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Waterloo: Hougomont

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  • #16
    You come up with an idea if you like.
    OK, note to Napoleon :

    Instead of moving past Hougomont and attacking around noon in the direction of la Haye Sainte/Mt St-Jean, deploy in front of it and attack it in the morning making Hougomont the focal point of the attack.

    Thus you get a frontline roughly behind the Halle road, towards Braine l'Alleud.

    That has all sorts of interesting implications, presumably Hill is drawn into the fight to extend Wellington's right, Blucher or Grouchy matters less because they don't come in on your flanks and rear.

    Oh, and if it all doesn't exactly go as planned you don't get your army surrounded and destroyed in a single battle, but live to fight the next day.

    If it does fall however it pretty much makes the position on the ridge untenable and forces the allied commanders to make a decision.

    It has the added benefit of a battle of more limited scope, much better suited to the command span of a single man, not any longer at the height of his... eh physical capabilities.

    Yours Sincerely,

    General Snow
    Major Atticus Finch - ACW Rainbow Game.


    • #17
      Quote Paul:
      “If Hougoumont had fallen, it would have pinned the Dukes right wing and put it under constant bombardment by artillery and harassment by light infantry and cavalry.”

      As Paul said…, had Hougoumont fallen, Napoleon’s left flank would have advanced unhindered. (500 yards in front of the ridge…, 'cannon-fodder')

      In the mean time, Paul’s comment was made; not knowing that the Allied batteries from Bull to Wellington’s centre had fired on the French shortly after 10h00.
      (a fact, as yet, unofficially available until John Franklin’s ‘Struggle for Hougoumont’ is published this year)

      As such…
      (hypothesis…; ‘all the Germans plus the CG and SG Light Companies are all dead in the farm’)
      Independent of the above; the two ‘Grenadier’ Light Companies are still in the orchard. (1st Regiment of Foot Guards)

      Taking into account that the Allies used shrapnel to push the French back into the ‘valley’ behind the southern wood at about 10h15; (90 minutes before the first French centre salvo at 11h35) the chateau/farm would have received the equivalent of being NAPALMED.
      Not one Frenchman would have survived ! Allied incendiary devices would also have followed and the follow-up, would have been Saltoun and his two Battalions plus the Scots and Coldstream Guards on the ridge re-taking the farm.

      Back to square one !
      Last edited by Iain; 12 Apr 18, 13:57.


      • #18
        The battle started at 'about' 11:30hrs. That there may well have been skirmishing and the odd artillery action does not mean the battle started. Most battles had contact actions before the engagement became general.

        If we go by an artillery bombardment and some skirmishing, we will have to place the battle of the Somme as starting a week earlier than the official 1st July.

        ‘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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