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Old November 18th, 2016, 07:09 AM   #41

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He could have beaten the Anglo-Dutch and Prussians. He would have lost to the Russians and Austrians though or the next British Prussian effort.
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Old November 18th, 2016, 08:55 AM   #42
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For Wellington , Waterloo had two benefits : possible victory if reinforcements arrived, and at worst holding Boney up with attritional losses. Napoleon could not afford to lose a man, yet he sent the best he had into the meat grinder that was Waterloo. With solidly defended redoubts across the main battlefield , and with an inability to use his guns to their full effect, it was a deathtrap to an engaging foe. Even if he had taken the redoubts it would have been at a terrible cost, and with an approaching foe, Wellington would have simply fallen back in good order to established positions. It is unlikely that Napoleon would have pursued him vigorously, risking having a foe to both front and rear and moving away from one of his primary targets, Brussels.

The real benefit to Napoleon? The chance to beat the one general who had confounded him more than other; the other great commander of the age , Arthur Wellesley. I think Napoleon knew he ultimately would be beaten, but hoped that if he could give a few nations a bloodied nose then he might get to keep his throne. He was also a man who loved glory, and loved a challenge; wanted to pit his wits against formidable foes and receive all the accolades when he emerged triumphant. Waterloo was also a great chance to break the unbeaten record of the man who was the primary cause of the loss of his empire.

If Napoleon had won? Then he would have been beaten by the Austrians. Or the Prussians. Maybe the Spanish, perhaps the next British army, the Russians, Germans to a combination of them. The rest of Europe would not negotiate and would not cease attacking the French until Napoleon surrendered or was killed. Napoleon's biggest weakness was that he couldn't grasp the fact that whatever he did he was hated by all of Europe and not well supported by his own countrymen, which is unsurprising when you consider how much the youth of France had been destroyed b with his military ambitions.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 04:28 AM   #43

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I think his best chance in the campaign was at Ligny. Completely crushing the Prussian Army (perhaps if Ney hadn't ordered D'Erlon's Corps back) would have also necessitated a British retreat, since Wellington based his war plan on combining with Blucher.

This would have probably led to a withdrawal from the Continent (for now, since the Brits' supply Base was at Ostend instead of Amsterdam), allowing Boney to claim victory in that campaign. However, with 350,000 Russians and Austrians pouring across Germany (compared to his 100,000 ish after two battles and Rapp's 20k) could only have one result- Leipzig.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 04:33 AM   #44

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Quote:
Originally Posted by paranoid marvin View Post
For Wellington , Waterloo had two benefits : possible victory if reinforcements arrived, and at worst holding Boney up with attritional losses. Napoleon could not afford to lose a man, yet he sent the best he had into the meat grinder that was Waterloo. With solidly defended redoubts across the main battlefield , and with an inability to use his guns to their full effect, it was a deathtrap to an engaging foe. Even if he had taken the redoubts it would have been at a terrible cost, and with an approaching foe, Wellington would have simply fallen back in good order to established positions. It is unlikely that Napoleon would have pursued him vigorously, risking having a foe to both front and rear and moving away from one of his primary targets, Brussels.

The real benefit to Napoleon? The chance to beat the one general who had confounded him more than other; the other great commander of the age , Arthur Wellesley. I think Napoleon knew he ultimately would be beaten, but hoped that if he could give a few nations a bloodied nose then he might get to keep his throne. He was also a man who loved glory, and loved a challenge; wanted to pit his wits against formidable foes and receive all the accolades when he emerged triumphant. Waterloo was also a great chance to break the unbeaten record of the man who was the primary cause of the loss of his empire.

If Napoleon had won? Then he would have been beaten by the Austrians. Or the Prussians. Maybe the Spanish, perhaps the next British army, the Russians, Germans to a combination of them. The rest of Europe would not negotiate and would not cease attacking the French until Napoleon surrendered or was killed. Napoleon's biggest weakness was that he couldn't grasp the fact that whatever he did he was hated by all of Europe and not well supported by his own countrymen, which is unsurprising when you consider how much the youth of France had been destroyed b with his military ambitions.
I agree with most of your fantastic post, but consider the following. Boney came back to a hero's welcome, and the French probably detested the Bourbons more than they were sick of him. He was also a national icon, a symbol of France. Regardless how insurmountable the odds, I think the French were ready to fight. Exhausted, mind you, but willing to follow their leader. Boney could not have won even a negotiated peace, the abdication was bound to happen for the good of his people. The problem with respect to support was the elite- Fouchè was still active in France, and still conspiring with the enemy. Boney was forced to keep him on board, but it came back to bite his chances of a peaceful retirement, however slim they were.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 04:36 AM   #45
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I agree with most of your fantastic post, but consider the following. Boney came back to a hero's welcome, and the French probably detested the Bourbons more than they were sick of him. He was also a national icon, a symbol of France. Regardless how insurmountable the odds, I think the French were ready to fight. Exhausted, mind you, but willing to follow their leader. Boney could not have won even a negotiated peace, the abdication was bound to happen for the good of his people. The problem with respect to support was the elite- Fouchè was still active in France, and still conspiring with the enemy. Boney was forced to keep him on board, but it came back to bite his chances of a peaceful retirement, however slim they were.
Not quite true, Napoleon received an enthusiatic welcome from some, but his support was far from universal.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 05:53 AM   #46

