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"Marshal Grouchy's own account of the battle of Waterloo" Topic


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Napoleonic

547 hits since 7 Mar 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0107 Mar 2019 3:46 p.m. PST

Of possible interest?


Free to read
link


Hope you enjoyed!.

Amicalement
Armand

ConnaughtRanger07 Mar 2019 4:10 p.m. PST

That must be a very thin book – he never turned up.

Musketballs07 Mar 2019 5:42 p.m. PST

It was written in reply to the version of events that Bonapologists were putting around…that essentially put all the blame on Grouchy.

Basically, he explains why he wasn't there and never realistically could have been. The most curious thing about Grouchy's writings is that he never produced the 'Bertrand Order', despite having it in his possession. That was behind the disastrous move to Gembloux, after which he was never going to make Waterloo no matter what.

marshalGreg08 Mar 2019 3:06 p.m. PST

The only real way he could have been there are:
1) Napoleon released him by 8 am or earlier on the 17th.
2) Excelmans DRAG Corps put pressure on III Korps at Gembloux to a degree which would have forced III Korps to fight somewhere near that position on the 17th when Grouchy followed up.
3) Grouchy defeating that force and forcing it North Easterly.
Which he should of in the rain, since he had the cavalry superiority, artillery a burden now to the Prussians's maneuverability and squares reduced effectiveness (w/o effective musket fire ( due to the rain)).

Tango0109 Mar 2019 11:57 a.m. PST

Good points my friend….

Amicalement
Armand

von Winterfeldt10 Mar 2019 12:48 a.m. PST

the only way he could be there is to refuse to obey when receiving that stupid order of Boney, who acted against his own dictum's, instead of concentrating, he dispersed.

Gazzola10 Mar 2019 4:56 a.m. PST

Tango01

I doubt he is going to hold his hand up and say yes, my fault, I failed to do what was asked of me. LOL

But I think to some people everything is quite clear and who is to blame when using the magic skill of 'hindsight', the skill that anyone can use to say what should or should not have happened, once they are already aware of the end result, that is.

A bit like a football match in which the manager puts on a defender to stop the other side scoring. But the other sides scores so who do you blame – the manager for choosing the defender or the defender for failing to do what he was asked or both? No one knows what will happen at the time, they can only hope that what they want to happen does happen. That's life. Mistakes happen. What you want to happen, doesn't always happen.

In some ways I agree with VW (which makes a first) in that events may have turned out differently (or may not) had Napoleon kept Grouchy and his troops close. They could have then been used to block any advancing Prussians or to attack Wellington's left flank. But again, I am using the power of 'hindsight'.

It is all a bit like trying to decide on who to blame for the British Light Brigade charging up the wrong valley? The fact is, they did charge up the wrong valley, no matter who you want to blame. The same with Waterloo, the Prussians did get past Grouchy and attacked Napoleon's right flank and the French lost the battle. Like I keep saying, you can't change history.

coopman10 Mar 2019 8:51 a.m. PST

Fake news?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2019 9:49 a.m. PST

Poor old Grouchy.

Every book I read recently suggests he was in that Burmese Premier situation . He was called Nae Win, or some such version into English.


Grouchy had to act on what he truly knew in real time and what he was told to do. Plus the occasional dreadfully composed message he was sent. "Draw closer to me so as to etc".


He was told to pursue a (much larger) beaten Army, that was broken and retreating on its supply lines (surely, must have been, would never link up with DoW unless…it did)


He should have been told "You have one role. You must prevent the Prussians uniting with the Anglo-Allied Armies". In other words guard my flank. Instead he was told chase old Blucher back into central Europe, so they cannot reform. Of course, in hindsight, the only priority was the former.


What made the difference was not Grouchy's incompetence. It was the truly incredible decision to march the Prussians, a whole three Corps, away from their supply lines, along awful "roads" towards an army that had not (could not) come to their help 48 hours earlier. To support a battle that might have already been lost by mid afternoon.


Blucher was either insane or a total genius. I think the answer is in between. He was a gambler and took that huge risk for massive stakes.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2019 9:52 a.m. PST

Poor old Grouchy.

Every book I read recently suggests he was in that Burmese Premier situation . He was called Nae Win, or some such version into English.


Grouchy had to act on what he truly knew in real time and what he was told to do. Plus the occasional dreadfully composed message he was sent. "Draw closer to me so as to etc".


He was told to pursue a (much larger) beaten Army, that was broken and retreating on its supply lines (surely, must have been, would never link up with DoW unless…it did)


He should have been told "You have one role. You must prevent the Prussians uniting with the Anglo-Allied Armies". Instead he was told chase old Blucher back into central Europe. Of course, in hindsight, the only priority was the former.


What made the difference was not Grouchy's incompetence. It was the truly incredible decision to march the Prussians, a whole three Corps, away from their supply lines, along awful "roads" towards an army that had not (could not) come to their help 48 hours earlier. To support a battle that might have already been lost by mid afternoon.


Blucher was either insane or a total genius. I think the answer is in between. He was a gambler and took that huge risk for massive stakes.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2019 11:44 a.m. PST

I can only apologise for this duplication. I was stone cold sober when I posted this. I must be a real Grouchy apologist (actually I am).

Even this was duplicated!

von Winterfeldt10 Mar 2019 12:02 p.m. PST

Boney regarded the Prussians being so badly beaten that it would take some days that they would be again in fighting order.

Now in case, why waste 30,000 men pursuing a smashed enemy?
He split the Allies at last, and Wellington's army was presented on a golden plate.

So in case – smash this army as well, with all forces possible, in case the Prussians recover, smash them again.

Boney in his good old days most likely would have acted differently than at his worst in 1815.

Had he kept his army concentrated, then whatever the Prussians would do, his positions wouldn't be as hopeless when the Prussians turned up and where is Grouchy?

Tango0110 Mar 2019 9:36 p.m. PST

Blucher was both… imho we should also take into account some failure in the transmission of orders … Berthier was no longer there and his replacement … hummm!

To "Protect my flank" would be the best order…

To "Pursue the Prussians" was a complete different order…

To "Draw closer me…" was a vague and confusing order…

Grouchy too … he should have demanded a clearer and more explicit order for his task … at least shortly after his Army Corps began to move forward without finding the Prussians in his path …

Excelmann also failed in his task …

So… The Perfect Storm… (smile)

Amicalement
Armand

Gazzola20 Mar 2019 7:26 a.m. PST

Grouchy wasn't ordered to pursue the defeated Prussians for fun. It was quite obvious that he was ordered to do so in order to prevent them from joining up with Wellington. He failed to do this.

Commanders make decisions. If they work, they will be considered brilliant, if they don't, then it was a mistake. Again, descriptions that can only be applied after the event. Had Grouchy managed to keep the Prussians away from the Waterloo battlefield, then the battle may have resulted in a different ending and Napoleon's tactics and decisions considered brilliant. Likewise, had Wellington's position being broken and his flank endangered, his positioning of his troops there in the first place without knowing if the Prussians would actually arrive to save the day and turn the tide, would have been considered at the least, foolhardy. But like I keep saying, history is history, orders can't be changed, failed tasks can't be reversed. Waterloo will always be considered as a great defeat or great victory, depending on which way you prefer to view it.

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