The Battle of Waterloo
, fought on Sunday 18 June 1815, was Napoleon Bonaparte
's last battle. His defeat put a final end to his rule as Emperor
of the French
. Waterloo also marked the end of the period known as the Hundred Days
, which began in March 1815 after Napoleon's return from Elba, where he had been exiled after his defeats at the Battle of Leipzig
in 1813 and the campaigns of 1814 in France.
After Napoleon returned to power, many states which had previously resisted his rule formed the Seventh Coalition and began to mobilise armies to oppose him. The first two armies to assemble, close to the French north eastern border, were a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher and an Anglo-allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington. Napoleon chose to attack them in the hope of destroying them before they, with other members of the Seventh Coalition (who were not such an immediate threat), could join in a coordinated invasion of France. The campaign consisted of four major battles - Quatre Bras (16 June), Ligny (16 June), Waterloo (18 June), and Wavre (18 June-19 June) - with Waterloo proving decisive.
It rained heavily overnight on 17 June, so Napoleon delayed giving battle until noon on 18 June to allow the ground to dry out. Wellington's army positioned across the Brussels road on the Mont St Jean escarpment withstood repeated attacks by the French until in the evening they counter-attacked and drove the French from the field. Simultaneously the Prussians — arriving in force — broke through Napoleon's right flank adding their weight to the attack. Losses were heavy on all sides.
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Sir John Moore
(November 13, 1761 – January 16, 1806) was a British
soldier and General.
He was born in Glasgow, the son of John Moore, a doctor and writer, and the older brother of Vice Admiral Sir Graham Moore Graham Moore, (1764 - 1843) . He attended Glasgow High School, but at the age of eleven joined his father and Douglas, the young 16 year old 8th Duke of Hamilton, (1756 - 1799), his father pupil, on a grand tour of France, Italy and Germany, This included a two-year stay in Geneva, where Moore's education continued.
He joined the British Army in 1776 as an ensign in the 51st Foot then based in Minorca. He first saw action in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War as a lieutenant in the 82nd under the 8th Duke of Hamilton. In 1783 he returned to Britain and in 1784 he was elected to Parliament as the Member for Lanark, Selkirk, Peebles and Linlithgow, a seat he held until 1790.
In 1787 he was made Major and joined the 60th briefly before returning to the 51st. In 1791 his unit was assigned to the Mediterranean and he was involved in campaigning in Corsica and was wounded at Calvi. He was given a Colonelcy and became Adjutant-General to Sir Charles Stuart. Friction between Moore and the new British viceroy of Corsica led to his recall and posting to the West Indies under Sir Ralph Abercromby.
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