Everything About History 1#: What If Napoleon Won The Battle Of Waterloo

Reading in my history magazine, named ‘’Alles Over Geschiedenis’’ (Everything About History), I saw a scenario about ‘’What If Napoleon won the battle of Waterloo’’. The Point of divergence starts with the Battle of Ligny. At Ligny, the Prussians would suffer a bigger defeat in the battle with Napoleon than in our timeline. Thanks to a bigger victory at Ligny, Napoleon is able to win the battle of Waterloo shortly after. According to two historians, who made this timeline, Napoleon certainly would have taken Brussels and maybe he would have been able to reach the Rhine and the Scheldt. The historians also predicted that Napoleon would go back to Paris to defend the city from the Austrians and the Russians, after winning in Waterloo and Brussels. However, he would still be defeated in a few weeks or months (one historian said a couple weeks, the other said a few weeks or months), by the Austrians and the Russians.

Furthermore, Napoleon thought that if the Bourbons captured him, he would be executed. That is why he surrendered to the British. The British where scared that if they executed Napoleon, they would turn him into a martyr. According to the two historians, if he was executed, he would indeed become a martyr.

In this ‘’what if’’ scenario, he was sent to trial in France and executed. He became a martyr, what led to political instability and a civil war. The scenario ended with the United Kingdom still becomes the dominant world power like it was in our nineteenth century. The historians said that, besides the wars in China etcetera, their next big challenge would be the Crimean war. Between the Napoleonic wars and the Crimean war, the balance of power originated out 1815 is expected to remain the same as it was in in our timeline. I don’t know about the last part. The stories say that France ends up in a civil war, Britain steal all the French colonies and the Crimean war breaks out earlier (the last two are mentioned in the timeline). If that would have happened in our timeline, the borders of the world would look a lot different.

For all the details, I have written the timeline down as it is shown in the book:

18-19 June 1815: Napoleon defeats the Prussians and after the ground has dried he sends his troops to Waterloo. During the battle of Waterloo, Wellington loses too many lives and retreats to the British garrison in Brussels.

21 June 1815: Back in Paris, Napoleon dissolves the parliament without opposition. As dictator, he takes the power to defend Paris against further attacks. (The capturing of Brussels or that Napoleon reached the Rhine and Scheldt are not mentioned in this part of the story. I don’t think he can conquer Brussels, reach the Rhine and come back to Paris to dissolve the parliament in just four days.)

July 1815:
Barclay de Tolly uses his experiences to siege Paris with his the Austrian-Russian forces.

July 1815: The allies consider Napoleon a danger for the peace in Europe and Louis the XVIII is allowed to execute him after he surrendered. This divides France and Napoleon becomes a martyr.

15 July 1815: Followers of Napoleons ideas about constitutional reformations during the hundred days are furious about his execution and protest against the Bourbons.

September 1815: Disillusioned Napoleonic leaders use the Pro-Bonaparte mood to come to power. A civil war breaks out in France.

Mid Nineteenth Century: The British take over the abandoned French colonies. A weakened France disrupts the balance of power in Europe. Therefore, it’s possible that the Crimean war takes place earlier. (The stories contradict its self at this point.)

My question is, is this timeline realistic? And what would happened afterwards, if this timeline did really take place? Would we see a France split into two or more parts? Would Prussia still form Germany? And would the Crimean war really take place earlier?
 
In my opinion, this timeline is realistic until July 1815 because the effects of a Napoleon's execution in Paris will be a stronger White Terror. Just a few lucky exiles and Napoleon's wife and son (under Austrian protection) will be saved. However, the Bonapartism will be more popular in the future and I can see a July Monarchy under a Bonaparte ruler, be it Napoleon II if Austria allows it, Napoléon-Louis (Louis II of Holland) if he dares or Napoleon III.

What happens next is already beginning to diverge from our reality and would depend on who becomes Emperor of the French.
 
I have decided to give a little more imagination to the matter and ended up doing this:

Waterloo Alternative Campaign (1815)


Napoleon moved the 128,000 strong Army of the North up to the Belgian frontier in relative secrecy, and crossed the frontier at Thuin near Charleroi on 15 June 1815. He thought of dividing his army into two wings:

-The Left Wing under Marshal Ney, would ensure the strategic position of Quatre-Bras.

