Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"The Nearest Run Thing You Ever Saw In Your Life"

"Hard pounding, gentlemen. Let's see who pounds the longest."
- Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Two hundred years ago today, 200,000 men marched into a small farming valley in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (what is now southern Belgium) from three different directions.  The fate of Europe would hinge upon the day's events.

Seeking to push through the thin coalition lines of the British, Hanoverians, Dutch & Brunswickers led by Lord Wellington, Napoleon's Grand Armee sought to advance upon Brussels and seize the capital city.

Time was of the essence, however.  Advancing on Napoleon's right was the Prussian army under Marshal Blucher.  Napoleon could (in theory) easily beat either army singly, but if the Alliance and Prussians linked up, it would be disastrous.

Napoleon was not known for losing battles, however...

Just prior to noon, the first cannons began to fire.  In the long hours that followed until the late summer sunset, thousands of soldiers would lie dead & wounded amidst the orchards and wheat fields.

Against all odds, Wellington's thin red line held against Napoleon's 80 gun Grand Battery, repeated attacks by French heavy cavalry, and finally, the attack of Napoleon's Imperial Guard.

With the late afternoon arrival of the Prussians, Napoleon had lost his gamble.  His army melted away back towards France, and his time as l'Empereur was finis.