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Fair enough.... I'll check my sources
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Old January 7th, 2017, 06:23 AM   #47
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Fair enough.... I'll check my sources
He definitely had many (how many> hard to say but i wouldl guess a minority )

The Bourbons had been extremely awful,. they just gave offence left righting centre. They had economic problems (the empire was no longer supporting France) so they cut the army size and cut pensions and were very slow paying those of had pay and cut that as well, So the lower levels of the Army and returned POWs were every strongly bonapartist. Higher officials, generals, often fence sitters, and the rising notary class that was a strong supporters of the empire as a whole rejected his return.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 06:42 AM   #48
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Napoleon made a big mistake (and yet again showed poor judgement) leaving his army to travel back to Paris to rally political support. As is always the case with politics, you're only popular when you're winning, and Waterloo was a crushing defeat. If he'd stayed with his troops and marched back to palace, he could have used a show of force to -perhaps- 'encourage' his rivals in Paris to get behind him and launch a defence of the capital. But it was all a waste of time, as all the ensuing battles, all the countless deaths and almost inevitable defeat would have not been for the benefit of Francebbut for the survival of one man - Napoleon.

A sad end for a brilliant , charismatic general , but a man for whom emperor was a step too far.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 02:59 AM   #49

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Firstly the name of the battle would be different, likely the battle of Mont saint Jean or the Belle Alliance.
A Napoleon's victory means less tactical errors and also one more tactical masterpiece comparable to Austerlitz.

Napoleon is in good form, he slept very well and his hemmoroids ans stomach don't make him suffer today, he will not take Laudanum too.
His flair is still intact, he guessed the plan of Bluecher and Wellesley, he decided the day before not to remind Grouchy despite reviews of his generals.He knows that time is against him and decided to finish quickly despite the rain and the mud.
Doesn't he have the best Army of the world?
He knows that his strong defensive position constrains Wellesley to stagnation and he decides to take advantage of it.

-1/ The attack of diversion to Hougomont of the brigade Bauduin (3,030 men) begins at 10 instead to 11.30 and with less reinforcements.
After they have repulsed the Nassauvian soldiers from the wood in the south of Hougomont, French don't insist against the strong fortified farm, Napoleon finding that Wellesley doesn't send any reinforcements.
Therefore most part of the Reille's corps is available for another actions.

2/ The grande batterie (80 guns) begins its bearing at 11.30 instead of 13.00 in real history.
As in real history the Anglo Dutch brigade Bylandt suffers heavy casualties because it's very exposed, the other allied troops suffer much less because they are protected behind the crest.
At 12.00 the big and decisive attack in the centre begins.
As in real history the 1st Corp of D'Erlon attacks La Haye Sainte and Picton's positon, supported on its left flank by cavalry (1 or 2 brigades).
Division Quiot in charge of the attack of the Haye Sainte is reinforced by artillery of the reserve, this allow it to use a combined attack against the 2d battalion of the King's German Legion (Major Baring).
The attack in the centre ,also, involves the 4th Army Corps of Lobau against the position of Alton on the left wing of the Haye Sainte, reinforces by one division of the Reille Army Corps and preceded by the same powerful charge of cavalry than in real history (Ney, Kellerman) reinforces by lancers.
Imparable.
Click the image to open in full size.

-3/ Despite intervention of the cavalry of Uxbridge and a fierce resistance of Picton who dies as in real history, the situation quickly becomes desperate.
The allies are forced to face the thread of cavalry which made their defensive edge terribly vulnerable to the artillery and infantry fire that follow and support the cavalry.
At 13.00 La Haye Sainte Submitts to the combined attack of the infantry and the artillery of Quiot and the Picton's Division is in big difficulty faced to the attack of the divisions Donzelot and Marcognet, Papelotte submits too to Durutte .
A 13.30 Wellesley launch his famous quote "give the night or Prussians",😨 but unfortunately for him, it's too soon, the night fall only around 20.30 and Blucher is still far away from the battlefield.
The situation is without issue, the allies are forced to immobilism and can't escape from this trap.
14.00 Cooke attempts to help Alton but his cavalry is repulsed and his infantery is immobilised, Clinton doesn't move and Dutch begin to retreat.
Prussians scouts report the situation to Bluecher who decide giving up to their plan "immerhin war es kein Ligny" (after all he hasn't been here at Ligny).
15.00 the allies centre collapse, rout begins, Wellesley decides to remain on the battlefield with his last devoted.
Clinton and Cooke retreat with heavy casualties.😧
Napoleon claims the evening of the battle " say that he wanted to stop me with mud".
Kind regards,


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Last edited by phil1904; January 15th, 2017 at 03:20 AM.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 03:12 AM   #50

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Except it was proven I think the Blyandts brigade was moved before the cannonade began and suffered most of its casualties repelling an infantry attack.

http://1815fieldarmy.nl/news/149-bij...de-at-waterloo

Last edited by Edric Streona; January 15th, 2017 at 03:18 AM.
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