-The Right Wing, under his own command, would face the Prussians.

However, Napoleon considered it more convenient to attack the Prussians with all his might in order to annihilate them with one blow, even though this would risk his left flank by leaving Quatre-Bras unprotected. Therefore Napoleon swiftly led his entire army in a clash with the Prussians at Ligny.
The Battle of Ligny was fought on 16 June 1815 and ended with a landslide French victory. Blücher and Gneisenau were captured, effectively disabling the Prussian army. However, Wellington's Anglo-Allied army (which failed to rally at Quatre-Bras in time to help the Prussians) tactically retreated to Waterloo to prepare for the next battle in his favor.

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815. This allowed Wellington to retreat quietly to Waterloo and secure his positions. When arriving at the battlefield, the Army of the North delayed still more its preparations when waiting for the terrain to dry up to better deploy its artillery (it had rained previously). By the time the battle began, it had already morphed into a desperate attempt by the French to avoid the Anglo-Allied embarkation. Wellington, who would never be willing to lose an untouchable army, had most efficiently prepared his retreat to prevent his forces from being captured by Napoleon. Faced with such a situation, Napoleon engaged his Imperial Guard to deliver the decisive blow, but despite its success, Wellington managed to embark and withdraw most of his army, thus turning the brief Battle of Waterloo into a strategic Coalition victory.

In spite of everything, Napoleon fulfilled his objective: To erase the coalition army of the North of France. Despite everything, Napoleon fulfilled his objective: To erase the coalition army from the North of France. His political-military position has been consolidated and, upon his triumphant return to Paris, he dissolves the Chambers and demands the Dictatorship again.

As the news spreads, the Seventh Coalition cracks: the Prussian king recalls with terror the Double Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, the Russian Tsar fears the resurgence of the Napoleonic Star and the Austrian Chancellor, Metternich, is pleased to see that his machinations of creating a strong France as a counterweight to Russia could be done after all. Despite the military superiority of the remnants of the Coalition (Russia and Austria), a new invasion of France would be risky because, not only has Napoleon fortified the interior, but also because he has greater popular and military support to carry out carried out the defense of the country unlike his previous defensive campaign. All these factors lead Metternich to send in July a peace proposal to Paris: France will keep its natural borders (Belgium, Luxembourg and the Rhineland) and hand over to the imperial heir Napoleon II. In return France agrees to recognize the losses of her other conquests. Napoleon receives this proposal on July 4 and agrees, with his signature stamped on the document, the Peace returns to Europe and the Napoleonic Empire remains.


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Europe after the July Peace and the Congress of Vienna
 
I have decided to give a little more imagination to the matter and ended up doing this:

Waterloo Alternative Campaign (1815)


Napoleon moved the 128,000 strong Army of the North up to the Belgian frontier in relative secrecy, and crossed the frontier at Thuin near Charleroi on 15 June 1815. He thought of dividing his army into two wings:

-The Left Wing under Marshal Ney, would ensure the strategic position of Quatre-Bras.

-The Right Wing, under his own command, would face the Prussians.

However, Napoleon considered it more convenient to attack the Prussians with all his might in order to annihilate them with one blow, even though this would risk his left flank by leaving Quatre-Bras unprotected. Therefore Napoleon swiftly led his entire army in a clash with the Prussians at Ligny.
The Battle of Ligny was fought on 16 June 1815 and ended with a landslide French victory. Blücher and Gneisenau were captured, effectively disabling the Prussian army. However, Wellington's Anglo-Allied army (which failed to rally at Quatre-Bras in time to help the Prussians) tactically retreated to Waterloo to prepare for the next battle in his favor.

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815. This allowed Wellington to retreat quietly to Waterloo and secure his positions. When arriving at the battlefield, the Army of the North delayed still more its preparations when waiting for the terrain to dry up to better deploy its artillery (it had rained previously). By the time the battle began, it had already morphed into a desperate attempt by the French to avoid the Anglo-Allied embarkation. Wellington, who would never be willing to lose an untouchable army, had most efficiently prepared his retreat to prevent his forces from being captured by Napoleon. Faced with such a situation, Napoleon engaged his Imperial Guard to deliver the decisive blow, but despite its success, Wellington managed to embark and withdraw most of his army, thus turning the brief Battle of Waterloo into a strategic Coalition victory.

