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"The battle of Wavre and Grouchy's retreat; ..." Topic

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Report from Bayou Wars 2006

The Editor heads for Vicksburg...

771 hits since 24 May 2022
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2022 4:49 p.m. PST

….a study of an obscure part of the Waterloo campaign

Of possible interest?



Prince of Essling25 May 2022 4:42 a.m. PST

Downloadable as pdf at PDF link

Unfortunately the maps are not copied well with half missing….

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2022 8:13 a.m. PST

I followed Tango's and PoE's links and can see the maps in full even in the PDF. Nice find Armand, yet again!

Gazzola25 May 2022 8:48 a.m. PST

I have the paperback version of the book, published by Leonaur in 2010. There is also hardback. The paperback contains 105 pages. Nice little book.

Augustus25 May 2022 9:28 a.m. PST

Why does it seem it is always Grouchy who is somehow involved in a mishap?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2022 3:19 p.m. PST

Thanks my good friend…

Grouchy did well when he left Wavre to Paris… then resigned …


Rosenberg25 May 2022 10:54 p.m. PST

Did I dream it or is it true that Grouchy's retreat was required reading at West Point and Sandhurst? Along the line 'Thats the way to do it'

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 May 2022 3:52 p.m. PST

I have heard the same…


BillyNM27 May 2022 4:31 a.m. PST

IMO Grouchy could not have influenced Waterloo if he had tried – it was too late when they heard the gunfire. That said Grouchy fought Wavre reasonably well and conducted a very professional retreat back to France. I am not aware of any blunders he made other than getting the wrong side of the Prussians when pursuing, and arguably that wouldn't have happened if Napoleon had ordered the pursuit earlier.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 May 2022 3:45 p.m. PST



Gazzola02 Jun 2022 11:00 a.m. PST

Nah! As well as he did later on, the fact remains he failed the task given to him and allowed thousands of Prussians to get past him and win the battle for the allies.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP03 Jun 2022 8:49 a.m. PST

It was made clear to Grouchy that his task was to pursue the Prussians (that means following them) but expressly in order to prevent a union of the Allied and Prussian armies (that means scouting to the East of Bonaparte to ensure those lanes were empty).

A few dozen Chasseurs a Cheval could have spotted Blucher's advance and Grouchy could have ignored Wavre completely. The Prussian move was hard enough without facing a flank attack too.

Delort03 Jun 2022 2:31 p.m. PST

@Deadhead: where, in any order, verbal or written, did Napoleon order Grouchy to 'prevent a union of the Allied and Prussian armies'? As he didn't, how could it possibly have been 'made clear' that he was to do this?

And if Grouchy could have 'ignored Wavre completely', why did Soult, reflecting Napoleon's direction, order Grouchy to 'direct your movements on Wavre', as written in Soult's order dated le Caillou, 10am, 18th June?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Jun 2022 3:20 p.m. PST

Remeber that Grouchy began the persecution late… then … by mistake from his Screen Cavalry he follow a huge amount of deserters from the Prussian Army in an opposite direction… and all time his movement were pretty slow…


Gazzola10 Jul 2022 8:26 a.m. PST


Napoleon should not have had to order Grouchy to prevent the Prussians joining up Wellington. It should have been obvious to any capable commander. Why on earth would Napoleon have ordered Grouchy with so many men to pursue the Prussians other than to keep them away. Napoleon did not give such a task to Grouchy for fun. But he obviously overestimated Grouchy's ability. Then again, Grouchy's messages gave the impression that he had found them and was keeping them busy. Grouchy also ignored advice and warnings from other commanders.

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