Waterloo lahing - ajalugu

Waterloo lahing - ajalugu


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Napoleon tegi teise katse haarata Prantsusmaa kontrolli alla aastal 1815. Ta pääses vanglast ja sai kontrolli Prantsuse armee üle. Teised Euroopa riigid saatsid tema vastu võitlema suured armeed. Waterloo lahingus 18. juunil 1815 võitsid nad ta.


Elba Napoleon Bonaparte’i jõudis uudis Prantsuse rahulolematusest Bourboni valitsemise uuendamisega. Napoleon otsustas teha võimule uue pakkumise. 1. märtsil 1815 maabus Napoleon koos 1500 mehega Cannes'is. 20. märtsil astus ta Pariisi ja haaras võimu. Nii algas 100 päeva.

Euroopa suurriigid ühinesid Napoleoni vastu, igaüks panustas 180 000. Liitlasvägede ülemast sai Briti kindral Wellington. Preisi vägesid juhtis feldmarssal Blücher. Prantslased ründasid esmalt Preisi armeed Ligny lahingus. Prantslased said seal taktikalise võidu.

Kindral Wellington viis oma armee tagasi Belgiasse Waterloosse. Seal ründas 18. juunil Napoleoni Prantsuse armee. Kogu pärastlõuna ründasid nad, kuid ei suutnud edusamme teha. Preisi armee asus brittide kaitsele ja õhtuks pühendas Napoleon lahingule viimase oma reserveeritud ja ebaõnnestus. Britid ja preislased tegid seejärel vasturünnaku ja murdsid prantsuse jooni. Napoleon ja tema armee olid sunnitud Pariisi tagasi põgenema.

. 22. juunil alistus ta liitlasvägedele. Napoleon veetis ülejäänud elu vangis Lõuna -Atlandi ookeani St Helena saarel.



Waterloo lahing - ajalugu

Oma vastaste tohutu sõjalise jõu tõttu oli Napoleon sunnitud aprillis 1814. Prantsusmaa troonilt loobuma. Võitnud liitlased pagendasid endise keisri Itaalia ranniku lähedal asuvasse Elba saarele ja seadsid ametisse Louis XVIII (noorem vend hukati Louis XVI) kuningana.

Ei läinud kaua aega, kui uue kuninga pummeldav ja üleolev taktika võõrandas tema alamad ja ajendas pagendatud keisrit uut võimupakkumist tegema. 26. veebruaril 1815 põgenes Napoleon Elba saarelt ja maandus Prantsusmaa rannikul Cannes'i lähedal. Tuhanded tema vanad sõdurid tulid tema lipu juurde, kui Napoleon Pariisi marssis. Pealinna jõudes olid tema järgijad kasvanud sadade tuhandeteni ja Louis XVIII põgenes põhja poole praegusesse Belgiasse.

Liitlased valmistusid taas koondama oma vägesid uueks rünnakuks Prantsuse keisri vastu. See võtaks aga aega. Vaid kaks liitlasväge kujutasid endast otsest ohtu - 68 000 -liikmeline Briti vägi Wellingtoni hertsogi juhtimisel ja 89 000 -pealine Preisi armee eesotsas feldmarssal Blucheriga - mõlemad laagris Lõuna -Hollandis. Kasutades hetke, juhtis Napoleon oma ligikaudu 105 000 sõdurit põhja poole eesmärgiga lüüa oma vaenlased individuaalselt, enne kui nad saavad ühineda.

Tema jõupingutused olid esialgu edukad. 16. juunil Ligny linnas toimunud kokkupõrkes ründas Napoleon preislasi kõrge hinnaga. Seejärel pööras Napoleon tähelepanu brittidele, kes tegid tribüüni Waterloo väikelinnas Brüsselist paar miili lõuna pool. Lava oli ette nähtud ajaloo üheks kuulsamaks lahinguks.

18. juuni hommikul olid kaks armeed vastamisi. Eelmiste päevade lakkamatud vihmad olid aga maa mullaseks mudaseks muutnud, mis takistas meeste, hobuste ja suurtükiväe liikumist. See lükkas lahingu keskpäevale, kui Napoleon avas suurtükiväe. Võitlus kiikus kogu päeva jooksul edasi -tagasi, mõlemal poolel oli palju inimohvreid. Õhtu poole tundus Wellingtoni kurnatud väed murdumise äärel olevat, kuid preislaste õigeaegne saabumine elavdas nende jõupingutusi ja saatis Napoleoni hukule.

Napoleon põgenes Pariisi, kus ta 22. juunil teist korda troonist loobus ja pagendati Atlandi ookeani keskel asuvasse kõledasse Püha Helena saarele.

Kapten J.H. Gronow liitus Briti armeega 1813. aastal 19 -aastaselt. Ta teenis Wellingtoni hertsogi ajal Hispaanias ja Belgias. Liitume tema looga lahingu hommikul:

& quot; 18. päeva hommikul paistis päike kõige hiilgavamalt ja õhkkond oli nii selge, et nägime vaenlase pikki ja imposantseid jooni kõige selgemalt. Kohe selle diviisi ette, kuhu ma kuulusin, ja ma peaksin ette kujutama, umbes poole miili kaugusel meist, olid paigutatud ratsavägi ja suurtükivägi ning paremale ja vasakule olid prantslased meid juba sidunud, rünnates Huguemontit ja La Haye Sainte'i. Kuulsime lakkamatult suurtükiväe mõõdetud buumi, millega kaasnesid lakkamatud müristavad musketi kajad.

Kogu Briti jalavägi, kes tegelikult ei tegelenud, oli sel ajal ruutudeks kujunenud ja kui me vaatasime mööda meie jooni, tundus, nagu oleksime moodustanud pideva inimmüüri. Mäletan selgelt, et nägin Bonaparte'i ja tema meeskonda ning mõningaid mu vendi ohvitsere, kes kasutasid klaasi, ja hüüdsid: "Seal ta on oma valge hobuse seljas."

Ma ei tohiks unustada, et kui vaenlase suurtükivägi hakkas meie peale mängima, saime käsu pikali heita, kui kuulsime, kuidas lask ja mürsk meie ümber vilisesid, tappes ja haavates hulgaliselt inimesi, kästi meid taas põlvili ratsaväge vastu võtma. Prantsuse suurtükivägi - mis koosnes kolmesajast relvast, kuigi me ei kogunud üle poole sellest - pani lahingu algul kohutava laastamise, kui tegutsesime kaitses. "

Lahing
& quot; umbes neli pärastlõunal meie ees seisnud vaenlase suurtükivägi lõpetas äkitselt tulistamise ja nägime suuri ratsaväe masse: ükski ellujäänud mees ei oleks pärast elu võinud unustada selle laengu kohutava suursugususe. Sa avastasid eemalt, mis tundus olevat ülekaalukas, pikk liikuv joon, mis aina edasi liikudes säras päikesevalgust püüdes nagu tormine merelaine. Nad tulid, kuni jõudsid piisavalt lähedale, samal ajal kui maa tundus vibreerivat peremehe kõmiseva trampli all. Võib arvata, et miski poleks suutnud selle kohutava liikuva massi šokile vastu panna. Nad olid kuulsad kiraaslased, peaaegu kõik vanad sõdurid, kes olid silma paistnud enamikul Euroopa lahinguväljadel. Peaaegu uskumatult lühikese aja jooksul olid nad meist kahekümne jardi kaugusel ja hüüdsid "Vive l'Empereur!" Käsusõna „Valmistuge ratsaväe vastuvõtmiseks” oli antud, iga mees rinde ees põlvitas põlvili ja terasest harjastega sein, mida hoidsid kindlad käed, esitas end vihastele kiraaslastele.

Peaksin tähele panema, et vahetult enne seda süüdistust astus hertsog väljaku ühe nurga alt, koos ühe abiteenistujaga, kelle ülejäänud töötajad olid kas tapetud või haavatud. Meie ülemjuhataja tundus minu hinnangul täiuslikult komponeeritud, kuid tundus väga läbimõeldud ja kahvatu.

