In June 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte, having escaped from the Island of Elba, was once again Emperor of France. Having left a trail of bloodshed across Europe for years, the major powers of Europe took the unique step of declaring war, not on a country, but on the country of France but the man himself. Determined not to allow the Emperor to marshal his forces, several major armies converged on France with the intention of combining and attacking the Grand Armee before it could fully reform, but, not for the first time, Napoleon was already on the March.
Surprising combined allied forces under the Duke of Wellington and Prince Blucher, the French forced the Armies apart, eventually bring the larger part under Wellington to what would be a decisive engagement near the little known village of Waterloo. What followed was, in the words of Wellington himself, ‘the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life’.
This virtual tour will take us back over 200 years to the fields outside Waterloo to explore the actions of that day and focus on the pivotal engagements around the Farm of Hougoumont, upon which the fate of the entire battle rested.