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'The lie at the heart of Waterloo'...

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  • #31
    The Grenadiers a Cheval were seen and remarked upon leaving the battlefield at a walk in formation by a British cavalryman. General Petit and Sgt Mauduit, both of the Imperial Guard remarked upon the 1st Grenadiers a Pied leaving the battlefield in excellent order.
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
    Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
    To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post

      Baaa! Baaaa!

      All you have listed are old, tired, and hugely out of date tomes. There have been bucket-loads of first-hand accounts and information released in the last 15 years of those who fought in the battle and from both sides and vastly superior tellings by modern historians too. I suggest you don't rely on such stories and get a'studying.
      I'm happy I stumbled on to this thread. I am currently on a mission to expand my knowledge from WWII, WWI and the ACW. I have been slowly building up a library of books on ancient military history - Rome Carthage Greece and the like. I am also planning to study the American Revolutionary War, The German unification wars, and of course, the Napoleonic Wars.

      I have only 2 books so far on the Napoleonic wars. Got this for a great price. A well built hardcover about Napoleon's campaigns.

      https://www.amazon.com/Campaigns-Nap...s%2C155&sr=1-1

      And this as well:

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/01...t_b_prod_image

      What would be your best single volume newer book recommendations on Napoleon's Russian campaign and Waterloo?


      Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post

        In retreat, they fell apart too, with mass desertions.

        It's the Nappy fanbois hard reliance on old tellings (which are of course, very inaccurate in all aspects except the general outline of what happened) which is 'the evidence' for such people set in their ways. The Nappy fanbois have been shown their errors on this and especially the TMP site for years but refuse to accept any of it unless it's the stuff they read in those above listed old, old tomes...The 5 year Drummer boy is stubborn indeed.
        I have visited a number of British regiment armouries, depots and overseas camps, and the Imperial War Museum, and I have yet to find any captured regimental Eagles or battalion Colours of the any regiment of the French Imperial Guard (Because there was no French Guard Eagle or Colours that were captured.)

        Why is that relevant? Because in a panic (with mass desertions), the regimental Eagle become quite vulnerable and capturing them would be quite a fait d'armes, for which troopers would risk their lives for. The capture of a French Imperial Guard Eagle by a British unit would have the regiment brag about it for centuries.

        If their are falling apart and mass desertion is happening, you will focus your attention, your actions, your troop movement, your firepower against the center of the unit, where the Eagle flies and where troops will regroup themselves. The fact that it is the French Guard, your action is even more so important. Because, if you don't, the Guard will regroup and become a threat to you and your forces. It would be a massive tactical failure on your part.

        Note that the three British regiments of foot guards would take the French grenadier bearskin caps as a prize and make it their official headdress after Waterloo. But no captured Eagles or Colours.

        So, when several references mention that the Old Guard cavalry and infantry marched off the battlefield in order, and that British regiments do not have any captured French Old Guard Eagle or Colours to show off, my understanding of what happened to the Old Guard at the end of the battle is skewed towards those references.
        Last edited by Capt AFB; 19 Oct 20, 00:45.

        Comment


        • #34
          You've withstood shot and shell for nine hours when the enemy's morale breaks, they panic and start to flee with you and yer mates chasing after 'em. At the moment of victory/survival you have a bright idea...

          "I'll head into them isolated yet formed gangs of hard bastards wot are going to fight to the death for their Eagle!"

          A unit of British Cavalry tried that one for size, and the bloke leading them got his melon bashed in, by an Old Guard Grenadier.
          Having said that they didn't glean any Garde Eagles, you're right, but they did manage to capture the bloke who'd spouted...

          "The Old Guard dies, but never surrenders!"

          A senior British Occifer nabbed him as he was legging it from the battlefield... pity they didn't get 'im stuffed and mounted then bunged in the Apsley House for yer perusal, innit!!!???
          The long toll of the brave
          Is not lost in darkness
          Over the fruitful earth
          And athwart the seas
          Hath passed the light of noble deeds
          Unquenchable forever.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
            (....) the bloke who'd spouted...