Prantsuse ratsaväe ülesanne täideti külluslikult, kuid meie hästi juhitud tuli tõi mehed ja hobused alla ning nende ridades tekkis kaua segadust. Ohvitserid olid äärmiselt vaprad ning tegid oma žestide ja kartmatu kandmisega kõik endast oleneva, et julgustada oma mehi uuesti vormima ja rünnakut uuendama. Hertsog istus liikumatult, oma lemmiklaadija külge kinnitatud. Mäletan, kuidas ta küsis härralt. Lieut.-kolonel Stanhope, mis kell oli, mille peale Stanhope võttis käekella välja ja ütles, et kell on kakskümmend minutit üle nelja. Hertsog vastas: "Lahing on minu oma ja kui preislased peagi kohale jõuavad, saab sõda otsa." & quot

& quot; Sellel meeldejääval päeval oli umbes kell viis, kui saime ootamatult korralduse taanduda kõrgendiku taha. Vaenlase suurtükivägi oli meist saja meetri kaugusel massiliselt üles tulnud. Selleks ajaks, kui nad hakkasid relvi laskma, olime aga tõusva maa taga pikali ja olime varem nimetatud harja poolt kaitstud.

Vaenlase ratsavägi asus oma suurtükiväe tagaosas, et olla valmis seda kaitsma, kui seda rünnataks, kuid meie poolelt ei üritatud seda teha. Pärast seda, kui nad olid meie poole umbes pool tundi eemale peksnud, asusid nad kohale ja kohale tuli kogu kaardiväe keiserliku jalaväe mass, mida keiser isiklikult juhtis. Meie ees oli nüüd ilmselt umbes 20 000 Prantsusmaa parimat sõdurit, paljude meeldejäävate võitude kangelasi, keda nägime, kuidas karunahast mütsid tõusid üha kõrgemale, kui nad meid eraldanud maapinnast üles tõstsid ja meie joontele lähemale ja lähemale jõudsid.

Just sel hetkel andis Wellingtoni hertsog oma kuulsa käsu meie tääkide eest, kui ta sõitis mööda joont: need on täpsed sõnad, mida ta kasutas - "Valvurid, tõuse üles ja lae!" Olime hetkega jalgadel ja pärast nii palju tunde tegevusetust ja ärritust puhtalt kaitsva hoiaku hoidmisel - kannatades kogu aeg kaaslaste ja sõprade kaotuse all - vaim, mida animeeritud ohvitserid ja mehed võivad kergesti ette kujutada. Pärast tulistamist, kui vaenlane oli tulistatud, tormasime kindlate tääkidega edasi ja see südamlik hurraa oli omane Briti sõduritele. "


Lõpp Napoleoni sõdadele

Waterloo lahing lõpetas Napoleoni sõjad lõplikult ja lõpuks, nurjates lõpuks Napoleoni püüdlused domineerida Euroopas ja lõpetades peaaegu 15-aastase perioodi, mida iseloomustas peaaegu pidev sõda.

Loomulikult oli Napoleon juba aasta varem lüüa saanud, et pääseda pagulusest Elbasse ja teha segased jõupingutused, et taaselustada oma sõjalisi püüdlusi „Saja päeva” jooksul, mis oli viimane ahhetamiskampaania, mille käigus nägi keelatud Prantsuse keiser eesotsas Armée du Nord võitleb seitsmenda koalitsiooniga.

Isegi kui tema jõupingutused ei õnnestunud kunagi, arvestades sõdurite ebakõla, millega tema väed silmitsi seisid, pani Napoleoni taaselustamise julgus kahtlemata aluse Waterloo dramaatilisele tagasilöögile.


Waterloo medalite põhjalik juhend

Ajalooline Waterloo lahing toimus 18. juunil 1815 praeguses Belgias Brüsseli lähedal. Konflikti tagajärjel asus Prantsuse armee eesotsas Napoleon Bonaparte'iga astuma vastamisi seitsmenda koalitsiooniga ja ühendama armee, mis hõlmas Briti vägesid Wellingtoni hertsogi ja rsquose juhtimisel.

Briti sõjaliste andmete kohaselt moodustasid seitsmenda koalitsiooni mitmed osariigid, kes olid vastu sellele, et Napoleon ja rsquos 1815. aastal Prantsusmaa keisriks tagasi pöördusid.

Koalitsioonivägedesse kuulus 68 000 angloliitlast ja 50 000 preislast, kelle eesotsas oli Gebhard von Bl & uumlcher.

Pärast kolmepäevast intensiivset võitlust löödi Napoleoni 72 000-meheline armee Waterloos, 24 000 sõdurit tapeti ja kuni 8000 võeti vangi, lõpetades tema valitsemise Prantsuse impeeriumis.

Ametlike sõjateenistuse andmete kohaselt sai Inglise-liitlaste vägesid surma 3500 inimest, üle 10 000 mehe sai haavata ja 3300 inimest kadus kokku 68 000 sõjaväelasest.

Verise lahingu tagajärjel, millega lõppes Napoleoni & lsquoHundred Days & rsquo tagasipöördumine pagulusest, sisenesid koalitsiooniväed Prantsusmaale, et aidata taastada Louis XVIII troonile, kus ta valitses veidi alla kümne aasta enne oma surma 1824. aastal.

Seejärel loobus Napoleon troonist, alistus ja saadeti tagasi troopilisele Saint Helena saarele Atlandi ookeani lõunaosas, kus ta 1821. aastal suri.

Huvitav on see, et Waterloo lahing lõpetas rea sõdu, mis olid Euroopat risustanud pärast Prantsuse revolutsiooni 1789. aastal, sillutades teed ligi 50-aastasele Euroopa rahu perioodile, mis kestis kuni Krimmi sõja puhkemiseni 1853. aastal. .

WATERLOO MEDAL & rsquoS AJALUGU JA TÄHENDUS

Waterloo medal on sõjaajaloo äärmiselt oluline osa neljal põhjusel.

1. See anti välja kõigile lahingus osalenud sõduritele olenemata auastmest, muutes selle Briti armee ja rsquose esimeseks & lsquotrue & rsquo kampaania medaliks.

2. Medalile graveeriti esimesena sõduri nimi, auaste ja rügement ümber serva - luues pretsedendi kõikidele tulevastele auhindadele.

3. Medali ja rsquose disain, metall ja suurus kordusid enamikul tulevastel Briti kampaania medalitel.

4. See oli esimene kampaania medal, mis anti lahingus hukkunud sõdurite peredele ja lähisugulastele.

Selle andmise ajal oli Waterloo medal Briti armees ebapopulaarne, sest poolsaare sõja veteranid pidasid sellist avalikku tunnustust tarbetuks, kuna nad uskusid, et sõdurid olid lahingus lihtsalt oma kohust täitnud.

Enne seda otsust olid Briti sõjaväelased uhkelt mässanud medalite väljastamise vastu, mis on välisriikide armeede tavaline tava.

Lisaks Waterloo medalile sai iga sõdur kahe aasta pikkuse lisateenistuse ja tasu oma pingutuste eest. Neid nimetati laialdaselt kui & lsquoWaterloo Men & rsquo.

WATERLOO MEDAL & rsquoS DISAIN JA OMADUSED

Algselt oli plaan, et Waterloo medalid antakse välja pronksist, kuid see otsus tühistati hilises staadiumis ja need toodeti tahke hõbedast, läbimõõduga 37 mm (1,5 tolli).

Medali kujundas kuningliku rahapaja peagraveerija Thomas Wyon.

Tagurpidi disain: Prints Regenti vasakule suunatud pilt, millel on kiri & ldquoGEORGE P. REGENT & rdquo & ndash, mitte kujutav tegelik valitsev, kuid hullumeelne monarh kuningas George III.

Vastupidine disain: Sokli peal istuv Võidu kuju, mille all on sõnad "WATERLOO" ja "18. JUUNI 1815" ning ülal "WELLINGTON".

Karmiinpunane lint tumesiniste servadega: Mõõdud on 37 mm laiad (1,5 tolli) ja iga riba on võrdse laiusega 7 mm ning loob sinise/karmiinpunase/sinise lindimustri.

Lindiriba: Seda ei olnud ette nähtud, sest medalit kanti alati vormiriietuses.

Saaja nimi, üksus ja auaste kõigile, välja arvatud reameestele: Muljet avaldanud suurte serifide suurtähtedega medal ja rsquos velg, mille mõlemas otsas on ruumi tähekujulised templid.

Sukahoidja: Medali peal terasklamber ja suur rauast rõngas. Paljud saajad lasid atraktiivsemad ja kulumiskindlamad vedrustused teha privaatselt, kuna originaal oli altid roostetamisele.

Klambrid: Puudub

MILLISED RAHVAD WATERLOO MEDALI välja andsid?

Lisaks Ühendkuningriigi välja antud Waterloo medalile võitsid veel kuus riiki ka oma kampaanias osalenud vägede teenetemärke.

