Defeating Napoleon at the Battle

During Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign in France he acquired many enemies. some of whom were not very happy with him coming in and trying to take over their land, people, and personal belongings. While his reign of France only lasted from 1799 until 1815, it was not an easy one for the surrounding countries and people who tried to fight against him. It wasn’t until Napoleon tried to invade Russia on, June 24th, 1812 known to the French as the “Russian Campaign” that his reign would come to an end.

During Napoleon’s reign of France, he made plenty of enemies near an far, but one of his biggest and greatest enemies was Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington Arthur Wellesley, He is most famous for defeating Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo. The battle was between, France on one side alone and Great Britain, Prussia and all of their allies on the other side. “On 15 June Napoleon took the initiative and invaded Belgium, taking both Allied armies by surprise. Dividing his army into two on 16 June Napoleon defeated the Prussians at Ligny while his second-in-command, Marshal Ney, fought a bloody inconclusive battle against the Duke of Wellington’s army at Quatre Bras.

On the 17th both Allied armies retreated, and Napoleon again divided his forces into two to pursue them. On 18 June one-third of the French army commanded by Marshal Grouchy attacked the Prussian rearguard at Wavre, while the rest attacked Wellington’s position at Waterloo. Blucher marched to Wellington’s aid and the two armies overwhelmed the French and pursued the defeated forces back into France. Grouchy led a masterly withdrawal with his troops but the damage had been done and Napoleon abdicated on 21 June, leading to the end of the period known as ‘The 100 Days’ which started when Napoleon left Elba and ended with his abdication.” Both sides suffered great losses, but the French under Napoleon suffered more than anyone. “Waterloo cost the British army around 14,500 dead or wounded and the Prussians under Blücher suffered some 7,200 casualties.

The French army had some 25,000 to 26,000 killed or wounded. Some 6000 to 7000 French soldiers were taken prisoner and another 15,000 men deserted.” The significance of this war is important in European history. “There have been claims that the Battle of Waterloo altered the course of European history. It is claimed that Napoleon was robbed of his destiny by bad luck and that the Congress of Vienna that met after the battle resulted in the creation of a new Europe. This is not true. Napoleon’s errors brought about his defeat at Waterloo. Even if he had won the battle, the forces engaged at Waterloo were only a small part of the coalition assembled to defeat him and there is no doubt that he would have been overwhelmed in the end.

The Congress of Vienna did take steps to ensure peace in Europe for 30 years but it was already meeting before Napoleon escaped from Elba. Nevertheless, we can argue that the magnitude of Napoleon’s defeat meant he would never again threaten the peace of Europe.” “It demonstrates many lessons for humanity that are applicable for us and for any age. For instance, it is one of the few battle-sites in history that senior executives of leading organizations now pay substantial sums to visit and consider its lessons for their strategies. It also shows us that nothing is certain, that brilliant strategies do not necessarily lead to success, that attention to detail and communications are all-important. Also it proves that truth is usually much more interesting and complex than people, and particularly historians, allow.” After taking such loses the French military was crippled and Shortly after that Napoleon would be cast away and banished. “The Napoleonic wars took a greater toll in human life and material resources than had any previous European conflict.”

Once Napoleon met his down fall you could see the impact of an empire’s overreach for power and the greed for land. “The final years of napoleon’s empire offer an example of imperial overreach. Ambition and pride drew napoleon into a succession of military adventures that stretched his armies thin, bled them white, and undermined their morale” Another one of Napoleon’s greatest enemies was himself, this is because if he didn’t have an such an obsession with power and land, his empire that he had conquered and built so big would not have fell. “Finally, my ambition? Ah, doubtless I had so much, but perhaps the grandest and most elevated sort ever! That of establishing, consecration the rule of reason and the full exercise and enjoyment and all human facilities! And here perhaps the historian will find himself reduced to regretting that this ambition was not accomplished and fulfilled”

During Napoleon’s reign his greatest enemy was the british. “When the leaders of the French Revolution executed Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette in 1793, they sent a chilling message to the hereditary ruling orders in Europe. Believing that monarchy anywhere presented a threat to democratic rule in France, the leaders of the revolution declared war on European aristocracies, including those of Great Britain. For more than twenty years thereafter, France and England waged a protracted war that ended in British victory.” “Between 1789 and 1815, British leaders devised, funded, and led seven coalitions against the revolutionary and Napoleonic governments of France. In each enterprise, statesmen and generals searched for order amid a complex welter of bureaucratic, political, economic, psychological, technological, and international forces.

Their efforts would eventually crush France and Napoleon and establish a system of European power relations that prevented a world war for nearly a century.” Napoleon had a great effect on his enemies. Some of his enemies were afraid of him and what he might do. “worried by Napoleon’s might, Russia and Austria joined Britain several months later in the third coalition.” The next year Prussia would also join with Russia in the fight to stop Napoleon. Napoleon thought out his reign had acquired many enemies. Although Napoleon fought, killed, and stole from these enemies they were able to defeat him by joining forces and defeating Napoleon in battle.

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Defeating napoleon at the battle. (2021, Jun 02). Retrieved October 7, 2022 , from

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