In spite of everything, Napoleon fulfilled his objective: To erase the coalition army of the North of France. Despite everything, Napoleon fulfilled his objective: To erase the coalition army from the North of France. His political-military position has been consolidated and, upon his triumphant return to Paris, he dissolves the Chambers and demands the Dictatorship again.

As the news spreads, the Seventh Coalition cracks: the Prussian king recalls with terror the Double Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, the Russian Tsar fears the resurgence of the Napoleonic Star and the Austrian Chancellor, Metternich, is pleased to see that his machinations of creating a strong France as a counterweight to Russia could be done after all. Despite the military superiority of the remnants of the Coalition (Russia and Austria), a new invasion of France would be risky because, not only has Napoleon fortified the interior, but also because he has greater popular and military support to carry out carried out the defense of the country unlike his previous defensive campaign. All these factors lead Metternich to send in July a peace proposal to Paris: France will keep its natural borders (Belgium, Luxembourg and the Rhineland) and hand over to the imperial heir Napoleon II. In return France agrees to recognize the losses of her other conquests. Napoleon receives this proposal on July 4 and agrees, with his signature stamped on the document, the Peace returns to Europe and the Napoleonic Empire remains.


View attachment 647478
Europe after the July Peace and the Congress of Vienna
Thanks. looks like a fascinating and interesting timeline. Is it okay if I borrow some of these ideas for a potential timeline? I will give you credit for it.
 
I have decided to give a little more imagination to the matter and ended up doing this:

Waterloo Alternative Campaign (1815)

The Battle of Ligny was fought on 16 June 1815 and ended with a landslide French victory. Blücher and Gneisenau were captured, effectively disabling the Prussian army. However, Wellington's Anglo-Allied army (which failed to rally at Quatre-Bras in time to help the Prussians) tactically retreated to Waterloo to prepare for the next battle in his favor.
Blücher dies and Gneisenau was captured.

Another detail, it is logical to assume that France does not recover any colony that has been captured by the British 😥.
 
Someone I knew described Waterloo scenarios as similar to “ What if Nazi Germany won the Battle of Berlin?” The Battle of the Nations was where Napoleon lost, Waterloo was just house cleaning.

France had lost at that point, Napoleon winning Waterloo simply mean he keep the empire on life support for a little longer, before the coalition end his career.
 
Someone I knew described Waterloo scenarios as similar to “ What if Nazi Germany won the Battle of Berlin?” The Battle of the Nations was where Napoleon lost, Waterloo was just house cleaning.

France had lost at that point, Napoleon winning Waterloo simply mean he keep the empire on life support for a little longer, before the coalition end his career.
It's a bad comparison. The correct historical fact of the Napoleonic era that is analogous to a Nazi victory in Berlin would be Napoleon's French Campaign (which he won). No matter what he did, Napoleon would lose.

Waterloo is another matter, if Napoleon succeeds in completing his original plan to eliminate the coalition armies in northern France, that means that he has a free hand to organize a brutal guerrilla war against the Austrians and the Russians. The latter would not risk such a thing because it is risking a lot despite having already won.
 
It's a bad comparison. The correct historical fact of the Napoleonic era that is analogous to a Nazi victory in Berlin would be Napoleon's French Campaign (which he won). No matter what he did, Napoleon would lose.

Waterloo is another matter, if Napoleon succeeds in completing his original plan to eliminate the coalition armies in northern France, that means that he has a free hand to organize a brutal guerrilla war against the Austrians and the Russians. The latter would not risk such a thing because it is risking a lot despite having already won.
His ability to organize “a brutal guerrilla war” in France was negligible (in 1814 the attempts to organize defense of Paris using civilians failed pathetically). Population was not armed (in 1814 it was a problem to manufacture enough muskets for the regular army and the ad hoc formations raised for the defense of Paris had been armed with the pikes) and, in general, was not inclined to Spain-like resistance. Nation was weary of war and already accepted the Bourbons once. Politically, it is reasonably clear that Napoleon considered loss of Paris as pretty much end of the game and, anyway, who prevented him from trying guerrilla war scenario in 1814 or in OTL after Waterloo? Did not happen and probably could not happen because the allies did not prove to be evil enough for the civilian population to start risking their well-being just for Napoleon’s sake.

