Previous Talk

Wellington & Waterloo

The entry below is a synopsis of our speakers talk on 27th May 2015.

The Presentation this week was by Dr John Derry (Emeritus Professor in History at Newcastle University) entitled "Wellington & Waterloo" which covered the battle in 1815 along with the strategy and methods used by both Wellington and Napoleon.

John started off by telling us that there had been a Gallop Poll of teenagers which indicated that 14% thought that the French had won the battle.

He believes that the government does not know what to do about the bicentenary as they don’t want to upset the French saying remember the Dutch and Germans were on our side and its one of the great battles that ended the great era of warfare as Europe had been plunged in to war over the previous 20 years as a consequence of the French Revolution.

John said that this was not a British victory but an allied victory and without the Prussians the battle would not have been fought were it was when it was and it is due to the confidence that Wellington and Blucher had in each other.

Over the next hour John outlined the tactics and strategies employed by both leaders which can be summarized as hands on by Wellington (he was always at the front taking decisions as and when deeded), had hands off by Napoleon who stayed at the headquarters behind the lines and sent instructions to the front with leeway for his commanders to modify as the need arise.

This was the first time Napoleon had met Wellington in battle and he did not allow for the English tactics to combat the strengths of the French and paid heavily for it.

A very interesting talk from an excellent speaker

Questions followed on several points to conclude this lively presentation..

Waterloo 1815.jpg (35265 bytes)
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