Waterloo

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jeaguer
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Waterloo

Postby jeaguer » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:49 am

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As we come to the bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo ,a lot of rubbish can be expected
as far as I can judge , the whole campaign was a succession of fumble
the Allies were caught by surprise , they were two days late regrouping their forces ,
it resulted in the Prussians and British /Dutch/ German armies having Napoleon between them
the French staff work was very ordinary , with not a little bit of animosity between the marshals ,
Ney wanted to smash the British , got into a sulk and did very little , missing the opportunity to bag the Prussians which had not reunited all their troops yet around Ligny
Napoleon turning toward quatre bras where the British were assembly moved slowly ,Wellington having learned of the Prussian set back decided to withdraw rather than be defeated
he took a good defensive position atward the road to Bruxelles , gathered most of his available troops and begged Blucher to come to him .

Blucher was no shrinking violet , he was famous for his aggressive spirit ,he disregarded Gneisenau advice to let the British hang and moved toward Waterloo ,leaving a corps to cover his difficult march
the strong French cavalry performed badly in reconnaissance , they thought the Prussians were moving East when in fact they were moving North West
Grouchy with a third of the French troops moved slowly in the wrong direction , he disregarded vital information for three hours ,
then ignored his staff officers entreaty to march to the sound of the guns toward what was obviously a great battle

The battle started late , there were some reasons for it but the French seems to have been a bit slack and the first fights were on the Western side ,
while on the Eastern side the Prussian cavalry did a great job of occupying the space between the two allied , disrupting communications between the two widely separated French Armies and insuring that Wellington and Blucher could exchange messages , a British staff officer went to the Prussian to ensure better co ordination
by the middle of the afternoon , Napoleon launched massive attack on Wellington on the Eastern side of his position ,
the British artillery was silenced by a lack of powder ( supply wagons had not arrived ) with the French cavalry roaming the battlefield pretty much at will ,the infantry had to form squares to kept the horsemen away but it made them sitting duck for the numerous French squirmishers
it also made them a choice target for the French artillery which , finally got in its stride and were cutting men by the row
as the pounding went on late afternoon , a last push was ordered , the guard went in , the British held by their fingernails
by then the Prussian moved in force , Napoleon had no reserves to give
his whole Army was rolled like a carpet .
as night fell , it was a very bloody victory , it came close to be a defeat

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