“A Final, Crushing Defeat”
June 18, 1815 literally was Napoleon Bonaparte’s Waterloo.
His last ditch effort to defeat the British and the Prussians, after losing to the British and being exiled on the island of Elba, became his final defeat.
After a three-day battle near Waterloo Village in Belgium, the emperor’s strategy of splitting his army to attack both the British and Prussians failed to divide them, allowing them to converge on Napoleon and defeat him..
The British and their allies, led by the Duke of Wellington, were slammed by the French but withstood the repeated assaults until the evening when the Prussians broke through Napoleon’s right flank.
Wellington then counter-attacked and drove the French army from the field.
The French casualties were 25,000 killed and wounded, 8,000 captured, and 15,000 missing.
Napoleon surrendered to the British, abdicated, and was exiled to Saint Helena, where he died in 1821.
Waterloo ended more than 20 years of warfare on the European continent. The word has come to mean a “final, crushing defeat.”
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