            "The Old Guard dies, but never surrenders!"
            Victor Hugo ?

            edit,

            Interesting examination into the origin of the phrase and the "other one" with some good references here :

            https://savoirsdhistoire.wordpress.c...-de-cambronne/
            Last edited by Snowygerry; 19 Oct 20, 03:22.
            Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

            Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

            Comment


            • #36
              'The Old Guard dies but never surrenders' was invented by a French newspaper editor.
              We are not now that strength which in old days
              Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
              Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
              To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

              Comment


              • #37
                First appeared in the "Journal général de France" of 24 June 1815 apparently.

                Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Merde! Looks like you've caught me lying again.

                  The long toll of the brave
                  Is not lost in darkness
                  Over the fruitful earth
                  And athwart the seas
                  Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                  Unquenchable forever.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    We've all been guilty of this in the past... cherry picking certain quotes/sauces to further our arguments. Turns out we weren't the first!
                    Siborne, both father and son did just that with certain of the Veteran's letters received during the building of his magnificent diorama.
                    The long toll of the brave
                    Is not lost in darkness
                    Over the fruitful earth
                    And athwart the seas
                    Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                    Unquenchable forever.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Is he the one that single-handedly removed 30.000 Prussians from the field and thus won the battle for the Brits

                      edit,

                      The truth lies in the story of the official model of the battle, first revealed to the public in 1838, that showed 48,000 soldiers coming to the aid of the British Army. When the model was displayed for the second time seven years later, 40,000 of the German soldiers had disappeared.
                      https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/4280
                      Last edited by Snowygerry; 19 Oct 20, 07:33.
                      Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                      Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Maybe Grouchy finally caught up with them....

                        Freshly discovered preparatory drawings show the depth of his research into the exact regimental colours of each unit, a level of dedication that was to push the cost of the model to more than £3,000, about £160,000 today.

                        Even after the model went on display to public acclaim in 1838, Siborne received only £800 of the £5,000 raised from ticket sales because of an unscrupulous organiser. In an attempt to ease the flow of funds from the Government, Siborne wrote to Wellington to ask what alterations he required.

                        When Wellington refused to reply, Siborne made a conciliatory gesture by announcing publicly that he was removing 40,000 Prussians from the model. Still he received no money, and he died in poverty in 1849.
                        Last edited by Snowygerry; 19 Oct 20, 07:46.
                        Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                        Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          "La Garde meurt mais ne se rend pas//The Guard dies but does not surrender" this sentence would be from General Claude Etienne MICHEL, who died in Waterloo. Moreover, his heirs sued Cambronne, claiming that the deceased held the authorship of this sentence ...
                          "Merde//S****" the Baron of the Empire Edmé Charles Louis le PAIGE D'ORSENNE , always affirmed to his friends that it was he who had given this famous answer to the English, but that he did not want to take away his fame from his leader with which the legend adorned him.

                          According to several witnesses, Cambronne would have answered "Allez vous faire foutre//Go f**** yourself !" to the English

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Extract from my 12-volume encyclopedia :

                            After the epic charges of the French cavalry and the heroic efforts of the line infantry, Ney calls for new troops from the emperor in order to continue killing the enemy.

                            The time had come, he said, to break the severely shaken Anglo-Dutch battle line. "The center of the line was open, we were in danger" reports Captain Kennedy, aide-de-camp to Lt. General Alten, commanding the 2nd British Infantry Division.

                            Hidden by the fog of the previous cannonades, five battalions of the Middle Guard take up position in the depths of the Haie Sainte.

                            Napoleon agreed to give the Marshal this sublime reserve, not without reluctance. But what can he do at this point in the fight? if not to engage his precious Guard because on the one hand, he wants to act before the arrival of the 1st Prussian Corps of Ziethen, already emerging from Smohain, on the other hand, it is necessary to take advantage of the confusion that reigns in the English lines bruised to deal him the decisive blow.

                            Thus, the veterans of the Imperial Guard climb as in the parade the plateau of Mont Saint-Jean, slowed down as they go, by the relentless fire of the English artillerymen as well as by the piling up of bodies and corpses of horses through of their journey.