Kahjuks ei järginud Belgia eeskuju, mistõttu nende sõdurid ei saanud nende jõupingutuste eest ametlikku tunnustust.

Preisi kampaania medal, 1813-15, 1815 (Kriegsdenkm & uumlnze): Väidetavalt valmistatud tabatud messingist Prantsuse kahurist said võitlejad 1815. aasta medali, samas kui mittevõitlejad said ovaalse versiooni.

Hannoveri Waterloo medal: Hannoveri sõdureid autasustati Waterloo medaliga, samas kui mõned kuninga ja saksa leegioni väed said Briti ja Hannoveri medali.

Nassau Waterloo medal: Autasustatud paljudele Nassau vägedele, kes teenisid Hollandi armees, kes andsid välja Waterloo medali alles palju hiljem, 1865.

Hollandi mälestusrist 1813-15 (Zilveren Herdenkingskruis): 1865. aastal autasustatud Hollandi sõdurid pidid ootama 50. aastapäeva, enne kui nende medal välja toodi.

Brunswicki Waterloo medal: Nagu Preisi au, arvati ka see kampaania medal olevat valmistatud püütud messingist Prantsuse kahurist.

Saksi-Gotha-Altenburgi medal, 1814-15: Tavalised sõdurid said pronksmedali, allohvitseridele lisati kullatud tipphetki ja ohvitseridele anti üle kullatud pronks.

Nagu arvata võis, ei andnud Prantsusmaa pärast kaotuse saamist välja ühtegi Waterloo medalit, kuid Püha Helena medal anti välja 1857. aastal Napoleoni ja rsquose armees teeninud veteranidele. Arvatakse, et neist on välja antud peaaegu pool miljonit.

WATERLOO MEDALS MÜÜGIL & ndash MIDA nad väärt on?

Waterloo medaleid armastatakse väga julguse ja äärmiselt isikupäraste sidemete pärast, mida need peegeldavad kurnavast kampaaniast.

Kogujaid motiveerib sageli medalite taga olev päritolu ja isiksus (auaste, haruldus ja rügement), mitte nende kvaliteet ja seisund.

Medaleid oma loomuliku patina ja originaalse siidlindiga, olenemata sellest, kui tuhmunud või kulunud, peetakse nüüd taskukohaseks viisiks sõjaajaloo saamiseks.

Meie kogemuste kohaselt on seetõttu nii kogenud kollektsionäärid kui ka esmakordsed ostjad endiselt väga nõutud mõned mitte ideaalses seisukorras müüdavad Waterloo medalid.

Veel 2013. aasta märtsis müüdi Waterloo medal 7500 naela eest Lancashire'i anonüümsele erakollektsionäärile & ndash kolm korda oma eeldatavast hinnast.

Aprillis 2015, Waterloo lahingu 200. aastapäeval ja Napoleon Bonaparte & rsquose Prantsusmaa valitsemise lõppemisel, saadi oksjonil 1815. aasta Waterloo medal koos Warwick & amp; Warwickiga 6 195 naela.

Selle au pälvis George Willett, 2. Põhja -Briti kuninglikust dragoonide rügemendist. Tuntum kui Scots Grays, kes jäädvustati Lady Butleri maalile, mille nad olid süüdistanud Waterloos (pildil allpool).

Viimastel aastatel oleme müügil näinud Waterloo medaleid, mille hinnanguline väärtus on & pound1 600 kuni 10 000 naela. Nagu tavaliselt, sõltuvad need arvud suuresti saaja auastmest ja rügemendist.

Kui teil on Waterloo medal või kollektsioon, mida teile meeldib hinnata, oleks meil hea meel kuulda põnevat lugu algse omaniku ja rügemendi taga, kus nad teenisid.

Medali kiireks, täpseks ja tasuta hindamiseks võtke ühendust või helistage 01926 499031 & ndash kõik hinnangud väljastatakse ilma müügikohustuseta.

Kui soovite rohkem teada saada, vaadake meie artiklit Kui palju on minu medalid väärt? giid.

Kõigi müüdavate medalite sirvimiseks külastage meie veebioksjonikataloogi kohe!

WATERLOO MEDAL KOKKUVÕTE

Mis kampaania see oli? Võit Waterloos.

Millal see välja anti? 23. aprill 1816.

Millest ja millest see tehtud on? Hõbedane, läbimõõduga 37 mm (1,5 tolli).

Mille eest seda autasustati? Kampaania teenus

Kes oli abikõlblik? Kõik, kes osalesid lahingutes Ligny's (16. juuni 1815), Quatre Bras (16. juuni 1815) ja Waterloo (18. juuni 1815).

Kui palju autasustati kokku? Toodetud 39 000st 38 500.

Kelle see oli kujundatud? Thomas Wyon, kuningliku rahapaja peagraveerija.

Mis oli nimetamisprotokoll? Saaja nimi, auaste ja üksus jäid veljele muljet avaldama. Tähekujuliste templite seeria täidab ruumi mõlemas otsas.

Mis linti see sisaldab? Karmiinpunane lint mõõtmetega 37 mm ja tumesiniste servadega, mille laius on 7 mm.

Mitu klambrit väljastati? Puudub.

Mida see täna väärt on? Waterloo medalid võivad teenida kuni 10 000 naela sõltuvalt saajast, päritolust ja ajaloost.


Tänapäeval ajaloos: Waterloo lahing

See on unustamatu lugu meeletust marssimisest, äärmuslikust ilmast, jõhkratest võitlustest ja erakordsest julgusest, kes olid sattunud viimasesse suurde lahingusse hobuste, musketi ja kahuriga. –Ajaloolane, Tim Clayton

Mitte kõik

Oli märts 1815 ja Euroopa suurriigid arvasid, et Napoleon ei ohusta enam mandri rahu. Nad olid üle 20 aasta sõda üle elanud ja viibisid nüüd Viinis, pidutsesid, tantsisid, mängisid ja pidasid aeg -ajalt läbirääkimisi tulevase Euroopa kaardi üle.

Küll aga raputasid nad oma lõbust ja üha suurenevatest poliitilistest erimeelsustest välja uudise, et Bonaparte on põgenenud Vahemere Elba saarelt ja teda oodatakse tagasi Prantsusmaale. Liitlastel oli aeg uuesti sadulasse istuda ja ühise vaenlase vastu ühineda.

Käimasoleva sõja pärand

Alates 1790ndate keskpaigast oli Prantsusmaa Euroopas domineeriv jõud. Pärast Prantsuse revolutsiooni 1789. aastal, mis kukutas korrumpeerunud ja autokraatliku Bourboni dünastia, olid Euroopa monarhiad hirmul, et revolutsiooniline nakkus levib.

Nad otsustasid Prantsusmaale tungida, kuid lõpuks pöörasid prantslased eesotsas noore Korsika sõduriga laua. Napoleon Bonaparte on vaieldamatult üks kõigi aegade suurimaid sõjalisi strateegiaid ja just tema juhtimisel tuli Prantsusmaa Euroopat valitsema. Ta joonistas mandri kaardi ümber ja aitas levitada revolutsioonilisi ideid Hispaaniast Poolasse.

Kuid 1812. aastal tegi ta oma suurima vea: tungis Venemaale. Kuigi ta jõudis Moskvasse, oli Napoleon sunnitud külmetaval Vene talvel taanduma ja kaotas suurema osa oma armeest. Tsaar Aleksander I inspireerival juhtimisel ajasid hästi organiseeritud ja varustatud Vene väed prantslased tagasi üle Euroopa.

Napoleoni sõdade lõpp?

1814. aastaks oli Venemaa, Austria, Preisimaa ja Suurbritannia neljakordne liit alistanud prantslased, pagendanud Napoleoni Elbasse ja taastanud Louis XVIII Prantsusmaa troonile. Kui sõda näis olevat lõppenud, läks see Viini, kus toimus kongress Euroopa tulevaste piiride otsustamiseks.

See polnud kerge ülesanne ning püüdes saaki enda ja neid toetanud rahvaste vahel laiali jagada, olid nad peagi tülis. Kuid Napoleoni naasmine Prantsusmaale ja Louis XVIII kukutamine taastas ühtse rinde nelja jõu vahel.

Napoleoni õnnemäng

Kui tema katsed teiste jõududega rahulepingu üle läbirääkimisi pidada ebaõnnestusid, mõistis Napoleon, et ta peab lahinguväljal koalitsiooni alistama, et saada tunnustust oma uuenenud valitsemise kohta Prantsusmaal. Ta ehitas Prantsuse armee uuesti üles ja suundus kirde poole, et astuda vastu liitlasvägedele.

