocommand
spike
the
Anglo-Dutch
guns,
leaving
them
intact
when
gunners
returncompletely
later.
Ney
attacks
thereserve
Anglo-Dutch
TheFrench
French
cavalry
push
Uxbridges
cavalry
back
and
reengage
the
Anglo-Dutch
right
center.
Wellingtons
is
againwith
force
right
wing
to
when
the
as
Bonaparte
northeast
Blow
struggles
is
commits
not they
Ziethens
topart
overcome
ofcorps
the Old
the
butGuard.
Young
Grouchys
Satisfied
Guard,
army.
which
with
This
the
clings
liesituation
and
to the
Plancenoit.
on
sight
theofright
Word
the
Guard
oftake
the
Bonaparte
advancing
Guards
repulse
places
heightens
the
quickly
rest
the morale
of
spreads,
the
Guard
ofcausing
the
back
French
the
in when
reserve
troops;
French
right
Foy
and
Bachelu
but
are
unsupported
by
cavalry
and
must
retreat.
Bonaparte
orders
Neyflank,
to
La
Haye-Sainte
which
DErlons
corps
at
last
does
its
now
a spent
force and
the
subsequent
battle
inflicts
heavy
casualties
on
both sides.
Thereserves.
FrenchReille
cavalry
stilltakes
failthe
toinitiative,
break
defenders
runthe
out
of aammo.
French
skirmishers
the
ridge
and
establish
acavalry
fewGuard
batteries,
enough
to scattering
pummel
Anglo-Dutch
meanwhile
in preparation
they
army
renew
to rout.
Reilles
for
attack
final
troops
as attack
bestmaintain
they
on the
cansome
weakened
allreach
along
order
the
Anglo-Dutch
until
line.
Anglo-Dutch
Ney
sends
line. Wellington
the
surge
must
to attack
forward,
commit
Wellingtons
Brunswicks
right
them
corps
center,
in to
thestiffen
not
open
his
his
field.
weaker
center
Bonaparte
left
andcenter,
engage
orders
because
DErlons
the Old
of
through
when
only
a
few
artillery
batteries
would
be
necessary
to
pierce
Wellingtons
line.
On
the
French
right,
Blow
attacks
masking
hitting
the Anglo-Dutch
right
flank
with
Jrmes
division.
ItVivian
is here
that
Ney
infantry
reinforcements
to
finish
off
Wellingtons
center,
only
to
corps. One
congestion
Guard
toHougomont
cover
around
of Ziethens
theand
Laretreat
Haye-Sainte.
divisions
before
arrives,
Anglo-Dutch
his staff
allowing
urgeguns
him
Wellington
enfilade
to flee
the
to transfer
Guard
battlefield.
from
The
the and
left
Oldas
Vandaleurs
Guard
it requests
advances;
haltscavalry
the
Bonapartes
Anglo-Dutch
from his
orders
left
cavalry
wing
are
to
near
tobreak
reserve
La the
Belle
which,
enemy
Alliance
along
units
before
with
be
rebuffed
byfurther.
Bonaparte,
even
though
the
situation
onthe
the
right
flank
is not
hopeless.
Blow
captures
much
Plancenoit
butpursue
is thrown
out
when
Bonaparte
commits
the
Lobau
with
twoGuard
divisions
and
besieges
Plancenoit.
More
Prussian
forces
arrive
asBlcher
Blows
fourth
division
approaches
the
front,
Chasss
the
withdrawing
bayonet.
division,
The
form
Wellington
his
reaches
final
and
the
reserve.
ridge
Blcher
Chasss
before
meet
division
at Anglo-Dutch
La Belle
deploys
Alliance
infantry
right
and
behind
stand
agree
up
his
that
and
center
the
engage.
Prussian
after
aof
French
cavalry
also
deserter
will
renews
informs
his alone
attack,
him
tocapturing
ofavoid
the upcoming
any
Papelotte
friendly
Guard
and
fire
Young Guard; Bonaparte overcautiously deploys the rest of the Guard in a long line behind Plancenoit in case of a breakthrough.
assault;
much
incidents.
of Wellington
Plancenoit.
orders
his front
line to plans
take cover
behind the
forcing
Bonaparte
to make
urgent
to restore
theridge.
situation.

