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View Poll Results: What was Napoleon's fatal mistake at Waterloo?
He started the battle to early 1 2.27%
He started the battle to late 6 13.64%
His endless attacks on Hougemont were useless 6 13.64%
D'Erlon's massive infantry attack in columns 2 4.55%
Napoleon leaving the battle to take a rest 4 9.09%
Ney's cavalry attack on the British squares 21 47.73%
The coup de grace of the Imperial guard 4 9.09%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old September 9th, 2011, 03:27 AM   #1
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What was Napoleon's fatal mistake at Waterloo?


Give me your vote and explain if you answer is not on it then I am open for other arguments.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 04:03 AM   #2
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The tooing and froing of D'Erlon's I Corps between Quatres Bras and Ligny on the 16th June meaning they never engaged the Allies at either point.
They could have been decisive in destroying a large part of Wellingtons Army at Quatre Bras as it was very close run with Allied reinforcements arriving barely in the nick of time.
If engaged at Ligny they could have helped defeat the Prussians by a bigger margin so preventing them from returning to the field of battle on the 18th June.

D'Erlon's I Corps (20,000 men and 46 guns) instead left Quatre Bras before entering the battle to assist at Ligny without orders or the knowledge of Ney who had to recall them, they returned too late to partake and likewise never reached Ligny either.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 04:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leccy View Post
The tooing and froing of D'Erlon's I Corps between Quatres Bras and Ligny on the 16th June meaning they never engaged the Allies at either point.
They could have been decisive in destroying a large part of Wellingtons Army at Quatre Bras as it was very close run with Allied reinforcements arriving barely in the nick of time.
If engaged at Ligny they could have helped defeat the Prussians by a bigger margin so preventing them from returning to the field of battle on the 18th June.

D'Erlon's I Corps (20,000 men and 46 guns) instead left Quatre Bras before entering the battle to assist at Ligny without orders or the knowledge of Ney who had to recall them, they returned too late to partake and likewise never reached Ligny either.
I know their were enough mistakes before Waterloo (the ones you just told me are familiar to me), but I know want to focus on what went wrong during the battle itself.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 04:29 AM   #4

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Not taking Davout with him. As for the battle itself, a lot of small factors combined to make life difficult; the waiting to allow the ground to dry, his illness and age, poor decisions made by subordinates, etc.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 05:56 AM   #5

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IMO, Naoleon allowed Grouchy too many troops to pursue the Prussians (30000), they had qiute a mauling at Ligny, so were in no fit state to engage again in a short space of time.

Neys reluctance to advance (as ordered) on and beyond the crossroads at Quatre Bras, allowed continuous reinforcements of the allied army to build up throughout the day.

Opportunities lost time and time again.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 06:00 AM   #6
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To have fled from Elba; it was evident that he (and his supporters) were doomed even before beginning.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 06:03 AM   #7

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To have fled from Elba; it was evident that he (and his supporters) were doomed even before beginning.
The man was an adventurer, as it turned out, his return to France was'nt quite as bad a decision as at seems. The French were quick to rally again for him.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 06:07 AM   #8
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The man was an adventurer, as it turned out, his return to France was'nt quite as bad a decision as at seems. The French were quick to rally again for him.
Aside from the obvious fact that from the absurd waste of the lives of so many thousands of men of France and other European nations (not to mention the material resources) this definitively qualified as an extremely "bad" decision, there seems to be no major disagreement among us here.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 06:11 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
Aside from the obvious fact that from the absurd waste of the lives of so many thousands of men of France and other European nations (not to mention the material resources) this definitively qualified as an extremely "bad" decision, there seems to be no major disagreement among us here.
Yes, you are correct. I did'nt mean to justify Napoleons actions, but his judgement about the French people accepting back proved to be right.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 06:18 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPERRO View Post
Yes, you are correct. I did'nt mean to justify Napoleons actions, but his judgement about the French people accepting back proved to be right.
The problem wasn't the French, it was the rest of Europe that would fall upon France once more in the coming months Otherwise I agree with Belisarius: a combination of many small things.
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