The Battle of Waterloo and its strategic context

An interesting perspective, but I’m not certain that a French victory at Waterloo would have had the same result if they got as far as Brussels.



The Battle of Waterloo is a military victory well worth commemorating, even celebrating. The brilliant generalship of the Duke of Wellington and the fighting skill of his coalition army (with its German, Belgian and Dutch as well as British troops) together with their Prussian allies achieved a famous victory. It deserves its place in the historical memory of the Army and the country, as well as providing a fine example of multinational European cooperation. The events of 18 June 1815 and the few days preceding it provided a fitting finale for the Napoleonic Wars. There is always a need, however, to combine attention to individual battles with awareness of the wider war within which they had their context. For Britain, the Battle of Waterloo was the culmination of a successful maritime strategy – indeed, the road to Waterloo went through Trafalgar.

British strategy in the Napoleonic wars…

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