@Jürgen is quite right about the house cleaning. The theories of the Allied panic after Waterloo are not based on anything besides the wishful thinking. He would defeat Wellington, so what? Nobody (with the possible exception of some Brits) was considering him equal to Napoleon and defeat in a battle would not come as a game-changing shock. Even a more serious Prussian defeat at Ligny would not cause panic in Prussia: besides Blucher’s army it had 3 (IIRC) reserve corps in Prussia and while both Russia and Austria had 150,000 each on a march, this was in both cases only a part of the forces they had under the arms. Why would the Prussians find the parallels with Jena? They had a different army and a memory of Jena-Auerstedt did not force them to capitulate after Dresden. Just a magic of a “double victory”? Wouldn’t it be a little bit on a silly side? BTW, even after Jena the Prussians kept fighting rather stubbornly at Halle, Lubeck, and Eilau and capitulated only after they run out of a territory and allies. In this TL they would have a perfect excuse (justified or not) of Wellington being outmaneuvered by Napoleon and, after all, Prussians would lose a single battle, not two, so analogy is not applicable, anyway. Having Blucher conveniently killed would not be a fatal blow to the Prussian army: he was not a military genius and Prussia had other capable and energetic generals most of whom hated the French.

OK, Nappy would get lucky on the first stage of a war but this did not scare the allies in 1813 when their situation was worse. He still would not be able to be everywhere at the same time and he still would have the same marshals who had been beaten in 1814. The “magic” was gone at Leipzig or even earlier.

The Allies, especially Alexander, were not inclined to any compromise with Napoleon (if compromise was on a table, Russia would not be a part of the 7th coalition to start with).
 
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His ability to organize “a brutal guerrilla war” in France was negligible (in 1814 the attempts to organize defense of Paris using civilians failed pathetically). Population was not armed (in 1814 it was a problem to manufacture enough muskets for the regular army and the ad hoc formations raised for the defense of Paris had been armed with the pikes) and, in general, was not inclined to Spain-like resistance.
In 1814 (as I mentioned implicitly) Napoleon could not organize a guerrilla. In 1815 he did have the conditions to organize it, in fact, this was the alternative action plan to the Waterloo campaign that Napoleon decided to postpone until obtaining some victories.

@Jurgen is quite right about the house cleaning. The theories based upon the Allied panic after Waterloo are not based on anything besides the wishful thinking. He would defeat Wellington, so what? Nobody (with the possible exception of some Brits) was considered him equal to Napoleon and defeat in a battle would not come as a game-changing shock.
A crushing defeat against the Prussians (along with the death of Blucher) does not mean that Napoleon wins the war, but it does grant him powerful influence. Not only does it mean that his star has not faded but that now he will have the opportunity to operate in his own territory, with his own irregular armed followers. It would be like combining the Peninsular War with the German Campaign.

Why would the Coalition get stuck in this quagmire despite knowing well the talents of Napoleon, the Peninsular War and the Russian Campaign of 1812? They already won! The tsar has already proven himself the Liberator of Europe and Metternich is interested in a Napoleonic France. Only Prussia would be ready for such a relentless war, but... with the help of the Coalition.

Why would the Prussians find the parallels with Jena?
Perhaps because they were once again totally crushed despite being on equal numbers and having a military command considered efficient?

They had a different army and a memory of Jena-Auerstedt did not force them to capitulate after Dresden.
Dresden was not such a crushing victory: The Prussians managed to escape in an orderly fashion together with the Russians and returned the initiative at Kulm. It would have been a very different thing if Napoleon had had the cavalry to annihilate them or had not suffered gastric spasms that prevented him from giving the order to pursue the enemy.

Just a magic of a “double victory”? Wouldn’t it be a little bit on a silly side?
Yes, the memory of a crushing defeat when they were most confident in their army. Lutzen and Bautzen showed that they had improved. A defeat of such magnitude at Ligny would perfectly unsettle King Friedrich Wilhelm III and the Prussian high command.