                            Unfortunately for them, a French riflemen captain betrays his comrades and warns Wellington of the impending attack. Knowing that the 1st Prussian Corps supported its left wing, the Duke immediately stripped this sector to strengthen his positions between the Haie Sainte and Hougoumont farms.

                            He asks the Adam and Colin Halkett brigades, as well as the Maitland Guards to reoccupy the crest of the plateau which they had abandoned so as not to be exposed to enemy fire. He had them supported on their right by the Hanoverian brigade W. Halkett and the German brigade Duplat. West of the road to Brussels, remains defended by the decimated battalions of Kruse, Ompteda and the Brunswick contingent.

                            It was then 7:30 p.m.

                            The 2,900 men of the Imperial Guard advance in echelon and obliquely facing the red line overlooking the hill. A mounted Guard battery, made up of 6 pieces of 8 pounds, led by Colonel Duchand, accompanies their movement.

                            Marshal Ney trains them.

                            The rest of the army has been ordered to second the attack, but they fail to move as quickly as the Guard, who march on their own against their destiny, so to speak.

                            And that's the shock!

                            The 1st battalion of the 3rd Grenadiers, under the orders of Friant put the Brunswick battalions to flight and stormed the Cleeves and Lloyd batteries. He then goes to the left of the Colin Halkett brigade which he overthrows. The 73rd and 30th English flow back in disorder without asking for their rest. But Friant collapsed seriously injured.

                            The only battalion of the 4th Grenadiers (the second battalion was decimated during the Battle of Ligny) advances on the ridge supported by the fires of the Duchand battery. He goes to the right of the Halkett brigade to assist the 3rd Grenadiers. It sinks the 33rd and 69th British regiments.

                            General Halkett is hit by a bullet when he grabs the flag of the 69th to rally his men.

                            Two other battalions, those of the 3rd Chasseurs, led by General Michel, march towards the Ohain road. Arrived on the eminence, they come up against the 2,000 Maitland guards, hidden in the corn.

                            The English, formed in line in four ranks, rose simultaneously to shoot. The first salvo cuts down 300 men including General Michel. The French officers, disappointed, endeavor to assemble the survivors and deploy them in line in order to respond to enemy discharges.

                            During the maneuver, they received grapeshot from Bolton and Ramsay batteries.

                            Confusion reigns in the ranks of the 3rd Chasseurs.

                            The 2,000 British took advantage of this moment to charge them. A brief melee ensues. The veterans of the 4th Grenadiers, who find themselves isolated, give way in front of the rout of their comrades.

                            The 4th Chasseurs who was standing back (left echelon) comes to their aid and pushes back Maitland's men. The units of the Imperial Guard climb the hill again, bayonets on ...

                            General Chassé's Dutch-Belgian division, until then in reserve at Braine-l'Alleud, arose to block their way. Posted on the right flank of the French, it shoots them at point blank range in concert with the Belgian battery Krahmer, also come in reinforcement. To support their fire, William Halkett's Hanoverian Brigade was stationed on the outskirts of Hougoumont to shoot at the rear of the French.

                            General Mallet collapses at the head of the 3rd Chasseurs. The Guard is stranded in place and tries to respond to this outbreak of shooting.

                            Colonel Colborne, nicknamed by his men "the fire eater", enlisted his regiment, the 52nd Oxfordshire Light Infantry, to keep the pressure on the survivors of the 3rd and 4th Chasseurs. The 4th Chasseurs resisted for a while and put 150 men out of action in the 52nd, but it ended up falling back in good order against the thousand soldiers made up of this British regiment.

                            For the first time in imperial military history, the Napoleonic Guard totters, cornered by numbers. But, contrary to what has often been written, the guard does not confuse. These are, explained later General Drouot who charged with her, the wounded who withdrew so as not to interfere with their comrades.

                            The Duke of Wellington, understanding the full significance of this event, ordered all of his troops to counterattack everywhere.

                            This general movement completes the demoralization of the French army, which has been fighting since the morning with superhuman courage, the incredible has just happened: the Invincibles of the old guard themselves have failed. So, aggravated by the cries of "Betrayal!" which come from everywhere and nowhere, a wind of panic seizes this army.

