Why was Wellington Victorious at Waterloo?

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The Battle of Waterloo, took place on the eighteenth June 1815, was a long way from an ensured British triumph. In the expressions of the Duke of Wellington, in his dispatch to London, it was the “closest run thing you at any point found in your life, by God” [1]. For the greater part of the day Wellington’s position appeared to be unsafe and a French triumph was just a single charge, assault or siege away. Similarly as with most fights on this scale, the explanations behind triumph are various.’ However, two of these elements had an a lot more noteworthy impact on the course of the fight than others, they are ‘to be specific’ the landing of the Prussians at the urgent point and the ineptitude of two of Napoleon’s Marshalls. These two elements supplemented and improved different variables that incorporate; the administration of Wellington, the qualities of his military, the oversights of Napoleon, the annihilation of the Imperial Guard and the aftereffect of the skirmishes of Lingy and Quatre Bras. Over the span of this exposition, I will analyze records, histories and personal histories to decide the effect that Wellington had on the Battle of Waterloo To viably look at if Wellington was in charge of triumph at Waterloo, we first need to inspect the other main considerations.

Battle of Waterloo

Amid the Hundred Days Campaign (twentieth March to eighth July 1815) Napoleon’s 280,000 in number French armed force was looked with the joined 800,000 to 1,000,000 men of the countries of the seventh alliance (Britain, Austria, Russia and Prussia). Nonetheless, by the beginning of war on the thirteenth March 1815 just the militaries of Wellington and Blücher (Commander of the Prussian Army), conveyed in Belgium, were prepared to assault France. Their consolidated power, in any case, still dwarfed Napoleon by around 18000 men.’ Despite being a piece of an alliance and cooperating the two militaries had separate lines of supply; Wellington from England by means of Ostend and Blücher from Liege. Napoleon in this way chose to beat his by and large numerical inadequacy by utilization of the Central Position. [2]; Napoleon wanted to center the main part of his powers on the Prussians, while a little segment of his arm held off the British. This strategy relied upon a nearby predominance of numbers at the purpose of choice and incredible strategic arranging. Had this arrangement been executed by Napoleon’s methodology there is no uncertainty that both the British and Prussians would have been crushed. Napoleon had utilized this separation and overcome strategy in different battles. His strategies were refined amid the progressive time frame. Napoleons armed force would move as one, every brigade inside supporting separation of the other. A light mounted force screen would ride ahead, to investigate and decide the adversary’s whereabouts. Subsequent to learning of them, he would choose the best place to strike and educate his fundamental power to draw in, two wings pursued behind that, and behind them, a save of overwhelming rangers and the Imperial Guard. Napoleon would utilize one power to divert the foe at that point construct predominance over another piece of the military and squash it. Every division and regiment likewise had the capacity to follow up on its own, with mounted force, infantry, cannons and an assortment of staff. Napoleon constantly tried to assault an adversary on its flank and guaranteed that in such circumstance “The triumph is in your grasp”. Napoleon’s flank was assaulted at Leipzig, La Routhier and at Waterloo, and in those three fights he was vanquished. Be that as it may, the splendid arrangement was not secure and was destroyed by the inadequacy of Napoleon’s subordinates Ney and Grouchy.

As previously mentioned, one of the primary elements engaged with the associated triumph was the inadequacy of Napoleons Marshals. Napoleons strategies, had they been executed by able fighters, would in all likelihood have worked This, is unmistakably shown in the skirmishes of Quatre Bras and Lingy on the sixteenth June 1815. While the French deliberately won these fights the result of them managed the consequence of the commitment at Waterloo two days after the fact. Napoleon had arranged that while he and 68,000 men would assault the Prussian armed force at Lingy, Marshal Ney and 50,000 men would catch the cross streets at Quatre Bras from the 8000 Prussian protectors and afterward dispatch D’Erlon’s corps along the caught Namur street so as to assault the Prussian back and right flank. Incredibly Marshal Ney bombed in the entirety of his goals; he neglected to take the cross streets, he neglected to send d’Erlon to Napoleon and he neglected to bind Wellington’s powers. Ney had been crushed by Wellington amid the peninsular war and therefore was exceptionally careful and reluctant to submit his powers to the assault. His absence of hostility was a blessing to Wellington as it allowed him to fortify the cross streets with another 30,000 men and 60 guns. When Ney at last propelled his assault, Wellington’s men had increased full control of the cross streets, and Nay endured noteworthy misfortunes because of his dithering. The other real goof made by Marshal Ney concerned the aura of d’Erlon’s Corps. According to the first arrangement d’Erlon had gotten orders from Napoleon to walk to Lingy and fall on the uncovered right flank of the Prussian armed force.

