Battle of Waterloo - A Field in Belgium

Arthur Wellesley (the first Duke of Wellington) and Gebhard von Blücher (leader of the Prussian forces) have always been credited with defeating Napoleon at Waterloo on the 18th of June, 1815.  But are there other reasons, beyond strategy and battle tactics, which caused Napoleon's loss?

Wellington, known for picking excellent battle terrain, selected a high ridge in the Belgian field which gave his troops a distinct advantage.  Not only did his men have a great line of sight (on the high side), they were effectively shielded by the hill itself (on the low side).

Today, however, the battlefield does not look as it did in 1815.  Work on the "Lion Mound," built to commemorate the fallen and announce "the peace that Europe won in the fields of Waterloo," shifted the terrain considerably.  

In this clip, experts use computer modeling to recreate how the battlefield likely appeared when hundreds of thousands of troops met there during the last great battle of the Napoleonic Wars.

Perhaps, as this clip suggests, there was more to the battle's outcome than skillful tactics.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 26, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jun 25, 2016

Media Credits

Clip from Battlefield Detectives:  Massacre at Waterloo, produced by Granada. Copyright, Granada, all rights reserved.  Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the program.

Online, courtesy DrBogdanovic's Channel at YouTube.


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"Battle of Waterloo - A Field in Belgium" AwesomeStories.com. May 26, 2013. Jan 29, 2020.
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