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    How do you think what would be outcome of Waterloo if Grouchy would listen Gerard`s advice and if he would move his 30 000 soldiers to Waterloo battlefield? Was it actually real for Grouchy to make on time as the roads were very bad after heavy rains?
    Last edited by Ulrih; 29 Jun 10, 08:52.

  • #2
    Good, good... Let the games begin!

    It's time to shake this Forum again!*

    Pass me the popcorn, please?

    Keep them coming, Ulrih.

    *Are we opening the Pandora's box?
    My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

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    • #3
      You forgot the beverages with that popcorn, I'll take a cold beer. Corunna

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      • #4
        Okay I'll jump in.
        Probably if Groushy went to the sound of the guns, the battle would probably have lasted more than one day. And been over a much broader scale/area. Who would have won is anyones guess.
        Jim"Doc" Bruce
        "War Means Fightin and fightnin means killin"
        Nathan Bedford Forrest.
        "Audacity, more audacity and always audacity"
        George Patton

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        • #5
          You mean Marshal Emmanuel Grouchy. Right?
          I know just a spelling mistake.

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          • #6
            Same outcome .......... eventually. By 1815 Napoleon had made too many enemies, and upset and/or frightened too many (royal) people.

            After 1812 it was never going to be the same again imo.
            How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
            Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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            • #7
              If Grouchy arrived in time... Hmmm...

              IMHO... Napoleon probably would have won at Waterloo or, at least, could have prevented the rout of the French army.

              I always wondered what would have happened if the battle had resulted in a draw or a minor victory to either side. I mean... the immediate aftermath.


              My duty is to execute the Emperor's orders: Grouchy at Walhain, 18 June 1815
              by Stephen Millar

              http://www.napoleon-series.org/milit...chyorders.html
              My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                Same outcome .......... eventually. By 1815 Napoleon had made too many enemies, and upset and/or frightened too many (royal) people.

                After 1812 it was never going to be the same again imo.
                Nick, I meant what would be outcome of this particular battle but not whole campaign as we all agree that Allied forces were too big against Napoleon.


                As for this battle I think that if Grouchy would go "to the sound of guns" in noon when he heard beginning of battle then he probably would arrive ~ at 18.00 when frenchmen captured La Haie Sainte (Waterloo started at ~12.00 and distance is 32 km from Wavre to Waterloo). Probably Grouchy would arrive by the same road that he left Napoleon so it would be behind french lines and his forces would be probably enough to hold prussians and probably enough for the british withdraw from battlefield. Waterloo then would be probably minor french victory or even draw like at Eulay.

                P.S. I studied some campaign maps and as I understood there was no way that Grouchy would arrive behind english on prussian lines as this roads were covered by Tillman`s Corps. Right?

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                • #9
                  The Waterloo Campaign...

                  '...as we all agree that Allied forces were too big against Napoleon.'

                  No, all of 'us' don't. A minority of historians don't agree either.

                  Sincerely,
                  M
                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ulrih View Post
                    Nick, I meant what would be outcome of this particular battle but not whole campaign as we all agree that Allied forces were too big against Napoleon.


                    As for this battle I think that if Grouchy would go "to the sound of guns" in noon when he heard beginning of battle then he probably would arrive ~ at 18.00 when frenchmen captured La Haie Sainte (Waterloo started at ~12.00 and distance is 32 km from Wavre to Waterloo). Probably Grouchy would arrive by the same road that he left Napoleon so it would be behind french lines and his forces would be probably enough to hold prussians and probably enough for the british withdraw from battlefield. Waterloo then would be probably minor french victory or even draw like at Eulay.

                    P.S. I studied some campaign maps and as I understood there was no way that Grouchy would arrive behind english on prussian lines as this roads were covered by Tillman`s Corps. Right?

                    It's OK saying that Grouchy would get to Waterloo at such and such a time, but he would have to first turn his 34,000 men, wagons/artillery around then march to the sound of the guns which in its self takes time. The state of the roads being little more than rough, very muddy tracks. The countryside was broken, with streams and ravines interspersed throughout the area, the crossing of the river Dyle and conditions generally under foot, would not allow for rapid movement let alone a speed of 3.5 mph (5.5 kph); and what would the Prussians be doing? waving goodbye to him? no, they would have interposed his every step. Apart from all that It's alright to arrive on the battlefield but what condition would the troops be in? any commander worth his salt would not throw them into the affray piecemeal or disorganised, if he had got any of his troops onto the battlefield and in significant numbers by 8pm, he would have done well.

                    IMO what Grouchy should have done was to agree with what Gerard said at noon, 'though not with the manner in which he said it', to attempt in supporting the main army would be a better option than not. If he turned about and got to Mont St. Jean, I don't think that he could have affected the outcome because time, distance, and conditions, let alone Prussian interference, would have been against him and he too could have been swept up in the headlong retreat and perhaps added even more to the butchers bill on both sides. So what would history have written of Grouchy if he followed this course but failed and lost a portion of his army or even had it destroyed?.
                    Last edited by Dibble201Bty; 30 Jun 10, 14:15.
                    ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
                    All human ills he can subdue,
                    Or with a bauble or medal
                    Can win mans heart for you;
                    And many a blessing know to stew
                    To make a megloamaniac bright;
                    Give honour to the dainty Corse,
                    The Pixie is a little shite.