Poor correspondence between Napoleons armed force were a contributing component to why Wellington was successful. d’Erlon’s Corps walked towards the Emperor’s powers, it got counter requests from Marshal Ney and made a beeline for the Battle of Quatre Bras. This single corps of the French armed force would have turned out to be the conclusive component of the two fights this is on the grounds that the British right flank was on limit a solitary French corp could of gotten through and directed the British armed force driven by Wellington. Be that as it may, it was not able participate in the contention in view of hesitation and poor correspondence from Napoleons marshals [3] Had it come to Lingy, the odds of a definitive triumph over the Prussians would have been higher on the grounds that the Prussians would not have possessed the capacity to help Wellington at Waterloo. The Prussian armed force was beaten however not devastated and components of it were still in great request and ready to assault Placenoit on the French ideal amid the Battle of Waterloo. The corps never battled at Quatre Bras in light of the fact that when it came back to the field it was nightfall and battling had halted. Ney requested the corps to come back to Quatre Bras when it was clearly excessively far away to be of any utilization to him that day and it appears that he gave the request amid an attack of anger. [4] The issue over d’Erlon’s corps isn’t the main case of Ney’s glaring inadequacy amid the battle. At the Battle of Waterloo Ney requested the French mounted force to charge the British lines, he did this as he trusted that Wellington was going to pull back yet it ended up being a deadly blunder of judgment. Ney requested the mounted force to charge without the help of the gunnery and the British reacted by shaping infantry squares bolstered by cannons batteries. The 9,000 French rangers charged the squares multiple times and were each time spurned with overwhelming misfortunes. Amid each charge the British heavy weapons specialists took shelter in the infantry squares in this way surrendering their gun to the foe. The French anyway neglected to exploit this by not spiking the gun with nails and rendering them pointless. [5] This strategy if fruitful would have influenced the fight as cost the rangers beyond a reasonable doubt as on consequent charges and withdraws, they were influenced horrendously by grape shot from these firearms. Ney’s ineptitude in requesting these charges was noted by Napoleon’s head of Staff Marshal Soult, “he [Ney] is trading off us as he did at Jena”. [6] This demonstrates it was not simply misfortune or a terrible day for Ney and that he had been reliably blameworthy of deadly mistakes, his direction and goofs unquestionably added to British triumph. From here, he would serve in a decent limit in many significant fights amid the Prussian battle of 1806/7 against Prussia and Russia, regularly being a flanking corps leader. Be that as it may, he wasn’t known for being a quality authority. Napoleon himself said that Ney was “excessively shameless, too inept to be in any way ready to succeed” and that “he was useful for a direction of 10,000 men, yet past that he was out of his profundity.” The ten thousand men is a harsh size for a French division as a corps could number from twenty to forty thousand men relying upon crusade prerequisites and misfortunes. Past the “improper and doltish” remark, the remark around ten thousand men is by all accounts best. He has been depicted as a perfect infantry division leader, frequently driving from the front with the men instead of being reasonable and driving from behind a couple of lines of infantry.

Marshal Grouchy was an unequivocal factor in Napoleons demise. After the Battle of Lingy Napoleon gave Marshal Grouchy direction of 33,000 men and requested him to pursue the Prussians and to keep them from reaching the Duke of Wellington. Grumpy neglected to do this while he figured out how to pursue the Corps of General Thielmann he lost contact with the fundamental Prussian power that was walking to the aid of Wellington. His second flaw was that once he heard the guns shooting originating from Waterloo he didn’t lead his men to the field. The purpose behind Grouchy not to walk to Waterloo was on the grounds that he thought it was the French guns pounding the British. Had he done as such his 33,000 men would have absolutely enabled Napoleon to have crushed Wellington before the arrival of the Prussians along these lines counterbalancing Grouchy’s prior bumble. Rather Grouchy battled against and crushed Thielmann at Wavre while the skirmish of Waterloo was in progress. The clash of Wavre was