BTW, even after Jena the Prussians kept fighting rather stubbornly at Halle, Lubeck, and Eylau (Eilau) and capitulated only after they run out of a territory and allies.
Unfortunately, people do not pay attention to these types of details.

In this TL they would have a perfect excuse (justified or not) of Wellington being outmaneuvered by Napoleon and, after all, Prussians would lose a single battle, not two, so analogy is not applicable, anyway.
The analogy is not that there are two battles, but that both times the Prussian army considered well prepared was brutally defeated

OK, Nappy would get lucky on the first stage of a war but this did not scare the allies in 1813 when their situation was worse. He still would not be able to be everywhere at the same time and he still would have the same marshals who had been beaten in 1814. The “magic” was gone at Leipzig or even earlier.
This does not apply because it was the German Campaign of 1813 where Napoleon fought normal battles. The battles planned in the proposed 1815 would be faster, more evasive and irregular, more similar to the French Campaign and the Peninsular War or what would come to be a German Campaign guerrilla version.

The Allies, especially Alexander, were not inclined to any compromise with Napoleon (if compromise was on a table, Russia would not be a part of the 7th coalition to start with).
England is not interested, but was defeated. Prussia is not interested, but is hesitating. Russia under the tsar is ambiguous. And Austria under Metternich wants a counterbalance to Russia (and does not want to put Austria in an unnecessary war), now it has a justification for successfully carrying out the Frankfurt Proposals by being able to threaten its resignation from the Coalition should they become intransigent. Russia will yield, therefore, Prussia as well and England will have to do so.
 
This does not apply because it was the German Campaign of 1813 where Napoleon fought normal battles. The battles planned in the proposed 1815 would be faster, more evasive and irregular, more similar to the French Campaign and the Peninsular War or what would come to be a German Campaign guerrilla version.
Another reason why it does not apply: The reasons for carrying out the German Campaign of 1813 against Napoleon are much more powerful than another war in 1815 with a successful Napoleonic Waterloo Campaign.

Russia wanted Warsaw and avenge the taking of Moscow, Prussia wanted its lost territories and Austria wanted to retake its lost territories and influence in Germany and Italy. By 1815 all of this has been accomplished.
 
In 1814 (as I mentioned implicitly) Napoleon could not organize a guerrilla. In 1815 he did have the conditions to organize it, in fact, this was the alternative action plan to the Waterloo campaign that Napoleon decided to postpone until obtaining some victories.

Sorry, but there is no serious evidence to back up you statement. There was no popular resistance in 1814 and there was practically none in 1815. Not that it would make too much sense for Napoleon to try a guerrilla war after winning "some victories" unless he understood that these victories are going to be useless in the terms of keeping the enemies off France. Which means that a victory at Waterloo would not in his opinion change the general strategic situation in the terms of a successful allied invasion of France. Which more or less kills your argument. ;)

Now, even if he did consider such a plan (of which, AFAIK, there was no real trace in the terms of organization), it does not mean that that plan would end up with any degree of success. Napoleon's career was full of the seemingly good plans which ended up with a fiasco: conquest of India, establishing solid French control over Spain, the CS, defeating Russian armies at the border in 1812, defeating the allies in 1813.

A crushing defeat against the Prussians (along with the death of Blucher) does not mean that Napoleon wins the war, but it does grant him powerful influence. Not only does it mean that his star has not faded but that now he will have the opportunity to operate in his own territory, with his own irregular armed followers. It would be like combining the Peninsular War with the German Campaign.

Sorry, but this sounds as a fantasy. In 1813 and even in 1814 Napoleon was defeating the Prussians and Russians on numerous occasions after which they ended up in Paris and he had to abdicate. In 1814 he still had all "influence" he could get but his tactical victories did not remedy a strategically hopeless situation.

Neither could the "irregular followers" be taken seriously as a military force. Northern France is not Spain with its mountains, big areas of a semi-desert terrain and sparse population which turned logistics of a regular army into a Hell. It is mostly flat, had dense population, relatively small rivers as pretty much the only obstacles and the good roads (something that Nappy took care or restoring) leading to Paris. Ah yes, a generally "civilized" population instead of the Spanish fanatics. In other words, nothing like Peninsula War and I'm not sure in which "German Campaign" the guerillas had been playing a critical role. Even in Russia 1812 most of the partisan activities had been conducted by the Cossacks (well-trained and adequately armed and organized irregulars) and detachments of the Russian regular light cavalry. And, by the admission of the most famous leader of these troops, they were pretty much useless against the French maintaining a good order. Their main target were the retreating columns which lost their cohesion.