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                    • #11
                      Paul, Blucher`s prussians could reach battle and fought very well in Plancenoit etc. why wouldn`t french do the same? Of course it`s hard to predict when they would exactly arrive at battlefield but this would probably change lots of things in Napoleon`s plans as he would know from messengers that Grouchy is arriving and this means that he would probably wait for these reinforcements which means that battle would be without french cavalry attack against british squares and no last guard advance at least without Grouchy reinforcements. I think main questions here is: 1) when would Grouchy arrive 2) what would Tillmans prussians do. (Probably there was possibility to leave some rearguard to hold prussians and with other troops march to Waterloo. Otherwise Gerard would never suggest that).

                      Gaz, you`re expert in Waterloo maps Was it possible that Grouchy could arrive behind Wellington`s lines? I believe that this would change battle dramatically.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Massena View Post
                        '...as we all agree that Allied forces were too big against Napoleon.'

                        No, all of 'us' don't. A minority of historians don't agree either.

                        Sincerely,
                        M
                        IMO Napoleon could win campaign or get peace at least only if he would have crushing victory like Austerliz against Blucher (at Ligny) and Wellington (at Waterloo). His soldiers and officiers once again would believe in their strength and this would be serios damage to Allied confidence. But with minor victories he would not maintain Allied superriority in resources. If I`m not mistaken then against Army of the North (~ 100 000) were ~ 1 million troops in different armies and this was only the first wave.

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                        • #13
                          Allied Strength

                          You're overestimating the troops available by the allies by a very wide margin.

                          I agree with you about Ligny, etc. Soult's terrible staff work (he allegedly made more mistakes as chief of staff in four days than Berthier did in eighteen years) resulted in Napoleon's planned envelopment and destruction of Blucher at Ligny being fouled up in execution. D'Erlon's troops fired no shots on 16 June.

                          If Grouchy's pursuit of Blucher had been more aggressively pressed, at the very least he would have kept the Prussian off Napoleon's flank. That being said, Wellington as much admitted he was done without Prussian intervention and he was fighting against inferior numbers of French troops, as about 16,000 of Nord was holding Napoleon's right flank against the Prussians.

                          If the French had won in Belgium with Wellington and Blucher either crippled or destroyed (and as it was, Wellington's army was crippled from the fighting at Mont St. Jean), it is doubtful that the Austrians alone would have had an appetite for further fighting. What they had in the field was the last army they had-and there is a good chance they might have changed sides again, as Napoleon would have at least appeared the stronger. The Russians would have found themselves a very long way from home and without allies.

                          What is often overlooked is the reasons Napoleon made Davout his Minister of War. Napoleon was planning on a prolonged struggle. Davout would have held Paris and not frittered it away as was done in 1814. It was also Davout who got the army ready for war and the campaign in Belgium. The French planned on having 800,000 men under arms by October.

                          An allied victory in 1815 was not a foregone conclusion and it was they who chose war, not Napoleon.

                          Sincerely,
                          M
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            Just because the Allies had larger forces in the field at the beginning of the campaign doesn't necessarily mean instant victory.
                            While Austrians did have a large army(210,000) they were slow in crossing the Rhine. I wonder if the Austrians were waitng for the outcome of the Belgian campaign. It wasn't until Wellington made the request that Schwarzenberg sent a corps to advance on Paris.

                            The Russians(150,000) uder Tolly were also slow in crossing the Rhine thus would also be unable to link up with the rest of the allies.

                            So imagine this: Napoleon inflicts a massive defeat on the Prussians at Ligny and forces Blucher to surrender. Then he turns on Wellington and defeats him and forces him to retreat to the coast. At this point Prussia is unable to do anything for the time being and Britain's main force is crippled.

                            At this point Napoleon marches on the Russians somewhere in Germany(I am assuming he would have gotten renforcements beforhand) and inflicts a sharp defeat on them therby forcing them to retreat.

                            That leaves the Austrians. Let's say Napoleon is marching south and Davout is marching from Paris. With the rest of the allies in considerable disarray and Napoleon considerable reputation,I would imagine that Austrians would throw in the towel.

                            Which means France (and Europe) would now be in the reign of Napoleon XI...
                            If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
                              It's OK saying that Grouchy would get to Waterloo at such and such a time, but he would have to first turn his 34,000 men, wagons/artillery around then march to the sound of the guns which in its self takes time. The state of the roads being little more than rough, very muddy tracks. The countryside was broken, with streams and ravines interspersed throughout the area, the crossing of the river Dyle and conditions generally under foot, would not allow for rapid movement let alone a speed of 3.5 mph (5.5 kph); and what would the Prussians be doing? waving goodbye to him? no, they would have interposed his every step. Apart from all that It's alright to arrive on the battlefield but what condition would the troops be in? any commander worth his salt would not throw them into the affray piecemeal or disorganised, if he had got any of his troops onto the battlefield and in significant numbers by 8pm, he would have done well.

                              IMO what Grouchy should have done was to agree with what Gerard said at noon, 'though not with the manner in which he said it', to attempt in supporting the main army would be a better option than not. If he turned about and got to Mont St. Jean, I don't think that he could have affected the outcome because time, distance, and conditions, let alone Prussian interference, would have been against him and he too could have been swept up in the headlong retreat and perhaps added even more to the butchers bill on both sides. So what would history have written of Grouchy if he followed this course but failed and lost a portion of his army or even had it destroyed?.
                              I hope I don't come across as pompous, and I hate to defend Napoleon at Waterloo, but the ground all around that area is pretty flat. I've walked all over it. Only at the Waterloo battlesite itself does it become a little uneven. The only problem I can see is rain perhaps slowing down Grouchy's corps.
                              How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                              Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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