The Waterloo Campaign 1815

Map 1

5

You think Napoleon should attack the armies in Belgium? So does Napoleon. His plan is to strike swiftly and win a victory in Belgium before the Austrians and Prussians can arrive on the Rhine. The defeat of Wellington may put the British out of the war and without British gold the alliance may crumble. Moreover, the French feel strongly about the loss of French-speaking Belgium and nothing could better renew the Emperor's glory than a triumphal entry into Brussels.

Wellington's headquarters are at Brussels and his base on the coast at Ostend (for Britannia rules the waves unchallenged since Trafalgar); his army is spread over the open lowland of Belgium south of Brussels and Ghent, from Menin eastward to the Brussels-Charleroi road (later to be numbered N 5)*, where Blücher takes over.

Wellington relies on spies for news of Napoleon, and on his cavalry screen along the frontier. He does not expect Napoleon to attack, but if he does spring a surprise Wellington thinks it will most likely be:

On his western flank.

Along his front.

On his eastern flank.

* See Map 3. We shall use the twentieth-century road numbers for convenience of reference.

Map 3
Map 1 Map 3
Map 2 Map 4
Map 2 Map 4