Tema saatus ja Euroopa tulevik otsustatakse väikesel lahinguväljal Belgias. Eepiline lahing peeti vaid 8 km² suurusel alal.

Napoloenil oli väikestes kihlumistes varajane edu, alistades

Mõlemad koalitsiooniväed suutsid aga heas korras taanduda, et võidelda veel üks päev. Üllataval kombel ei suutnud Napoleon anda juhiseid taganevate preislaste kiusamiseks, kuni oli liiga hilja.

Suur kindral või väike kapral nagu paljud teda kutsusid, põdes maovähki ja tema tavalised suurepärased strateegilised instinktid väldivad teda lähipäevil sageli.

Wellington nimetab lööke

Wellingtoni hertsog juhtis liitlaste peamist armeed, mis koosnes tuhandetest Hollandi, Belgia ja Hannoveri vägedest ning Briti diviisidest. Kuna Napoleon pidi lahingut otsima, sai Wellington valida maapinna: Waterloo küla lähedal.

  • asus kõrgele
  • paigutas suurema osa oma vägedest katuseharja taha
  • kindlustas katuseharja nõlval kaks väikest asulat Le Haye Sainte ja Hougoumont, et võimaldada risti põlevaid prantslasi
  • sundis prantslasi ründama katuseharja.

Surmav ühepäevane lahing: 18. juunil 1815

Lahing möllas terve päeva ja sellel oli palju keerdkäike. Ilm oli eelnevatel päevadel kohutav ja tugev vihm muutis lahinguvälja soiseks. See raskendas vägede edasiliikumist, ratsaväe sõitu ja kahurikuulide põrgatamist.

Jalavägi liikus neil päevil tihedates kolonnides, nii et kui tulistamine algas, olid ohvrid kohutavad. Musketirõngad purustasid alati luid, nii et kui teid löödi kätesse või jalgadesse, oli see automaatne amputeerimine, see tähendab, kui jõudsite tagasi jaama.

Inimohvrid olid kohutavad ja 12 tunni jooksul

  • liitlased kaotasid c. 22 000 surnut või haavatut
  • prantslased kaotasid c. 25 000 surnut, haavatut või vangistatud.

Mõlema poole võitlejate kangelaslikkus oli erakordne, kuna nad võitlesid tihedas suitsus ja uskumatus müras. Arusaadavalt oli sellel ajastul enne välitelegraafi ja mobiiltelefone kindralitel väga raske suhelda. Ka hobuste seljas olnud juhid olid teravate laskjate jaoks lihtsad sihtmärgid. Palju sõltus kohalike ülemate initsiatiivist.

Tulemus oli kahtluse all varahommikuni. Pärast Prantsuse jalaväe edusammude ja ratsaväe rünnakute peatamist olid Wellingtoni väed hilisõhtul surve all, eriti kui prantslased lõpuks vallutasid metsikult kaitstud Hougoumonti asula.

Mõlemad pooled ootasid tugevdamist.

  • Napoleon lootis, et mõni päev varem preislasi jälitanud marssal Grouchy saabub koos oma 30 000 tugeva armeega.
  • Wellington ootas kindral Blucheri juhtimisel 50 000 Preisi väge.

Siis ilmus prantslaste tagant ja nende vasakult küljelt välja Blucher. Blucher tervitas Wellingtonit Mein lieber Kamerad! Kvaliteetne asi! Napoleon oli hukule määratud.

Wellingtoni hertsog langetab selle lahinguotsuse hiljem "Lähim asi, mida olete oma elus näinud"

Waterloo pärand

Seekord pagendati Napoleon Atlandi ookeani lõunaosas asuvasse St Helena saarele. Louis XVIII taastati taas Prantsuse troonile ning Venemaa, Austria, Suurbritannia ja Preisimaa joonistasid lõpuks Viinis Euroopa kaardi ümber.

Kaart muutuks drastiliselt 19. sajandi edenedes, kuid pärast Waterloo järge ja 26 aastat kestnud sõja- ja sissesõja lõppu lõid suurriigid kohtumisprotsessi, et arutada mandri olulisemaid küsimusi.

Ehkki 19. sajandil toimus Euroopas palju revolutsioone ja lokaliseeritud sõdu, ei asunud suurriigid kogu maailmajao ulatuslikku konflikti enne õudset sõda aastatel 1914-18.

Meie piirkond sai nime Wellingtoni hertsogi järgi ja loomulikult on linnas Waterloo kai.

The Lõvimägi (Prantsuse keeles: Butte du Lion, valgustatud. “Lion ’s Hillock/Knoll ” hollandlased: Leeuw van Waterloo) on üks mälestisi praeguse Belgia ajaloolise lahinguvälja ümbruses. Insener Jean-Baptiste Vifquain pidas seda pigem liitlaste võidu sümboliks kui ainsa üksikisiku ülistamiseks. (Wikimedia commons)


Alternatiivne ajalugu: mis oleks, kui … Napoleon oleks võitnud Waterloo lahingu?

Napoleon Bonaparte'i viimane võimupakkumine lõppes 18. juunil 1815 Belgias Waterloos toimunud kaotusega Seitsmenda koalitsiooni käest - aga mis oleks, kui ta oleks võitnud? Jonny Wilkes räägib professor Alan Forrestiga sellest, kas Napoleoni võidust Waterloos oleks piisanud märkimisväärse võimule naasmise tagamiseks - või oleks see vaid viivitanud vältimatuga

See konkurss on nüüd suletud

Avaldatud: 22. septembril 2020 kell 10.30

Iga kuu küsib BBC History Revealed ajalooeksperdilt arvamust selle kohta, mis oleks võinud juhtuda, kui mineviku oluline hetk oleks teisiti läinud. Seekord räägib Jonny Wilkes professor Alan Forrestiga sellest, mis oleks võinud juhtuda, kui Napoleon Bonaparte oleks Waterloo lahingus võidukalt välja tulnud

Waterloo lahing oli läbi. Verine lahing. Räpane lahing. Muutuv lahing, kus mõlemad pooled said hoo sisse ja kaotasid ning tulemus oleks võinud minna ükskõik millisele poolele. Päeva lõpuks, 18. juunil 1815, lamasid tuhanded mehed surnuna ja kui suits kustus, vaatas Napoleon Bonaparte võitjana üle lahinguvälja. Tema armee oli ühelt poolt võitnud Wellingtoni hertsogi Briti juhitud vägesid ja teiselt poolt marssal von Blücheri preislasi, tehes seitsmenda koalitsiooni liitlastele tugeva löögi ...

Alates aasta tagasi troonist loobumisest ja pagendusest sai Napoleoni Prantsusmaal võimule naasmine alguse. Kuid sõda polnud kaugeltki lõppenud ja ta pidi otsustama, kuhu edasi suunduda. "Kui Napoleon oleks Waterloos Briti ja Preisi armeedest lahti saanud, oleks ta võinud marssida edasi Brüsselisse," ütleb revolutsioonilise ja Napoleoni -aegse Prantsusmaa ajaloolane professor Alan Forrest. "See oli koht, kus tee ilmselgelt viis."

Kui ta oleks naasnud Prantsusmaale, et kindlustada oma kodupositsioon ja asuda kaitselisemale lähenemisele, võis Napoleon järgmise lahingu edasi lükata. Aastakümnete pikkune revolutsioon, terror ja tema impeeriumi tõus ja langus olid aga riigi kibedalt lõhestanud ja ta ei saanud toetuda kodanikele, kellest paljud jäid ustavaks vabariigile või monarhiale. "Selleks, et olla üldse juht, pidi Napoleon olema sõjajuht." ütleb Forrest. "Ta oli sõjaväest sõltuv."

Rohkem alternatiivset ajalugu

See jättis Napoleonile suured puudused nii enne kui ka pärast Waterloot. Prantsusmaa keisrina kuni aastani 1814 oli ta saanud armee ehitamiseks ja ülalpidamiseks kasutada Euroopa ressursse. Pärast Elba pagulusest naasmist oli tal ainult Prantsusmaa. Kuigi paljud sõdurid jäid talle raevukalt truuks, ei kiirustanud kõik tagasi tulnud keisri juurde kogunema. Napoleonil olid piiratud ressursid ja tema armee kannatas eriti oma ülemate kvaliteedi tõttu. "Eelkõige oli Michel Ney vapper mees, kuid enesekindel ja võis oma väed ilma nõuetekohase kaalutluseta ellu viia," ütleb Forrest.