Why would the Coalition get stuck in this quagmire despite knowing well the talents of Napoleon, the Peninsular War and the Russian Campaign of 1812? They already won! The tsar has already proven himself the Liberator of Europe and Metternich is interested in a Napoleonic France. Only Prussia would be ready for such a relentless war, but... with the help of the Coalition.

Sorry, but this is a very dubious logic. You start with taking something extremely improbable for granted (the Allies being stopped by pretty much impossible guerrilla war in the Northern France) and then proceed with a conclusion which is based solely upon " knowing well the talents of Napoleon" of which the allies had been fully aware and which prompted them to chose a strategy which had been working efficiently in 1813-14. In case you missed it, both the Peninsula War and the Russian Campaign of 1812 had been lost by Napoleon (or the French in the case of Spain) and both of them involved conditions that were absent in 1815.

Alexander's goal was not to be just a "liberator of Europe", he wanted Napoleon completely and utterly destroyed: without this being accomplished the "liberation" of Europe was considered impossible, thanks to Nappy's reputation. What Metternich was interested in is irrelevant as long as he was not interested in Napoleon remaining in power.

Perhaps because they were once again totally crushed despite being on equal numbers and having a military command considered efficient?
They had almost as many uncommitted troops in Prussia as they had in Belgium and, unlike 1806, they had strong allies coming to their help and a history of Napoleon being beaten.


Dresden was not such a crushing victory: The Prussians managed to escape in an orderly fashion together with the Russians and returned the initiative at Kulm. It would have been a very different thing if Napoleon had had the cavalry to annihilate them or had not suffered gastric spasms that prevented him from giving the order to pursue the enemy.
I see. The whole fate of the Napoleonic wars depended on him getting gastric spasms at Dresden and Waterloo and (presumably) a cold at Borodino (actually, something of a kind had been written about Borodino by a serious military historian; one have to wonder how one managed to get a cold in a midst of a hot summer x'D ). Should that argument be considered seriously?

Yes, the memory of a crushing defeat when they were most confident in their army. Lutzen and Bautzen showed that they had improved. A defeat of such magnitude at Ligny would perfectly unsettle King Friedrich Wilhelm III and the Prussian high command.

Repeating the same stuff time and again does not amount to some kind of a proof. In case you missed it, after the War of the 4th Coalition the Prussian military recognized deficiencies of their old system and completely modernized their army.

Then, there is one more fundamental difference between 1806 and 1815. In 1806 Napoleon kept pursuing the retreating Prussians all the way to Lubeck and Eastern Prussia. In 1815 he could beat them in a field battle and switch his attention to the Brits leaving the Prussians with a free retreat line. He could not realistically achieve a complete Prussian annihilation at the battlefield Ligny. Did not happen in 1806 and did not happen even in his most famous victories like Austerlitz and Friedland. And at Ligny Napoleon is in a much worse situation than at Austerlitz or Friedland because the enemy is better and most of his marshals, including most of the best ones (to be generous to Soult who proved his inadequacy as a chief of stuff in 1815) absent. He even had to commit the Old Guards to win a victory.

Defeat at Ligny would mean little beyond proving once more that the old plan of engaging the marshals, advancing on a wide front and avoiding the direct confrontation with Napoleon except for the cases with a big numeric advantage is still valid. Nobody was considering Blucher as a match to Napoleon so why would Friedrich Wilhelm suddenly have a fit of a hysteria, especially taking into an account that he has a big uncommitted reserve army commanded no less than von Bülow, a victor at Grossbeeren and Dennewitz, and the Russians and Austrians coming?

Unfortunately, people do not pay attention to these types of details.

But they do. The Russian and Prussian contemporaries had been well-aware of the battle of Eilau and the Prussians did not have a reason to forget Lubeck (and the honorary conditions of surrender) and Eilau in which they played an important role. Not to mention the victories of 1813 and 1814 in which they played an important role.

