Welling­ton chooses the field of bat­tle

Provincial Living - - Back In Time... -

Welling­ton had earned the rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing a great de­fen­sive tac­ti­cian. Mont-Saint-Jean pro­vided a ridge be­hind which he could hide much of his forces and thereby con­ceal their move­ments from Napoleon.

Ly­ing in front of the ridge were three po­si­tions ex­posed to the en­emy but that could be for­ti­fied so as to break up ad­vanc­ing col­umns: Hougoumont Farm on Napoleon’s left, La Haye Sainte Farm in the cen­tre and the ham­let of Papelotte on the right.

On the day, Welling­ton’s army con­sisted of 68,000 men and 156 cannon, com­pared to Napoleon’s army of 72,000 men and 246 cannon, massed along a 4.5km front.

Napoleon throws the dice

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