Because of the ineptitude of Napoleon’s Marshals the Prussian armed force could touch base at the field of Waterloo and once there they demonstrated a fundamental factor in Wellington’s triumph. The Prussian armed force comprised of around 50,000 men and regardless of whether just 50% of these achieved Wellington they would tip the numerical parity to support him. Wellington was aware of how vital these men would be and expressed that he would possibly give fight whenever guaranteed something like one Prussian corps in help. [7] Wellington’s alert turned out to be an exceptionally shrewd move as at the vital phase of the fight, while his inside was hard squeezed by Ney’s mounted force, the Prussian development protect told by General Bülow caught the town of Placenoit on the French right. By doing this they compromised Napoleon’s line of withdraw and constrained him to occupy troops to the town so as to hold off the Prussian development. This redirection implied that Napoleon couldn’t furnish Ney with the troops that he was asking for, “Troops, where do you anticipate that me should get them? Do you anticipate that me should make them?” [8], This reasonable proof that in any event Napoleon felt the requirement for men and comprehended that he couldn’t bear to lose any-and the critical of numerical predominance in this fight. This backings the Prussians were vital. The Emperor shouted to his associatas Ney’s urgent demand came in. Ney had failed to crush the British with his mounted force charges and now when he at long last got the opportunity to devastate Wellington he and Grouchy’s prior failings caused issues down the road for them. Had Ney and Grouchy not been uncouth amid the Battles of Quatre Bras and Lingy there would have not been a lack of troops and Wellington would have effectively been beaten. It was a full thirty minutes previously Napoleon yielded and requested the Imperial monitor to assault the British as Ney had asked. Nonetheless, the postponement, which could be rebuked on Napoleon for not understanding how urgent the circumstance was for Wellington. It can along these lines be said that had it not been for the entry of the Prussians at this key crossroads the Imperial Guard would have gone into the shred before and cleared the British from the field.

Napoleon was not in the correct mood to battle a fight. Napoleon was experiencing stomach malignancy and he hadn’t rested in 24 hours. Tiredness enabled Napoleon to commit a few errors that added to his thrashing. The Russian battle gave the primary genuine proof of the sovereign’s declining wellbeing. The night prior to the Battle of Borodino ( in Russia), Napoleon got a terrible bug, and this thusly set off an assault of dysuria, a bladder condition. Specialist Testifier, his own doctor, noticed that Napoleon had an awful cough and was experiencing difficulty relaxing. The specialist noted different manifestations too. The head’s legs were swollen, his heartbeat was sporadic, and he had occasional shuddering fits. Napoleon himself grumbled to his valet of feeling debilitated—a startling affirmation for somebody who once in a while conceded any sort of shortcoming. Napoleon’s disease may have influenced his perspectives. He dismissed Marshal Louis Nicholas Davout’s recommendation that they outmaneuver the Russian powers, picking rather for a bland and wicked frontal ambush. Generally Napoleon was detached, even lazy, at Borodino, apparently increasingly keen on nursing his virus. J.F.C Fuller references General Caulaincourt’s depiction of the Emperor, “When he had a thought embedded in his mind, the Emperor was diverted by his very own illusion”[9], to help his portrayal of a man who was at the pinnacle of strategic and key arranging, for instance the utilization of his Central Position plan amid the battle, yet who was so settled by his set arrangement that he couldn’t adjust it as it turned out badly because of the failings of his subordinates. It is likewise important that Napoleon was in charge of the arrangement of his key subordinate marshals who fizzled him. The arrangement of these men proposes a genuine absence of judgment on the Emperors part. Nonetheless, the Marshals that he selected to these positions were the men who were accessible to him, he couldn’t name splendid and immaculate Marshals in light of the fact that no men of this gauge were accessible. Napoleon’s most noteworthy screw up was to grievously under gauge the capacities of the Duke of Wellington and the British Army. On the morning of the fight Napoleon’s critical Chief of Staff, Marshal Soult, recommended that Grouchy ought to be reviewed to the military. Napoleon reacted by disclosing to Soult that; “since you have all been beaten by Wellington, you believe he’s a decent broad. I reveal to you Wellington is an awful broad, the English are terrible troops, and this undertaking is just having breakfast” [10]. In this statement it is conceivable to see the express scorn and disdain in which Napoleon held the British. It is additionally affirming Fuller’s declaration that the Emperor was beguiling himself; he couldn’t see the criticalness in Wellington’s triumphs amid the Peninsular War.