Liitlasriigid olid vahepeal ühendatud Napoleoni vastu. Kuna ta oli sõjaväekampaania praktiliselt kohe käivitanud, kinnitas ta vaid veendumusi Suurbritannia, Austria, Preisimaa ja Venemaa seas, et kujutab endast ohtu Euroopa julgeolekule ja rahule. Nad ei suutnud kuidagi tema tagasitulekut taluda. Veelgi enam, kättemaksu soov oleks olnud tugev - teised võimud pidasid Napoleoni vastutavaks sõdade venimise ja sadade tuhandete inimeste surma eest.

Napoleon pärast Waterloot

Isegi pärast Waterloo võitu ei oleks Napoleon saanud olla nii solvav kui kunagi varem. "Kui varem oli ta olnud keiser, siis 1815 ei olnud ta seda," ütleb Forrest. "Ta oli ebaseaduslik, ilma juriidilise staatuseta ja sellest hetkest alates oli ta Euroopa uuesti sõtta lasknud." Liitlaste juhitud tohutult suuremad jõud ja nende juhtide diplomaatiline otsus mitte lasta Napoleonil uuesti võimu kehtestada, tähendasid, et nad ei kavatse järeleandmisi teha. "Sõda jätkus kuni Napoleoni lüüasaamiseni," ütleb Forrest.

Pekstud Wellingtoni hertsogil poleks ilmselt olnud mingit osa käimasolevas võitluses Napoleoni vastu. Selle asemel, et tegutseda liitlaste diplomaatilise esindajana - Pariisis ja Viini kongressil - võis poolsaare kampaania korraldaja oma maine rikutud naasta Suurbritanniasse. Paljutõotav poliitiline karjäär, mis oleks võinud viia tema peaministriks saamiseni, kannataks ilma Waterloo võidule järgnenud isamaalise entusiasmi tõusuta.

Suurbritannia prestiiž toetus ka selle lahingu tulemusele. Lüüasaamine võis tähendada, et Suurbritanniat ei võetud nii tõsiselt kui Euroopa maismaal asuvat sõjalist jõudu - kuigi see oleks jäänud kõrgeimaks merejõuks - ning oleks võinud oma mõju järgmistel kõnelustel vähendada. "Neli suurt liitlasväge olid demobiliseerinud suure osa oma armeest aastal 1814. Suurbritannia tegi seda üsna kiiresti," ütleb Forrest. „Riigil puudus rahuajal alaline armee, ta oli mereväest palju rohkem huvitatud ja tal oleks olnud raske taas vägesid koguda. Waterloo oli Suurbritannia viimane hüpe. ”

Isegi kui Suurbritannia roll oleks vähenenud, poleks Napoleonil olnud võimalust pikaajaliseks eduks. Kui Waterloos võidi lüüa kaks armeed, ootasid Forresti sõnul 150 000 austerlast ja suurem venelaste jõud oma järjekorda. Napoleon oleks pidanud seisma lahingu järel lahingus, seitsmenda koalitsiooni teised võimud tulid ja sulgesid end, kuni ta lõpuks kaotas. Rahu võis võtta teistsuguse vormi, kui Waterloo oleks läinud teisiti, kuid Napoleon oli alati kaotajate poolel.

Napoleoni saatus oleks sõltunud sellest, kes ta lõpuks kinni püüdis, ja kui ta 1815. aastal otsustas Suurbritanniale alistuda, oleks see tingitud sellest, et ta uskus, et saab leebemat kohtlemist. He would have had no reason to think that Prussia, Russia or Austria – where his wife and son were living at the imperial court – would treat him benignly. The worst outcome, however, would have been to surrender to the French themselves. “The monarchists wanted Napoleon’s blood. He was a usurper, a traitor to his king – many called for the death penalty.”

Instead of seeing out his days in exile on a remote island, Napoleon could have faced a firing squad.

The real rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte rose from a soldier in revolutionary France to commander of campaigns in Italy and Egypt, seizing power in a coup in 1799 and becoming the country’s leader at the age of 30. In 1804, he declared himself emperor.

A military mastermind, Napoleon seemed close to invincible on the battlefield until his disastrous Russian campaign in 1812, from which he never recovered. Forced to abdicate in 1814, Napoleon was exiled to the Mediterranean island of Elba.

In 1815, he staged a remarkable comeback, returning to France and taking power once more. A coalition of European powers – led by Austria, Prussia, Russia and Britain – formed against him as he prepared to go on campaign. His brief second rule, The Hundred Days, ended with defeat at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815.

Napoleon was forced into exile again, this time on the remote Atlantic island of St Helena.

Professor Alan Forrest is a historian of revolutionary and Napoleonic France, and author of Napoleon, Life, Legacy, and Image: A Biography. He was speaking to freelance writer Jonny Wilkes


Annotation

At the Battle of Waterloo, Dickson (1789–1880) was a corporal in a Scottish cavalry troop. He had enlisted in 1807. His reminiscences of the battle were written down by relatives years later.

Mackenzie Macbride, ed., With Napoleon at Waterloo and other Unpublished Documents of the Waterloo and Pennsular Campaigns, 1911.

“Well, you all know that when I was a lad of eighteen, being a good Scotsman, I joined the Greys, the oldest regiment of dragoons in the British army, and our only Scottish cavalry corps.

“When news came that Napoleon Bonaparte had landed in France, we were sent across to Belgium post-haste, and there had a long rest, waiting for his next move. I remember how the trumpets roused us at four o'clock on the morning of Friday the 16th of June 1815, and how quickly we assembled and fell in!
“Three days' biscuits were served out to us and after long marches—for we did fifty miles that one day before we reached Quartre Bras—we joined the rest of our brigade under Sir William Ponsonby.

“Besides our regiment there were the 1st Royals and the Enniskillens, and we were known as the Union Brigade because, you see, it was made up of one English, one Irish and one Scots regiment.

“On the day before the great fight—that was Saturday, for you know the battle was fought on the Sunday morning, the 18th June—we were marched from Quatre Bras along the road towards Brussels. We thought our Iron Duke was taking us there but no. In a drenching rain we were told to halt and lie down away in a hollow to the right of the main road, among some green barley. Yes, how we trampled down the corn! The wet barley soon soaked us, so we set about making fires beside a cross-road that ran along the hollow in which we were posted. No rations were served that night. As we sat round our fire we heard a loud, rumbling noise about a mile away, and this we knew must be the French artillery and wagons coming up. It went rolling on incessantly all night, rising and falling like that sound just now of the wind in the chimney.

“One thing I must tell you: though there were more than seventy thousand Frenchmen over there, we never once saw a camp-fire burning all the night and until six o'clock next morning. Why they weren't allowed to warm themselves, poor fellows! I don't know. Well, about eleven o'clock that night a fearful storm burst over us. The thunder was terrible to hear. It was a battle-royal of the elements, as if the whole clouds were going to fall on us. We said it was a warning to Bonaparte that all nature was angry at him.

“Around the fires we soon fell asleep, for we were all worn out with our long march in the sultry heat of the day before.

“I was wakened about five o'clock by my comrade MacGee, who sprang up and cried, 'D___ your eyes, boys, there's the bugle!' 'Tuts, Jock!' I replied, 'it's the horses' chains clanking.' 'Clankin?' said he. 'What's that, then?' as a clear blast fell on our ears.

“After I had eaten my ration of 'stirabout'—oatmeal and water—I was sent forward on picket to the road two hundred yards in front, to watch the enemy. It was daylight, and the sun was every now and again sending bright flashes of light through the broken clouds. As I stood behind the straggling hedge and low beech-trees that skirted the high banks of the sunken road on both sides, I could see the French army drawn up in heavy masses opposite me. They were only a mile from where I stood but the distance seemed greater, for between us the mist still filled the hollows. There were great columns of infantry, and squadron after squadron of Cuirassiers, red Dragoons, brown Hussars, and green Lancers with little swallow-tail flags at the end of their lances. The grandest sight was a regiment of Cuirassiers dashing at full gallop over the brown of the hill opposite me, with the sun shining on their steel breastplates. It was a splendid show. Every now and then the sun lit up the whole country. No one who saw it could ever forget it.

