Wednesday, 3 April 2019

The Battle of Waterloo

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium. A French army under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by two of the armies of the Seventh Coalition: an Anglo-led Allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington, and a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher.

Waterloo was the decisive engagement of the Waterloo Campaign and Napoleon's last.
Some 60,000 men were killed or severely maimed. It ended the First French Empire, and began decades of relative peace.

'Waterloo teeth' was a name for dentures made from the molars of dead soldiers. One British plunderer reportedly declared prior to the battle: “There’ll be no want of teeth, I’ll draw them as fast as the men are knocked down.” His prophecy proved grimly true.
The French army of around 69,000 consisted of 48,000 infantry, 14,000 cavalry, and 7,000 artillery with 250 guns. Wellington's troops consisted of 67,000 men: 50,000 infantry, 11,000 cavalry, and 6,000 artillery with 150 guns. Of these, 25,000 were British, with another 6,000 from the King's German Legion. All of the British Army troops were regular soldiers.

Waterloo cost Wellington around 25,000 dead or wounded. Napoleon's losses were 28,000 to 32,000 killed or wounded and included 6,000 to 7,000 captured with an additional 15,000 deserting.
Waterloo was a decisive battle. Every generation in Europe up to the outbreak of the First World War looked back at Waterloo as the turning point that dictated the course of subsequent world history.