200 years since The Battle of Waterloo

June 18, 2015 at 4:18 PM

A day can decide the future of nations. June 18 1815 was such a day.

The ferocious battle that was Waterloo stands out as one of the most critical historically, and interesting tactically.

British newspaper The Telegraph released an enthralling series of articles to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle, here is an excerpt from the introduction:

The morning of June 18 1815 saw 180,000 men, 60,000 horses and 500 pieces of artillery crammed into 2½ sq miles of Belgian countryside. In the nine frantic hours that followed, a quarter-century of central European warfare was brought to a close, leaving more than 44,000 dead, dying and wounded on the field. It was an extraordinary event.

Waterloo may have been “the nearest run thing you saw in your life” – as the Duke of Wellington famously described it – but it was also the turning point in the history of modern Europe, bringing Napoleon Bonaparte’s rampage across the continent to an end and ushering in one of the most peaceful centuries of history.

Louis Dumoulin - Marechal Ney à Waterloo

Louis Dumoulin – Marechal Ney à Waterloo

This two minute video sums up the stakes and main events of the battle:

How the Battle of Waterloo was won

For more detail there is also a fantastic timeline of events in “liveblogging” style that narrates the events of the day as they unfolded. The Battle of Waterloo, as it happened on June 18, 1815

For the historian, here is the order of battle detailing unit, commander, ranks and materiel.

The lessons from Waterloo are useful today, the valour displayed timeless.

William Sadler - Battle of Waterloo

William Sadler – Battle of Waterloo

Lady Butler - Quatre Bras 1815

Lady Butler – Quatre Bras

 ‘Next to a battle lost, the greatest misery is a battle gained.’
— Duke of Wellington Arthur Wellesley