“Between eight and nine there was a sudden roll of drums along the whole of the enemy's line, and a burst of music from the bands of a hundred battalions came to me on the wind. I seemed to recognize the 'Marseillaise,' but the sounds got mixed and lost in a sudden uproar that arose. Then every regiment began to move. They were taking up position for the battle. On our side perfect silence reigned but I saw that with us too preparations were being made. Down below me a regiment of Germans was marching through the growing corn to the support of others were were in possession of a farmhouse that lay between the two armies. This was the farm of La Haye Sainte, and it was near there that the battle raged fiercest. These brave Germans! They died to a man before the French stormed it, at the point of the bayonet, in the afternoon. A battery of artillery now came dashing along the road in fine style and passed in front of me. I think they were Hanoverians they were not British troops, but I don't remember whether they were Dutch or German. They drew up close by, about a hundred yards in front of the road. There were four guns. Then a strong brigade of Dutch and Belgians marched up with swinging, quick step, and turned off at a cross-road between high banks on to the plateau on the most exposed slope of our position. They numbered at least three thousand men, and looked well in their blue coats with orange-and-red facings. After this I rode up to a party of Highlanders under the command of Captain Ferrier, from Belsyde, Linlithgow, whom I knew to belong to the Ninety-second or 'Gay Gordons,' as we called them. All were intently watching the movements going on about them. They, with the Seventy-ninth Cameron Highlanders, the Forty-second (Black Watch), and First Royal Scots formed part of Picton's, 'Fighting Division.' They began to tell me about the battle at Quatre Bras two days before, when every regiment in brave old Picton's division had lost more than one-third of its men. The Gordons, they said, had lost half their number and twenty-five out of thirty-six officers. Little did we think that before the sun set that night not thirty men of our own regiment would answer the roll-call.

“I seem to remember everything as if it happened yesterday. After the village clocks had struck eleven the guns on the French center thundered out, and then musketry firing commenced away to the far right. The French were seen to be attacking a farmhouse there in force. It was called Hougoumont.

I noticed, just in front of me, great columns of infantry beginning to advance over the brow of the hill on their side of the valley, marching straight for us. Then began a tremendous cannonade from two hundred and fifty French guns all along the lines. The noise was fearful but just then a loud report rent the air, followed by a rolling cheer on our side, and our artillery got into action. We had one hundred and fifty guns in all but half of these belonged to the Dutch, Germans, or Belgians, who were hired to fight on our side. The French had about ten thousand men more than we had all that day, till, late in the afternoon, the Prussians arrived with forty thousand men to help us. I was now drawn back and joined our regiment, which was being moved forward to the left under better cover near a wood, as the shot and shell were flying about us and ploughing up the earth around. We had hardly reached our position when a great fusillade commenced just in front of us, and we saw the Highlanders moving up towards the road to the right. Then, suddenly, a great noise of firing and hisses and shouting commenced, and the whole Belgian brigade, of those whom I had seen in the morning, came rushing along and across the road in full flight. Our men began to shout and groan at them too. They had bolted almost without firing a shot, and left the brigade of Highlanders to meet the whole French attack on the British left center. It was thought that the Belgians were inclined towards Napoleon's cause, and this must account for their action, as they have shown high courage at other times.

“Immediately after this, the General of the Union Brigade, Sir William Ponsonby, came riding up to us on a small bay hack. I remember that his groom with his chestnut charger could not be found. Beside him was his aide-de-camp, De Lacy Evans. He ordered us forward to within fifty years of the beech-hedge by the roadside. I can seen him now in his long cloak and great cocked hat as he rode up to watch the fighting below. From our new position we could descry the three regiments of Highlanders, only a thousand in all, bravely firing down on the advancing mass of Frenchmen. These numbered thousands, and those on our side of the Brussels road were divided into three solid columns. I have read since that there were fifteen thousand of them under Count D'Erlon spread over the clover, barley, and rye fields in front of our center, and making straight for us. Then I saw the Brigadier, Sir Denis Pack, turn to the Gordons and shout out with great energy, 'Ninety-second, you must advance! All in front of you have given way.' The Highlanders, who had begun the day by solemnly chanting 'Scots wha hae' as they prepared their morning meal, instantly, with fixed bayonets, began to press forward through the beech and holly hedge to a line of bushes that grew along the face of the slope in front. They uttered loud shouts as they ran forward and fired a volley at twenty yards into the French.

“At this moment our General and his aide-de-camp rode off to the right by the side of the hedge then suddenly I saw De Lacy Evans wave his hat, and immediately our colonel, Inglis Hamilton, shouted out, 'Now then, Scots Greys, charge!' and, waving his sword in the air, he rode straight at the hedges in front, which he took in grand style. At once a great cheer rose from our ranks, and we too waved our swords and followed him. I dug my spur into my brave old Rattler, and we were off like the wind. Just then I saw Major Hankin fall wounded. I felt a strange thrill run through me, and I am sure my noble beast felt the same, for, after rearing for a moment, she sprang forward, uttering loud neighings and snortings, and leapt over the holly-hedge at a terrific speed. It was a grand sight to see the long line of giant grey horses dashing along with flowing manes and heads down, tearing up the turf about them as they went. The men in their red coats and tall bearskins were cheering loudly, and the trumpeters were sounding the 'Charge.' Beyond the first hedge the road was sunk between high, sloping banks, and it was a very difficult feat to descend without falling but there were very few accidents, to our surprise.

“All of us were greatly excited, and began crying, 'Hurrah, Ninety-Second! Scotland for ever!' as we crossed the road. For we heard the Highland pipers playing among the smoke and firing below, and I plainly saw my old friend Pipe-Major Cameron standing apart on a hillock coolly playing 'Johnny Cope, are ye wakin' yet?' in all the din.

“Our colonel went on before us, past our guns and down the slope, and we followed we saw the Royals and Enniskillens clearing the road and hedges at full gallop away to the right.
“Before me rode young Armour, our rough-rider from Mauchline (a near relative of Jean Armour, Robbie Burns's wife), and Sergeant Ewart on the right, at the end of the line beside our cornet, Kinchant. I rode in the second rank. As we tightened our grip to descend the hillside among the corn, we could make out the feather bonnets of the Highlanders, and heard the officers crying out to them to wheel back by sections. A moment more and we were among them. Poor fellows! some of them had not time to get clear of us, and were knocked down. I remember one lad crying out, 'Eh! but I didna think ye wad ha'e hurt me sae.'

“They were all Gordons, and as we passed through them they shouted, 'Go at them, the Greys! Scotland for ever!' My blood thrilled at this, and I clutched my saber tighter. Many of the Highlanders grasped our stirrups, and in the fiercest excitement dashed with us into the fight. The French were uttering loud, discordant yells. Just then I saw the first Frenchman. A young officer of Fusiliers made a slash at me with his sword, but I parried it and broke his arm the next second we were in the thick of them. We could not see five yards ahead for the smoke. I stuck close by Armour Ewart was now in front.
“The French were fighting like tigers. Some of the wounded were firing at us as we passed and poor Kinchant, who had spared one of these rascals, was himself shot by the officer he had spared. As we were sweeping down a steep slope on top of them, they had to give way. Then those in front began to cry out for 'quarter,' throwing down their muskets and taking off their belts. The Gordons at this rushed in and drove the French to the rear. I was now in the front rank, for many of ours had fallen. It was here that Lieutenant Trotter, from Morton Hall, was killed by a French officer after the first rush on the French. We now came to an open space covered with bushes, and then I saw Ewart, with five or six infantry men about him, slashing right and left at him. Armour and I dashed up to these half-dozen Frenchmen, who were trying to escape with one of their standards. I cried to Armour to 'Come on!' and we rode at them. Ewart had finished two of them, and was in the act of striking a third man who held the Eagle next moment I saw Ewart cut him down, and he fell dead. I was just in time to thwart a bayonet-thrust that was aimed at the gallant sergeant's neck. Armour finished another of them.“

Our host here pointed out to his little company of intent listeners a print of the well-known picture of the incident which hung on the wall, and of which he was very proud then he continued:

“Almost single-handed, Ewart had captured the Imperial Eagle of the 45th `Invincibles,' which had led them to victory at Austerlitz and Jena. Well did he merit the commission he received at the hands of the Prince Regent shortly afterwards, and the regiment has worn a French Eagle ever since.

“We cried out, 'Well done, my boy!' and as others had come up, we spurred on in search of a like success. Here it was that we came upon two batteries of French guns which had been sent forward to support the infantry. They were now deserted by the gunners and had sunk deep in the mud.

“We were saluted with a sharp fire of musketry, and again found ourselves beset by thousands of Frenchmen. We had fallen upon a second column they were also Fusiliers. Trumpeter Reeves of our troop, who rode by my side, sounded a 'Rally,' and our men came swarming up from all sides, some Enniskillens and Royals being amongst the number. We at once began a furious onslaught on this obstacle, and soon made an impression the battalions seemed to open out for us to pass through, and so it happened that in five minutes we had cut our way through as many thousands of Frenchmen.

