The Battle of Waterloo
On 26th February 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte managed to elude his guards and escape from the island of Elba where he had been held in exile since April 1814. He had been confined as a prisoner for only ten months but during that time he had been planning and preparing for the day when he would return to rule France once more as Emperor.
The period from the time of his escape to his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo has become known as his '100 Days'. During that time he demonstrated all his skills as a military commander and in just over a period of three months he raised an army, organised it and marched on, in an attempt to regain mastery of Europe. When he set out on his campaign most of Europe trembled at the prospect of once more having to try and contain him. He headed into Belgium and on the way he divided his forces. On 16th June at Ligny Napoleon defeated the Prussians. On the same day Marshal Ney was beaten by forces commanded by the Duke of Wellington. Napoleon continued his advance until he encountered Wellington close to the village of Waterloo. What happened that day on 18th June 1815 decided the fate of Europe. The outcome of what is unarguably one of the most famous battles in history is well known but the events concerning how it was made possible are less familiar to many. This tour will set the record straight and dispel the incongruities which have crept in over the years.
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