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"The Waterloo Secret Revealed" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2018 2:14 p.m. PST

"For the past 190 years, history's perception of the end of the battle that freed Europe from Napoleon's despotism is that the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Foot Guards, who had been sheltering behind the crest of the Allied position, had come under attack by the French Garde Impériale.

Wellington ordered the Guards to stand up, form into line and "see them off". The relatively inexperienced men of the Foot Guards had then fired a volley and charged, improbably causing at least four thousand of Napoleon's elite troops to flee in confusion. Wellington had then ordered a general advance and defeated the French, before handing over the pursuit to the Prussians under Marshal Blücher…."
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Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Jun 2018 2:18 p.m. PST

I thought it was the huge ditch all the Frenchie horsemen tumbled into??? 😁

Russ Dunaway

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Jun 2018 2:21 p.m. PST

Or perhaps it was the M3 Stuart tank that went through a time warp and began wiping out French columns??? 😐

Russ Dunaway

Lapsang Inactive Member13 Jun 2018 2:49 p.m. PST

Painful to read…

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian13 Jun 2018 4:42 p.m. PST

Russ that was LBH, I saw the same documentary

Son of Liberty13 Jun 2018 6:48 p.m. PST

"Although the 52nd's feat should rightly rank with such epic military achievements as the defeat of
the Persian Army by the Spartans at Marathon, no such fame
has come."

Someone should inform the author that the Spartans were not at Marathon. (This kind of throws the author's credibility into question, IMO.)

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2018 9:51 p.m. PST

The odd thing is that, if you ignore the paranoia (not easy), it is a very god and well researched account of "the crisis". Most of the text does allow a role for the Guards and the other Allied units, not just 52nd, that contributed to stopping an assault that, itself, had very little chance of success.

The tedious "conspiracy theory" premise does detract from its value….but it seems it is now selling off at £3.00 GBP-50 anyway!

John Edmundson13 Jun 2018 11:02 p.m. PST

I'm not sure what the great "secret" is, that's been concealed all this time. I can't remember ever NOT having heard the story that a couple of companies hit the Guard from the flank, causing the cry "La Garde recoile!" to trigger a collapse of French morale. But I'm no expert on the 100 days so maybe I'm missing something.

I smiled when I saw that the writer, whose great discovery heaps all the glory on the 52nd Light Infantry was "determined, as far as possible, to consult only
eyewitness accounts or those from disinterested witnesses, such as the French, in order to reach
the truth" and is a former member of, oh, the 52nd Light Infantry . . .


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 12:13 a.m. PST

Absolutely. He even largely overlooks the contribution made by the rest of Adam's Brigade……….if only he had dropped the silly title and the final chapters, this would have been a well written and valuable account.

DoW said it. There was glory enough for all and we all know that the Waterloo Dispatch was penned in a hurry, with probably only the vaguest idea of what had happened….the only certainty, how it had ended.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 3:02 a.m. PST

I love the fact that anyone with an agenda always assumes that the sources they prefer don't share the same agenda.

There is no reason why a British, French, Prussian or Dutch memoir of 1815 should be considered any more reliable or accurate than any other (unless it's Ziethen's comedy 1840s memoir, which should be chucked in the bin as wholly worthless).

von Winterfeldt14 Jun 2018 3:39 a.m. PST

Good discussion on this

Glover, Gareth : Myth and Reality

Glover, Gareth : Waterloo the Defeat of the Imperial Guard

I found the books of the author much better and without serious blunders compared to the hyped Hussey books.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 9:14 a.m. PST

I still think it was the Stuart !!!

Russ Dunaway

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 9:39 a.m. PST

I'm with Deadhead….!

Imho the importance of the article is that the Duke lied … or at least put aside the truth …


von Winterfeldt15 Jun 2018 3:20 a.m. PST

tango 01 – educate yourself read Glover, he is discussing this topic very well.

The Battle of Waterloo had, effectively, been won by the 52nd Light Infantry acting solely on its commanding officer's orders.


summerfield Inactive Member15 Jun 2018 3:49 a.m. PST

I agree with von Winterfeldt. Sale's book is written by a former officer and shows all the typical regimental bias you would expect. It does not even accept that the 3/95th, 1/71st were present. Also misses that the 52nd acted in two wings (half battalions) due to its size.

Hussey's books on Waterloo are good for the political background but very wanting on the battles.

Read both of Gareth Glover's books and you will be educated.

If you want a companion to the Waterloo Campaign then consider "Becke's Waterloo Logistics" with a great deal of technical information that is considered by most modern military historians as getting in the way of the story.

Arcane Steve15 Jun 2018 3:51 a.m. PST

Oh dear! Here we go again with the conspiracy theories. I find it beyond contempt that the author could postulate that Wellington engineered some sort of cover up in the immediate hours after the battle. Nonsense that simply detracts from the bravery of all concerned.

Marc at work15 Jun 2018 7:48 a.m. PST

The Naps board does have the best popcorn…

But I shall look for the Glover books and see if they add anything (I gather that the French still lost…)

GlacierMI15 Jun 2018 9:06 a.m. PST

For the past 190 years, history's perception of the end of the battle that enabled Europe to continue it's long brush with Imperial reactionary despotism is that……………

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2018 10:26 a.m. PST


I accepted my mistake….


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