The analogy is not that there are two battles, but that both times the Prussian army considered well prepared was brutally defeated

This would be pretty much expected as soon as Napoleon managed to outmaneuver Wellington and Blucher and inserted his army between them. If defeat of Napoleon in a field battle was considered something ordinary there would be no so much hype about Waterloo.


This does not apply because it was the German Campaign of 1813 where Napoleon fought normal battles. The battles planned in the proposed 1815 would be faster, more evasive and irregular, more similar to the French Campaign and the Peninsular War or what would come to be a German Campaign guerrilla version.
I still have no idea about "German Campaign guerrilla version" in which by your own words "Napoleon fought normal battles". The Spanish guerrilla war could not be fought in the Northern France. As far as the allegedly "proposed" battles for the 1815, Nappy definitely started with the battles which were neither fast nor evasive and the fast operations in France in 1814 resulted in a series of the meaningless tactical successes which ended up with a strategic disaster. Arguably, they were probably making strategic situation worse because these victories had been forcing him to spread his limited resources making them more vulnerable and limiting his ability to do "firefighting" all over the front.

England is not interested, but was defeated. Prussia is not interested, but is hesitating. Russia under the tsar is ambiguous. And Austria under Metternich wants a counterbalance to Russia (and does not want to put Austria in an unnecessary war), now it has a justification for successfully carrying out the Frankfurt Proposals by being able to threaten its resignation from the Coalition should they become intransigent. Russia will yield, therefore, Prussia as well and England will have to do so.
The British direct participation in Waterloo campaign amounted to 25,000 British and 6,000 King's German Legion. The rest of Wellington's army were contingents from the Netherlands and various German states. Comparing the numbers raised by other major allies, this was peanuts and the expected important contribution would be in gold. If necessary, Britain would be able to raise more troops under the British command and defeat in a battle was not going to be a defeat in a war (Britain suffered more than one offset in Europe during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars).

Where did you get an idea that Alexander was "ambiguous" I have no clue: Nappy was his personal enemy beyond and above the demagoguery about "liberation of Europe". Austria may want to counterbalance Russia but Napoleon on the throne is a non-starter. After the initial confusion regarding conditions, the Brits rejected them and neither Russia nor Prussia were too enthusiastic about them. Actually, after Nappy rejected them, the whole idea of retaining him on the throne and having border of France on the Rhine was dead and not to be brought up in 1815. Russian-Prussian-Austrian-British disagreements regarding Poland and Saxony had been already over and Metternich was not God Almighty and even not an Emperor of Austria to define the fate of Europe singlehandedly. The Austrian troops already had been on a march when Waterloo happened.
 
Sorry, but there is no serious evidence to back up you statement. There was no popular resistance in 1814 and there was practically none in 1815. Not that it would make too much sense for Napoleon to try a guerrilla war after winning "some victories" unless he understood that these victories are going to be useless in the terms of keeping the enemies off France. Which means that a victory at Waterloo would not in his opinion change the general strategic situation in the terms of a successful allied invasion of France. Which more or less kills your argument. ;)

Now, even if he did consider such a plan (of which, AFAIK, there was no real trace in the terms of organization), it does not mean that that plan would end up with any degree of success. Napoleon's career was full of the seemingly good plans which ended up with a fiasco: conquest of India, establishing solid French control over Spain, the CS, defeating Russian armies at the border in 1812, defeating the allies in 1813.



Sorry, but this sounds as a fantasy. In 1813 and even in 1814 Napoleon was defeating the Prussians and Russians on numerous occasions after which they ended up in Paris and he had to abdicate. In 1814 he still had all "influence" he could get but his tactical victories did not remedy a strategically hopeless situation.

Neither could the "irregular followers" be taken seriously as a military force. Northern France is not Spain with its mountains, big areas of a semi-desert terrain and sparse population which turned logistics of a regular army into a Hell. It is mostly flat, had dense population, relatively small rivers as pretty much the only obstacles and the good roads (something that Nappy took care or restoring) leading to Paris. Ah yes, a generally "civilized" population instead of the Spanish fanatics. In other words, nothing like Peninsula War and I'm not sure in which "German Campaign" the guerillas had been playing a critical role. Even in Russia 1812 most of the partisan activities had been conducted by the Cossacks (well-trained and adequately armed and organized irregulars) and detachments of the Russian regular light cavalry. And, by the admission of the most famous leader of these troops, they were pretty much useless against the French maintaining a good order. Their main target were the retreating columns which lost their cohesion.



