The Waterloo campaign – What was it all about?
Napoleon returns to France and takes power again in a bloodless coup.
A Congress had been convened at Vienna to sort out all of the difficult questions over land rights and borders after such a long war.
France prepares to fight the allies.
Napoleon had secretly managed to march his army of about one hundred and twenty thousand men into an area just south of Charleroi by the night of the 14 June.
By 2pm on 16 June, Blucher however had some 83,000 men and 224 cannon, with which to face Napoleon’s 63,000 men and 230 cannon.
Whilst Blucher and Napoleon fought at Ligny, a battle of encounter was played out at the crossroads at Quatre Bras.
The morning of the 17th June was full of confusion, with no one really sure what the other armies were doing.
Waterloo in 500 words.
Marshal Grouchy had moved slowly north east from Ligny during the afternoon and evening of 17 June, unsure in which direction the Prussians had retreated.
Having pursued the French from the field, the Prussians pushed on all night with their cavalry beating drums and blowing horns to disconcert any attempt to rally the French troops.
The fighting was finally over at Paris but isolated fortresses held out for many months; whilst diplomacy became the order of the day.