THE BATTLE OF QUATRE BRAS – NAPOLEONIC WARS
16th June 1815
This was a battle fought between the Seventh Coalition and the French Empire.
On 15th June Napoleon had crossed the border into Belgium. The French wanted to secure the crossroads at Quatre Bras to prevent Wellington joining the Prussians led by Blucher. The French would then be able to attack and defeat the isolated Prussians.
According to Napoleon’s plan the French troops led by Michel Ney were supposed to occupy the crossroads by late afternoon on 15th June. However, this did not happen and a short while later, finding the crossroads unoccupied, the Prince of Saxe Weimar, one of Wellington’s generals, occupied the strategic location.
Napoleon reformulated his plans instructing Ney to secure the crossroads as soon as possible on June 16th
Quatre Bras, Belgium
Duke of Wellington
Prince William of Orange
Frederick William Duke of Brunswick
Michel Ney did not make his advance on the crossroads until late morning. This delay in attacking had allowed the Allies to amass troops and weapons at the crossroads and Ney was unable to take the location for France.
Napoleon was unable to put his plan in operation and the Prussians were not taken out of operation. The Prussians were therefore able to join Wellington and play a part in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo fought the following day.
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