“We had now reached the bottom of the slope. There the ground was slippery with deep mud. Urging each other on, we dashed towards the batteries on the ridge above, which had worked such havoc on our ranks. The ground was very difficult, and especially where we crossed the edge of a ploughed field, so that our horses sank to the knees as we struggled on. My brave Rattler was becoming quite exhausted, but we dashed ever onwards.

“At this moment Colonel Hamilton rode up to us crying, 'Charge! charge the guns!' and went off like the wind up the hill towards the terrible battery that had made such deadly work among the Highlanders. It was the last we saw of our colonel, poor fellow! His body was found with both arms cut off. His pockets had been rifled. I once heard Major Clarke tell how he saw him wounded among the guns of the great battery, going at full speed, and with the bridle-reins between his teeth, after he had lost his hands.

“Then we got among the guns, and we had our revenge. Such slaughtering! We sabred the gunners, lamed the horses, and cut their traces and harness. I can hear the Frenchmen yet crying 'Diable!' when I struck at them, and the long-drawn hiss through their teeth as my sword went home. Fifteen of their guns could not be fired again that day. The artillery drivers sat on their horses weeping aloud as we went among them they were mere boys, we thought.

“Rattler lost her temper and bit and tore at everything that came in her way. She seemed to have got new strength. I had lost the plume of my bearskin just as we went through the second infantry column a shot had carried it away. The French infantry were rushing past us in disorder on their way to the rear, Armour shouted to me to dismount, for old Rattler was badly wounded. I did so just in time, for she fell heavily the next second. I caught hold of a French officer's horse and sprang on her back and rode on.

“Then we saw a party of horsemen in front of us on the rising ground near a farmhouse. There was 'the Little Corporal' himself, as his veterans called Bonaparte. It was not till next night, when our men had captured his guide, the Belgian La Coste, that we learned what the Emperor thought of us. On seeing us clear the second column and commence to attack his eighty guns on the center, he cried out, 'These terrible Greys, how they fight!' for you know that all our horses, dear old Rattler among them, fought that day as angrily as we did. I never saw horses become so ferocious, and woe betide the blue coats that came in their way! But the noble beasts were now exhausted and quite blown, so that I began to think it was time to get clear away to our own lines again.

“But you can imagine my astonishment when down below, on the very ground we had crossed, appeared at full gallop a couple of regiments of Cuirassiers on the right, and away to the left a regiment of Lancers. I shall never forget the sight. The Cuirassiers, in their sparkling steel breastplates and helmets, mounted on strong black horses, with great blue rugs across the croups, were galloping towards me, tearing up the earth as they went, the trumpets blowing wild notes in the midst of the discharges of grape and canister shot from the heights. Around me there was one continuous noise of clashing arms, shouting of men, neighing and moaning of horses. What were we to do? Behind us we saw masses of French infantry with tall fur hats coming up at the double, and between us and our lines these cavalry. There being no officers about, we saw nothing for it but to go straight at them and trust to Providence to get through. There were half-a-dozen of us Greys and about a dozen of the Royals and Enniskillens on the ridge. We all shouted, 'Come on, lads that's the road home!' and, dashing our spurs into our horses' sides, set off straight for the Lancers. But we had no chance. I saw the lances rise and fall for a moment, and Sam Tar, the leading man of ours, go down amid the flash of steel. I felt a sudden rage at this, for I knew the poor fellow well he was a corporal in our troop. The crash as we met was terrible the horses began to rear and bite and neigh loudly, and then some of our men got down among their feet, and I saw them trying to ward off the lances with their hands. Cornet Sturges of the Royals—he joined our regiment as lieutenant a few weeks after the battle—came up and was next to me on the left, and Armor on the right. 'Stick together, lads!' we cried, and went at it with a will, slashing about us right and left over our horses' necks. The ground around us was very soft, and our horses could hardly drag their feet out of the clay. Here again I came to the ground, for a Lancer finished my new mount, and I thought I was done for. We were returning past the edge of the ploughed field, and then I saw a spectacle I shall never forget. There lay brave old Ponsonby, the General of our Union Brigade, beside his little bay, both dead. His long, fur-lined coat had blown aside, and at his hand I noticed a miniature of a lady and his watch beyond him, our Brigade-Major, Reignolds of the Greys. They had both been pierced by the lancers a few moments before we came up. Near them was lying a lieutenant of ours, Carruthers of Annandale. My heart was filled with sorrow at this, but I dared not remain for a moment. It was just then I caught sight of a squadron of British Dragoons making straight for us. The Frenchmen at that instant seemed to give way, and in a minute more we were safe! The Dragoons gave us a cheer and rode on after the Lancers. They were the men of our 16th Light Dragoons, of Vandeleur's Brigade, who not only saved us but threw back the Lancers into the hollow.

“How I reached our lines I can hardly say, for the next thing I remember is that I was lying with the sole remnants of our brigade in a position far away to the right and rear of our first post. I was told that a third horse that I caught was so wounded that she fell dead as I was mounting her.

“Wonderful to relate Rattler had joined the retreating Greys, and was standing in line riderless when I returned. You can imagine my joy at seeing her as she nervously rubbed shoulders with her neighbors. Major Cheney (who had five horses killed under him) was mustering our men, and with him were Lieutenant Wyndham (afterwards our colonel) and Lieutenant Hamilton, but they were both wounded. There were scarcely half a hundred of the Greys left out of the three hundred who rode off half an hour before. How I escaped is a miracle, for I was through the thick of it all, and received only two slight wounds, one from a bayonet and the other from a lance, and the white plume of my bearskin was shot away. I did not think much of the wounds at the time, and did not report myself but my poor Rattler had lost much blood from a lance-wound received in her last encounter.

“Every man felt that the honor of our land was at stake, and we remembered that the good name of our great Duke was entrusted to us too but our main thought was, 'What will they say of us at home?' It was not till afterwards that we soldiers learned what the Union Brigade had done that day, for a man in the fighting-ranks sees little beyond the sweep of his own sword. We had pierced three columns of fifteen thousand men, had captured two Imperial Eagles, and had stormed and rendered useless for a time more than forty of the enemy's cannon. Besides, we had taken nearly three thousand prisoners, and, when utterly exhausted, had fought our way home through several regiments of fresh cavalry. That, my friends, is why, from the Prince Regent to the poorest peasant, from the palace to the lowliest cottage, the name of the Union Brigade was honored throughout the land."


Napoleon’s Dreams of Empire

Born August 15, 1769, to a gentry family on the island of Corsica, Napoleon attended a military school in France and joined the artillery service at the age of 16. His strategic skills, personal bravery and political connections allowed him to rise quickly to the rank of general in the tumultuous period of the French Revolution, 1789–1799. On Nov. 9, 1799, he was named “First Consul” of France and consecrated as emperor on December 2, 1804.

Beginning with the Battle of Montenotte in Italy (April 12, 1796) in which he defeated an Allied Austrian-Piedmontese Army, Napoleon established his reputation as a great strategist and commander through a series of campaigns that planted the French flag throughout most of Europe and parts of North Africa and the Mideast. Though he sometimes suffered setbacks and defeats, he became the most feared man in Europe, time and again winning battles against the odds. After he lost much of his Grande Armee on the desolate steppes of Russia in 1812, the French were gradually forced back by a coalition of European armies. On April 6, 1814, Napoleon abdicated and was exiled to live out his life under guard on the island of Elba off Italy.


The Battle of Waterloo

As the French troops advanced, heavy fighting began in the vicinity of Hougoumont. Defended by British troops as well as those from Hanover and Nassau, the chateau was viewed by some on both sides as key to commanding the field. One of the few parts of the fight that he could see from his headquarters, Napoleon directed forces against it throughout the afternoon and the battle for the chateau became a costly diversion. As the fighting raged at Hougoumont, Ney worked to push forward the main assault on the Coalition's lines. Driving ahead, d'Erlon's men were able to isolate La Haye Sainte but did not take it.

Attacking, the French had success in pushing back the Dutch and Belgian troops in Wellington's front line. The attack was slowed by Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Picton's men and counterattacks by the Prince of Orange. Outnumbered, the Coalition infantry was hard-pressed by D'Erlon's corps. Seeing this, the Earl of Uxbridge led forward two brigades of heavy cavalry. Slamming into the French, they broke up d'Erlon's attack. Carried forward by their momentum, they drove past La Haye Sainte and assaulted the French grand battery. Counterattacked by the French, they withdrew having taken heavy losses.