Napoleon submitted his French Imperial protect at 19:00. The conclusive snapshot of the Battle of Waterloo was the repugnance of the French Imperial Guard at 19:00. Had it not been for the half hour delay while Napoleon managed the Prussian danger to Plancenoit. The Guard would have been effortlessly ready to crush through the British focus and open the way to Brussels. Be that as it may, when the Grenadiers and Chausseurs of the Imperial Guard pushed ahead in two incredible sections the British had been strengthened and were prepared and hanging tight for them. The gatekeepers progressed up the inclines of the edge of Mont-Saint-Jean was checked by the roaring of the British big guns. In the way of the Imperial Guards lay the British Guards Brigade who according to Wellingtons orders were resting to shield them from the adversary gun discharge. When the French Guards were in close point-clear range Wellington gave the request, “presently Maitland, presently’s your time” [16]. The British Guards stood up and poured an overwhelming volley of flame into the adversary. The incomprehensible at that point occurred; the monitor halted and started to fall back. Now in an enlivened demonstration of authority Wellington rode forward and waved his cap noticeable all around. The British line at that point sprang forward in to a knife charge and the French Guard, who had at no other time been vanquished, turned and withdrew down the incline. The annihilation of the Guards was the conclusive snapshot of the fight since it sent frenzy through the positions of the French armed force, “La Garde recule, Sauve qui peut. [The protect withdraws, spare yourself on the off chance that you can.]” [17] Was the cry that resounded through the French armed force. The thrashing of the first class troops of the military annihilated the resolve of the standard French officers and combined with seeing a British General development it completed their will to battle on and the fight plummeted in to add up to defeat. Napoleon endeavored to rally his military around an arrangement of the Old Guard, the tip top of the tip top, however it was futile, and he before long joined the band of outlaws leaving 48,000 French and 24,000 unified troops murdered, injured or missing on the field of Waterloo.

The Final purpose behind British triumph was the quality, nature and strategies of the troops under the order of Wellington. The British infantry strategies of the time empowered the officers endure and overcome the French. For instance, the utilization of the “thin redline”, an arrangement in which the infantry was requested into lines two men thick, implied that the British line regiment could more than once fire into the French section. that was multiple times more noteworthy [18] than the French who were conveyed in lines three men profound. The expanded load of flame expanded the setbacks that could be caused by a solitary volley and positively added to the annihilation of the Imperial Guard. Amid the French mounted force assaults the British foot regiments shaped themselves in to a square development. This demonstrated about outlandish for the French mounted force to break into and empowered the British focus to endure the ambush. The British infantry were additionally famous for their apathy and unfaltering quality even with what appeared to be difficult chances. For instance, the valiant protection of the Chateau of Hougoumont by the Coldstream and Scots Guards. The 2000 men who guarded this Chateau could hold out against an assault by around 10,000 French troops. The troops of the King’s German Legion additionally exhibited comparable strength with all due respect of La Haye Saint, just being launched out from the ranch subsequent to coming up short on ammo. These demonstrations guard not just exhibit the nature of the troops under Wellingtons order yet additionally their duty to their target. The aloofness of the British troops likewise empowered them to withstand the horrible conditions in the British regimental squares [19] amid the French mounted force charges and therefore empowered the entire armed force to stand firm and win the fight. Wellington was likewise by and by exceptionally courageous, and this propelled his men. At the Battle of Vitoria in 1813 he by and by drove a Column of infantry against the French focus [15] and at Waterloo he situated himself underneath an elm tree on the cross streets on the Mont-Saint-Jean edge. By putting himself in close to home risk he roused his men to stand firm against the French surge and at last win the fight. Wellingtons authority was a focal factor in the quality of the British armed force. Wellington had stayed undefeated and had delivered overwhelming annihilations on the French incorporating Salamanca in 1812(11). He was extremely all around regarded by his men because of the way that he demonstrated an authentic worry for their lives; he is accounted for to have shed genuine tears at loss reports from Badajoz.[12] This combined with the way that at Waterloo he sent his men on the invert of the incline of Mont-Saint-Jean and requested them to rests, to shield them from gun shoot, implied that his men had a solid regard for him and realized that he would not squander their lives {13] They were likewise certain about his capacities as a General and were along these lines exceedingly eager to tail him into fight. Wellington was an ace of the cautious fight and in a perfect world suited to direction at Waterloo. J. F. C. Fuller portrays Wellington’s strategies being based around presence of mind, “when conditions requested judiciousness, he was reasonable, and when they didn’t, he could strike like a jolt” [14]. Fuller likewise portrays how Wellington would “urge the foe to assault, and when he was in disarray… he assaulted him thusly” [14]. Wellington utilized this strategy to incredible impact at Waterloo when the British Guards Brigade spurned the French Imperial Guard. The volley of concentrated fire that ended the French and caused disarray was followed up by Wellington riding out before his men and waving his cap to arrange a general assault. Pioneers who will do this are generally more fruitful than the individuals who are definitely not. Napoleon, he came up short on the basic presence of mind that Wellington conveyed to the front line. This clarifies why the day went to support Wellington, he was not bamboozled and could adjust when things turned out badly dissimilar to Napoleon.

