Many have sought reasons why Napoleon lost the great battle at Waterloo, seen by many as the most famous conflict of the nineteenth century. Waterloo Casualties presents the litany of failures by one of Napoleon’s key subordinates, General Drouet d’Erlon, which ultimately led to defeat. Using newly uncovered source material in archives in Paris, Dawson presents the campaign from the viewpoint of d’Erlon to explore his failings over four days that changed the course of European history.
The book explores for the first time what really happened at Hougoumont, La Haye Sainte, and on the French right wing as the Prussians closed in. The actions between Papelotte and Frischermont were critical in the story of the battle, but have, so far, been seldom studied. As no red-coated soldiers fought here, and the Waterloo mythos says the red coats won the battle, the study of half of the battle has to a large extent been ignored. Dawson’s meticulous analysis highlights key strategic decisions of one of the most significant military engagements of the last 500 years.
Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1815; 15 June; 16 June; Fatal Perambulations; Durutte Attacks at Ligny; 17 June; The Prussians; 18 June; Battle is Joined; D’Erlon Moves Off; Durutte’s First Attack; Marbot’s Patrol; The Allied Response; The Fate of Marcognet’s Division; Of the Greys and Guns; Jacquinot’s Counterattack; The Cuirassiers; Durutte’s Second Attack; Frischermont; Papelotte and La Haie; The Prussians; Countering the Prussian Threat; 6th Corps is Sent to Stop the Prussians; Prussians and More Prussians; Plancenoite; D’Erlon’s Last Offensive; Route and Retreat; Conclusions; Endnotes; Bibliography