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"Quatre Bras 16th June 1815 2.00PM" Topic

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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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C M DODSON30 Apr 2018 9:59 a.m. PST

The Battle of Quatre Bras 16th June 1815

Timeline 2PM

Overview of the battlefield from the mill at Thyle looking towards Ferme de Gemioncourt with the crossroads in the top right corner.

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Looking west towards the crossroads with the Ferme de Gemioncourt and stream on the left. The Dutch militia are stationed on the chemin Bati-Saint-Bernard showing the difficulty facing 2nd Netherlands Division in covering so much ground with so few troops.

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View towards Ferme de la Bergerie with Nassau reserves by Ferme des Quatre Bras.

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Looking west towards the etang Materne. Dutch 27th Jagers line the hedge to the right with a Dutch horse artillery element [ 2nd Lieutenant Koopman] looking down the Namur road.

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7th Belgian line battalion positioned by Ferme de Gemioncourt. The tall nature of the crops is evident, causing movement and command problems for both sides.

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The French artillery commence the engagement by opening fire on the Dutch Belgian artillery, practically the only visible target due to the height of the crops and the dispersed nature of the Allied defence.

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The French 5th Infantry Division, Lieutenant-general Baron Gilbert-Desiree Bachelu, begins the advance.

1st Brigade, Marechal-de-camp Baron Pierre-Antoine Husson is directed towards the farms of Lairalle and Piraumont supported by 1st French cavalry Brigade, Marechal-de-camp Baron Pierre-Francois Huber.

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The 2nd Brigade,Marechal-de-camp Baron Toussaint Campi advances towards Ferme de Gemioncourt but is hampered by the difficult terrain and the du Pre des Quelles stream.

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This movement is supported by cavalry from the 2nd Brigade, Marechal-de-camp Bron-Francois-Isidore Walthiez.

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Dutch Jager contest the advance.

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9th French Infantry Division , Lieutenant-general Maximilien-Sebastian, Comte Foy commences its advance towards the crossroads of Quatre Bras.

The Emperor will reward every man who goes forward.

Vive L'Empereur!

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2018 10:22 a.m. PST

Very pretty, you can't really hate those post 1812 uniforms!

Tin hat30 Apr 2018 3:17 p.m. PST

Great photos ! Love the third one down with the village in the background.

Marc the plastics fan01 May 2018 5:36 a.m. PST

Love the use of a backdrop – makes a massive difference to the "scale" of the battlefield – the table looks massive as a result.

Brilliant stuff, and great research


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2018 7:33 a.m. PST

You should see the place now. An absolute dump…….horrible industrial estate style buildings now line the crossroads

The photography here is always quite brilliant. That bottom picture of the chasseurs. Shallow depth of focus makes the chap nearest to us blurred. It just looks so like a movement effect……that really does look like battlefield photography

Gazzola01 May 2018 8:42 a.m. PST

Lovely stuff! The photos I mean, not the state of Quatre Bras now, which is a disgrace but a sad fact of life concerning historical sites. I guess there is just not enough of us to stop it happening.

DeRuyter01 May 2018 9:23 a.m. PST

You should see the place now. An absolute dump…….horrible industrial estate style buildings now line the crossroads

Let's not go off the boil now, you make sound like the whole place has been given over to industry or modern row homes. That is not the case. Sure sadly the farm could not be preserved and the Bois is gone. However there are only a few buildings at the cross roads and you can walk a few hundred meters to either side for a good view of the battlefield. I walked it in 2015 and the left flank of the allied line is relatively unchanged all the way past Geimoncourt farm. The village of Thyle is still small. Bascially not much development in the area which is fortunate, that's the way I look at it anyway. Certainly worth a visit and a short drive from Waterloo. I do wish the frites stand was still there at the crossroads though.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2018 9:46 a.m. PST

Belgian frites…..met mayonnaise. Now you are talking!

I am sure you are right, that there is more to it than the crossroads itself….even without the farmhouse and the Bois de Bossus. But let us face it, it is called Quatre Bras (even Trois Bras, we are told) because of that very position. Take a glance on Google Earth and despair at what you will find.

But, again, I do admit it may well be worth a wander further afield. I did not do so, realising there seemed nothing left.

C M DODSON01 May 2018 1:27 p.m. PST

Thank you to everyone for their kind comments.

The Bois Bossau was awarded to the Duke of Wellington by a grateful nation who promptly chopped it down for timber. So much for ' what have they done to my battlefield? ' when the Lion mound was built just up the road.

My research suggests that the various crossroad buildings have been developed and knocked down over the last two centuries but it was sad to see the old Ferme de Quatre Bras demolished the other year.

Gemincourt is relatively untouched and the Ferme de Bergerie is still on the main Charleroi road.

Piramount is still there as well as Ferme de Liaralle.

Further down the road, many original buildings at Thyle are still present as is the Watermill.

Mike Robinson's book whilst in my opinion a flawed work does have some nice pictures that show the subtleties of the terrain. This, together with the tall nature of the crops caused all sorts of command and control problems to both sides.

A Google Earth trip around the place is illuminating and most rewarding.

One of the main problems I found was the contradictory nature of the ' contempory' Illustrations. Thomas Stoney who was actually present several days after the event produced some wonderful paintings that I found most useful for my project.

My re-fight has now commenced and the opposing forces will shortly being getting to grips with each other.

Thank you again.


holdit02 May 2018 1:35 a.m. PST

Great job.

Marc the plastics fan02 May 2018 3:51 a.m. PST

Chris – your relighted are works of art. My congratulations from a fellow 1/72 fan. Your vision is an inspiration, and the depth of your research is incredibly useful to me. Thank you.


Marc the plastics fan02 May 2018 10:11 a.m. PST

Or refights even. Curse my autocorrect

C M DODSON02 May 2018 10:29 a.m. PST

Thank you for your kind words Marc.

If I can be of any help with research questions, please ask!

Best wishes,


winser5402 May 2018 3:42 p.m. PST

Fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

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