1815: Napoleon Defeated in Battle of Waterloo

Tanner O’Donnell

After escaping Elba on February 26, 1815 and sailing to the French mainland, Napoleon traveled to Paris to take back power and was welcomed by many supporters in the city. King Louis XVIII, left the city and Napoleon began his one hundred day campaign. On June 18, 1815 the Battle of Waterloo took place, just two days after Napoleon entered Belgium, and the Prussian army, had escaped with some casualties at the Battle of Ligny. Napoleon has a strong army of roughly 72,000 troops to combat the British army of roughly 68,000 troops, but Napoleon made a fatal error when he delayed his attack against the rival army until midday, under the account it had rained the night before and the battleground was still moist. However, Napoleon did not know that this allowed for the British to bring in more troops and allowed the Prussian army time to help reinforce the British army as well. After half a day of fighting, the French became overwhelmed by the British and allied armies and began a full retreat from the battle.  When all was said and over the Frnch army suffered heavy losses of upwards of 30,000 troops, while the British and allied armies lost roughly 22,000 troops.

After Napoleon’s final battle and defeat, he was abdicated again on June  22, 1815. Later that year in October, he was then exiled as punishment to a British island in the South Atlantic Ocean in a remote area on the island called Saint Helena. He was kept there and then died a few years later on May 5, 1821.


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