                            For the Emperor, hopes of victory were consumed even more so as, instead of Marshal Grouchy's soldiers, he saw Blucher and his Prussian masses emerge on the battlefield.

                            Consequently, retirement is imperative. It still must take place in good conditions.

                            To try to protect the road to retreat, that is to say the road to Charleroi already full of fugitives, Napoleon sacrifices the rest of his reserve, in this case four battalions of the sublime Old Guard which he positions in front of the Belle Alliance.

                            The 2nd battalion of the 3rd Grenadiers which is isolated to the extreme left of the other battalions, suffers on its own the charges of the Hussars of Vivian, the grapeshot from the Gardiner battery (Royal Horse Artillery) and the fires of the brigade of Colonel W. Halkett.

                            Decimated, exhausted, the 550 men of the 2nd battalion retreated and perished until the last.

                            The 1st battalion of the 2nd Grenadiers (Christiani), the 2nd battalion of the 1st Chasseurs (Cambronne) and the 2nd battalion of the 2nd Chasseurs (Pelet-Clozeau) rally the few survivors of the Middle Guard, rejected from the plateau. They try in vain to stem the red tide of the English tide on both sides of the road. Forced to face Vivian's cavalry, they form squares and slowly fall back towards Rossomme.

                            For the Emperor, hopes of victory were consumed even more so as, instead of Marshal Grouchy's soldiers, he saw Blucher and his Prussian masses emerge on the battlefield.

                            Consequently, retirement is imperative. It still must take place in good conditions.

                            To try to protect the road to retreat, that is to say the road to Charleroi already full of fugitives, Napoleon sacrifices the rest of his reserve, in this case four battalions of the sublime Old Guard which he positions in front of the Belle Alliance.

                            The 2nd battalion of the 3rd Grenadiers which is isolated to the extreme left of the other battalions, suffers on its own the charges of the Hussars of Vivian, the grapeshot from the Gardiner battery (Royal Horse Artillery) and the fires of the brigade of Colonel W. Halkett.

                            Decimated, exhausted, the 550 men of the 2nd battalion retreated and perished until the last.

                            The 1st battalion of the 2nd Grenadiers (Christiani), the 2nd battalion of the 1st Chasseurs (Cambronne) and the 2nd battalion of the 2nd Chasseurs (Pelet-Clozeau) rally the few survivors of the Middle Guard, rejected from the plateau. They try in vain to stem the red tide of the English tide on both sides of the road. Forced to face Vivian's cavalry, they form squares and slowly fall back towards Rossomme.

                            The Adam Brigade is behind them, supported by mounted artillery. The French squares, initially in three rows, are formed in two rows then they are transformed into a triangle as the losses occur.

                            British officers with a white flag come up to meet them and ask them to surrender. This is when General Cambronne replies "****!" and thus enters the Napoleonic legend. Respecting their famous motto: "the Guard dies but does not surrender!", These heroes continue to fight.

                            Cambronne, wounded in the head, slashed in the right arm and having also received a bayonet blow to the right hand and other wounds to the leg, collapses inanimate. He is thus captured by the men of H. Halckett's "Osnabrück" battalion. Around 8:30 p.m., his surviving comrades of the 1st Chasseurs took advantage of nightfall to escape.

                            In Caillou, where the Emperor spent the night before the battle, the Prussians, forgetting that the surgeon of the guard, Larrey, treated their own men, will burn the French wounded alive before setting out to hunt for survivors.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by daddut roger View Post
                              "La Garde meurt mais ne se rend pas//The Guard dies but does not surrender" this sentence would be from General Claude Etienne MICHEL, who died in Waterloo. Moreover, his heirs sued Cambronne, claiming that the deceased held the authorship of this sentence ...
                              The claim was dismissed apparently.

                              The general Michel was killed and shot off his horse as soon the Guard made onto the plateau, that makes the claim somewhat unbelievable does it not ?
                              Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                              Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by daddut roger View Post
                                According to several witnesses, Cambronne would have answered "Allez vous faire foutre//Go f**** yourself !" to the English
                                The issue is explored in some detail in this article by Houssaye

                                http://www.mediterranee-antique.fr/F...saye/Garde.pdf
                                Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                                Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

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