Anglo-Dutch Army

Prussian Army

(Wellington)

(Blcher)
Mont-St. Jean

Smohain Brook
La Haye
Merbe Braine
La Haye-Sainte
Papelotte

Paris Wood

Hougomont

La Belle Alliance

Plancenoit

Landmarks

French Left Wing


(Bonaparte)

Rosomme

Lasne Brook

Due
Vandamme
Grouchy
to congested
resolves
and
disobeys
Exelmans
to
roads
carry
orders
west
Wavre
continue
and
andwith
attempts
thetoFrench
half
attack
his
toapproach,
force
storm
their
assigned
Wavre
Thielmann
thewith
other
crossings,
his
is
half
leading
captures
albeit
able division
toineffectually.
march
Limale
before
west
and
marches
as
Grard
theordered.
restiswest.
of
killed
Instead
theVandamme
army
as he
arrives.
deploys
renews
attacks
The
the
his
Thielmann
attacks
the
French
forces
on while
the
plateau
innot
front
of
Limale
but
Pajol
hits
his
right
flank;
rearguard
Wavre
attack
fails
and
against
corps
Bierges
miserably
Bierge
to defend
Mill,
once
Mill
is repulsed
the
so
it reaches
Grouchy
four Dyle
at the
both
leads
River
bridge,
but
itcrossings
renews
himself,
which the
is
and
also
raked
attack
delay
with
byrelentlessly
the
no
Prussian
French
success.
artillery
advance.
asToExelmans
the
andsouth,
Grouchys
skirmishers
threatens
Pajol
subordinates
surprises
hidden
Lower within
Wavre.
the
continue
Prussian
Wavres
Grard
to
Thielmann
his
attack
force
north
to
the
woods.
Three
of guns.
four
crossings
are
still
under
press forMeanwhile,
houses.
mistakenly
detachment
an
marches
atwithdraws
immediate
Limale
to
one
Wavre
and
ofmovement
captures
Grards
instead
the
of
divisions
west
Limale
bridge
to arrives
as
the
just
ordered
increasingly
astoTestes
the
so Grouchy
French
division
louder
rear.
orders
arrives
sound
Grouchy
him
to
oftoconsolidate
the
take
receives
the Bierge
Bonapartes
the
Grouchys
position.
Mill crossing.
army
afternoon
Thielmann
is
To dispersed:
the
message
leaves
south,
Prussian
control
and
no
French
forces
march
west.
Vandammes
which
Pajols
minimal
reports
cavalry
forces
infantry
the
finally
to French
defend
arrives
anddeeply
the
Exelmans
opposite
three
engaged
remaining
cavalry
Limale.
at Waterloo
are
crossings
Thielmann
opposite
and
and
sends
sight
Wavre
sends
ofdesperate
while
Blows
the Grard
restcorps
appeals
of his
and
tocorps
the
Pajols
for northeast;
assistance
south.
are still
Grouchy
Grouchy
approaching
to Blcher
matches
is nearly
but
theThielmanns
receives
battlefield.
powerless
no
Grouchy
to
reply.
build-up
help Bonaparte.
on
plans
theto
plateau
pin theby
Prussian
leadingarmy
Grards
onceother
he concentrates
two divisionshis
toown.
Limale.

Prussian III Corps

Prussian III Corps

Lower Wavre

(Thielmann)

(Johann von Thielmann)


15,000
Wavre

Bierge Mill

Dyle River

Limale

French Right Wing


(Emmanuel de Grouchy)
33,000

Landmarks

French Right Wing


(Grouchy)

Waterloo, 1815
Casualties & Aftermath
Quatre-Bras |

Grande Arme: 4,000 or 21%

Anglo-Dutch Army: 4,600 or 19%

Ligny |

Grande Arme: 11,000 or 14%

Prussian Army: 16,000 or 19%

Waterloo |

Grande Arme: 33,000 or 46%

Allied Armies: 21,000 or 19%

Wavre |

Grande Arme: 2,600 or 8%

Prussian Army: 2,500 or 17%

Overall |

Grande Arme: 50,600 or 41%

Allied Armies: 44,100 or 20%

Grouchy defeated Thielmann on June 19 before learning of Bonapartes defeat and retiring south. Bonaparte arrived in
Paris on June 21 to a hostile national legislature which refused to grant him more power, instead forcing his abdication
the next day. Militarily, Soult rallied 55,000 regulars of the battered French army, bringing Davouts Paris army strength
to 117,000 along with 170,000 replacements in northeastern Frances depots. The Anglo-Dutch and Prussian armies
were strung out around Paris or besieging fortresses and the other Allied armies were slow in pushing back weak
French defensive armies. Bonaparte realized the opportunity for a magnificent counter-stroke and requested temporary
command of the army. The provisional government denied him this opportunity and forced him into exile. Davout,
disgusted with the web of politics in Paris, negotiated peace terms which reduced France to its borders of 1790.
By Jonathan Webb,

The Art of Battle:


Animated Battle Maps
http://www.theartofbattle.com

By Jonathan Webb,