Having been thwarted in this initial assault, Napoleon was forced to dispatch Lobau's corps and two cavalry divisions east to block the approach of the advancing Prussians. Around 4:00 PM, Ney mistook the removal of Coalition casualties for the beginnings of a retreat. Lacking infantry reserves after d'Erlon's failed attack, he ordered cavalry units forward to exploit the situation. Ultimately feeding around 9,000 horsemen into the attack, Ney directed them against the coalition lines west of Le Haye Sainte. Forming defensive squares, Wellington's men defeated numerous charges against their position.

Though the cavalry failed to break the enemy's lines, it allowed d'Erlon to advance and finally take La Haye Sainte. Moving up artillery, he was able to inflict heavy losses on some of Wellington's squares. To the southeast, General Friedrich von Bülow's IV Corps began to arrive on the field. Pushing west, he intended to take Plancenoit before attacking the French rear. While sending men to link up with Wellington's left, he attacked Lobau and drove him out of the village of Frichermont. Supported by Major General Georg Pirch's II Corps, Bülow attacked Lobau at Plancenoit forcing Napoleon to send reinforcements from the Imperial Guard.

As the fighting raged, Lieutenant General Hans von Zieten's I Corps arrived on Wellington's left. This allowed Wellington to shift men to his embattled center as the Prussians took over the fight near Papelotte and La Haie. In an effort to win a quick victory and exploit the fall of La Haye Sainte, Napoleon ordered forward elements of the Imperial Guard to assault the enemy center. Attacking around 7:30 PM, they were turned back by a determined Coalition defense and a counterattack by Lieutenant General David Chassé's division. Having held, Wellington ordered a general advance. The Guard's defeat coincided with Zieten overwhelming d'Erlon's men and driving on the Brussels Road.

Those French units that remained intact attempted to rally near La Belle Alliance. As the French position in the north collapsed, the Prussians succeeded in capturing Plancenoit. Driving forward, they encountered French troops fleeing from the advancing Coalition forces. With the army in full retreat, Napoleon was escorted from the field by the surviving units of the Imperial Guard.


What is the significance of Waterloo?

Alan Forrest, professor of modern history at the University of York, considers whether the importance placed upon the battle is justified.

See konkurss on nüüd suletud

Published: June 17, 2019 at 1:50 pm

When they are examined with the benefit of hindsight, battles are rarely accorded the significance given to them. Few become venerated among a nation’s lieux de mémoire, or contribute to the foundation myths of modern nations. Of the battles of the Napoleonic Wars, it is arguable that Leipzig [the 1813 battle lost to the Allies by French troops under Napoleon] has its place in the rise of German nationalism, even if its real importance was greatly exaggerated and mythologized by 19th-century cultural nationalists. In Pierre Nora’s magisterial study of France, only Bouvines, in 1214 [which ended the 1202–14 Anglo-French War], makes the cut. Waterloo, unsurprisingly, does not figure.

Yet at the time Waterloo was hailed in Britain as a battle different in scale and import from any other of the modern era. It had, it was claimed, ushered in a century of peace in continental Europe. It had brought to a close, in Britain’s favour, the centuries-old military rivalry with France. And it had ended France’s dream of building a great continental empire in Europe, while leaving Britain’s global ambitions intact. If the Victorian age could be claimed as ‘Britain’s century’, it was her victory over Napoleon that had ushered it in. Britain, it seemed, had every reason to celebrate, every reason to claim Waterloo as its own.

But does this really justify the importance that the British attached to this one battle? Waterloo was a decisive encounter that left Napoleon’s army routed and incapable of re-forming, but it did not determine the outcome of the Napoleonic Wars or change the course of history. The Hundred Days were perhaps a stirring military adventure, at least from the French standpoint, but the Waterloo campaign was a mere codicil to what had gone before, to more than 20 years of war. Besides, Napoleon could have won at Waterloo and still lost the campaign: huge Austrian and Prussian forces lay in wait to the east. The outcome had already been decided by the Allied leaders and their diplomats long before the firing began.

Where Waterloo tegi play a greater role was in determining the outcome of the peace negotiations that followed negotiations that were far tougher for the defeated French than those the previous year after Napoleon’s first abdication. Further territory changed hands a huge indemnity was imposed and an army of occupation was imposed on France until that indemnity was paid.

French civilians were made well aware of the scale of Napoleon’s defeat, and of the conviction across Europe that he alone bore full responsibility for the final phase of the war. Just as important, from Britain’s point of view, was the fact that it was now present at the peace negotiations as one of the major players – a country whose army had won a land campaign against Napoleon, and hence was better placed to press for its interests to be protected in the final peace settlement.

That, for Wellington as for the British government, was probably Waterloo’s principal importance, the justification for spilling so much blood, and it contributed to the jubilation that greeted the news of Napoleon’s defeat. Poems and novels celebrated the battle paintings recorded the scene for posterity and across Britain and the Empire the names of Waterloo and its hero were immortalised in cities, suburbs, streets, columns, victory arches and railway stations [although Waterloo Station, which opened in 1848, was only indirectly named after the battle – it was named after Waterloo Bridge (1817), which in turn was named after the battle].

In the weeks that followed, Britons crossed the Channel to stare across the battlefield. The following year, Britons could watch military reviews or attend shows about the battle at William Bullock’s Egyptian Hall in London or in the newly fashionable panoramas that opened across the nation. The British, it appeared, could not have enough of Waterloo. They claimed it as a uniquely British victory a victory for British arms and peculiarly British military values.

Elsewhere in Europe the jury was still out. It was not immediately hailed as a great battle or an iconic moment. There remained an uncertainty about the real significance of Waterloo that is shown by the somewhat mixed memories that it evoked in the countries that had contributed soldiers to the battle.

Of course, the Allies all praised their successful generals and gave thanks for the sacrifice of their men (the level of sacrifice at Waterloo, for a battle that was contained within a single day’s fighting, was quite extraordinarily high: this had been a bloody, bludgeoning encounter between two armies that pounded each other mercilessly for most of the day before the arrival of Blücher’s Prussians in the late afternoon swung the odds irresistibly Wellington’s way).

They named some streets and squares after the battle, and there were a few public monuments – like the Waterloo column in Hanover, or the Waterlooplein in Amsterdam, or (using the name by which Prussians knew the battle) the Belle-Alliance-Platz in Berlin. Waterloo was not forgotten. But it did not hold that central place in the national imagination that it did for 19th-century Britain.

In Holland, for instance, Waterloo was seen as a dynastic triumph for the House of Orange, which was not only restored to the throne after the Napoleonic Wars, but also enjoyed the kudos that came with the annexation of the former Spanish territories of Belgium [they stopped being Spanish-held a century earlier, in 1713]. Waterloo for the Dutch was forever associated with their prince Willem [aka William], who had led part of Wellington’s army and had been wounded, albeit fairly lightly, in the course of the day. The Lion Mound on the battlefield, erected in 1826, is Holland’s memorial to a Dutch hero.

And if Hanover, elevated to a kingdom in 1814, honoured the part played in the battle by the King’s German Legion, across Prussia Waterloo had to take its place in the more general celebration of Blücher and his role in the wars against Napoleon. But Waterloo was no more than a footnote to the battle of the Nations in 1813. It was Leipzig that continued to hold centre stage in the public’s imagination.

As we look around Europe on the Bicentenary of Waterloo, it is impossible not to be struck by the plasticity of public memory, and the degree to which, in each succeeding generation, it is made to reflect current political concerns. Wellington himself manipulated the memory of the battle, and of his own role in it, to help further his political career. By the early 20th century, with a different system of alliances across Europe, it could seem impolitic to celebrate a victory over the French too insensitively.

At the time of the centenary in 1915, the British were eager to stress the courage and gallantry of the French, who had become their allies in the struggle against Germany. Today, allies in a European Union that was created with the express aim of ensuring future peace – neither France nor Germany shows much appetite for celebrating military triumphs won at the other’s expense. Perhaps Britain, too, can now commemorate Waterloo not for the death and destruction it wreaked, but rather for the decades of peace that it heralded across Europe – peace that held for the greater part of a generation until the conflict in the Crimea in the 1850s.

Alan Forrest is the author of Waterloo: Great Battles Series (Oxford University Press). He is professor of modern history at the University of York.

This article was first published by History Extra in June 2015


Vaata videot: IMPERIO NAPOLEÓNICO La Campaña de Rusia La Batalla de Moscova. La Batalla de Berezina