Taking everything into account, I believe that the initiative of Wellington was halfway in charge of the unified triumph: his capacity to investigate a circumstance and landscape enabled him to rapidly figure the best strategies, for instance the British Heavy Cavalry assault was phenomenal for the French, who at that point needed to invest energy improving D’Erlon’s corps. This was because of the invert slant strategy, and Wellington was the person who implemented this strategy since he had officially considered the territory thus knew where the best place for every corp was. Wellington additionally put extraordinary accentuation on ensuring his rangers was all around prepared – much like those under him – and this order ensured that they constantly framed squares when advised to, much like in Ney’s mounted force charge. This control can be stressed by contrasting it with the control of the French – Marshall Ney was appeared to not have been extremely all around trained as he didn’t pursue Napoleon’s requests at the clash of Ligny; this fight would’ve won the war, in this manner underscoring the significance of order in fight. In any case, I imagine that there were a lot more factors which, when assembled, are increasingly in charge of the associated triumph at Waterloo. Ney was truly in charge of the unified triumph: one, since he didn’t bolster his rangers assault with an infantry or mounted guns, which means it was only a ‘misuse of troops’; two, since he caused the botched chance at Ligny. Napoleon additionally postponed the beginning of the fight, giving time for Wellington to consummate his resistances and for Blucher’s military to arrive. This proposes the French heads ought to be faulted, not that Wellington ought to be credited, and maybe the fortunes of the tempest that delivered these circumstances empowered Wellington to have favorable position. The most imperative factor, as I would see it, was the Prussians. This expanded the extent of the partners by 50,000, making them considerably more dominant and compromising. It likewise empowered the partners to assault the French on the two sides, prompting the French Imperial Guard withdrawing. The Prussians additionally expanded the adequacy of any unified assault because of the sheer number of them. Therefore, I trust that Waterloo would not have been won without the Prussians.


  1. http://www.threehundredwords.com/2009/04/nearest-run-thing-you-ever-saw.html (8/02/2013).
  2. DVD: The War File; The History of Warfare; The Battle of Waterloo (Cromwell Productions Ldt, 1992).
  3. DVD: The War File; The History of Warfare; The Battle of Waterloo (Cromwell Productions Ldt, 1992).
  4. J.F.C. Fuller, Decisive Battles of the Western World: From the defeat of the Spanish Armada to Waterloo (London, Cassel & Co, 1955), p. 513.
  5. Fuller, P. 530-531
  6. Fuller, P.  531
  7. DVD: The War File; The History of Warfare; The Battle of Waterloo (Cromwell Productions Ldt, 1992).
  8. Fuller, P. 533
  9. Fuller, P. 492 (referenced to the memoirs of Caulaincourt)
  10. Longford, P. 547
  11. http://www.nam.ac.uk/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/britains-greatest-general/duke-wellington (27/01/2013)
  12. http://www.nam.ac.uk/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/britains-greatest-general/duke-wellington (27/01/2013)
  13. DVD: The War File; The History of Warfare; The Battle of Waterloo (Cromwell Productions Ldt, 1992).
  14. Fuller, P. 493
  15. http://www.nam.ac.uk/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/britains-greatest-general/duke-wellington (27/01/2013)
  16. DVD: The War File; The History of Warfare; The Battle of Waterloo (Cromwell Productions Ldt, 1992).
  17. DVD: The War File; The History of Warfare; The Battle of Waterloo (Cromwell Productions Ldt, 1992).
  18. Fuller. P. 493
  19. Christer Jorgensen, Great Battles: Decisive Conflicts that have Shaped History (Bath, Parragon Books Ltd, 2007), p. 169


  1. Charles MacFarlane and the Reverend Thomas Thomson, The Comprehensive History of England. Civil, Military, Religious, Intellectual and Social. Volume IV (London, Blackie and Son, 1872).
  2. J.F.C. Fuller, Decisive Battles of the Western World: From the defeat of the Spanish Armada to Waterloo (London, Cassel & Co, 1955).
  3. Christer Jorgensen, Great Battles: Decisive Conflicts that have Shaped History (Bath, Parragon Books Ltd, 2007).
  4. DVD: The War File; The History of Warfare; The Battle of Waterloo (Cromwell Productions Ldt, 1992).
  5. http://www.nam.ac.uk/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/britains-greatest-general/duke-wellington (27/01/2013).
  6. http://www.britishbattles.com/waterloo/waterloo-june-1815.htm (27/01/2013).
  7. Elizabeth Longford, Wellington the Years of the Sword (London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson,1969).
  8. http://www.threehundredwords.com/2009/04/nearest-run-thing-you-ever-saw.html (8/02/2013).

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