Sorry, but this is a very dubious logic. You start with taking something extremely improbable for granted (the Allies being stopped by pretty much impossible guerrilla war in the Northern France) and then proceed with a conclusion which is based solely upon " knowing well the talents of Napoleon" of which the allies had been fully aware and which prompted them to chose a strategy which had been working efficiently in 1813-14. In case you missed it, both the Peninsula War and the Russian Campaign of 1812 had been lost by Napoleon (or the French in the case of Spain) and both of them involved conditions that were absent in 1815.

Alexander's goal was not to be just a "liberator of Europe", he wanted Napoleon completely and utterly destroyed: without this being accomplished the "liberation" of Europe was considered impossible, thanks to Nappy's reputation. What Metternich was interested in is irrelevant as long as he was not interested in Napoleon remaining in power.


They had almost as many uncommitted troops in Prussia as they had in Belgium and, unlike 1806, they had strong allies coming to their help and a history of Napoleon being beaten.



I see. The whole fate of the Napoleonic wars depended on him getting gastric spasms at Dresden and Waterloo and (presumably) a cold at Borodino (actually, something of a kind had been written about Borodino by a serious military historian; one have to wonder how one managed to get a cold in a midst of a hot summer x'D ). Should that argument be considered seriously?



Repeating the same stuff time and again does not amount to some kind of a proof. In case you missed it, after the War of the 4th Coalition the Prussian military recognized deficiencies of their old system and completely modernized their army.

Then, there is one more fundamental difference between 1806 and 1815. In 1806 Napoleon kept pursuing the retreating Prussians all the way to Lubeck and Eastern Prussia. In 1815 he could beat them in a field battle and switch his attention to the Brits leaving the Prussians with a free retreat line. He could not realistically achieve a complete Prussian annihilation at the battlefield Ligny. Did not happen in 1806 and did not happen even in his most famous victories like Austerlitz and Friedland. And at Ligny Napoleon is in a much worse situation than at Austerlitz or Friedland because the enemy is better and most of his marshals, including most of the best ones (to be generous to Soult who proved his inadequacy as a chief of stuff in 1815) absent. He even had to commit the Old Guards to win a victory.

Defeat at Ligny would mean little beyond proving once more that the old plan of engaging the marshals, advancing on a wide front and avoiding the direct confrontation with Napoleon except for the cases with a big numeric advantage is still valid. Nobody was considering Blucher as a match to Napoleon so why would Friedrich Wilhelm suddenly have a fit of a hysteria, especially taking into an account that he has a big uncommitted reserve army commanded no less than von Bülow, a victor at Grossbeeren and Dennewitz, and the Russians and Austrians coming?



But they do. The Russian and Prussian contemporaries had been well-aware of the battle of Eilau and the Prussians did not have a reason to forget Lubeck (and the honorary conditions of surrender) and Eilau in which they played an important role. Not to mention the victories of 1813 and 1814 in which they played an important role.



This would be pretty much expected as soon as Napoleon managed to outmaneuver Wellington and Blucher and inserted his army between them. If defeat of Napoleon in a field battle was considered something ordinary there would be no so much hype about Waterloo.



I still have no idea about "German Campaign guerrilla version" in which by your own words "Napoleon fought normal battles". The Spanish guerrilla war could not be fought in the Northern France. As far as the allegedly "proposed" battles for the 1815, Nappy definitely started with the battles which were neither fast nor evasive and the fast operations in France in 1814 resulted in a series of the meaningless tactical successes which ended up with a strategic disaster. Arguably, they were probably making strategic situation worse because these victories had been forcing him to spread his limited resources making them more vulnerable and limiting his ability to do "firefighting" all over the front.


The British direct participation in Waterloo campaign amounted to 25,000 British and 6,000 King's German Legion. The rest of Wellington's army were contingents from the Netherlands and various German states. Comparing the numbers raised by other major allies, this was peanuts and the expected important contribution would be in gold. If necessary, Britain would be able to raise more troops under the British command and defeat in a battle was not going to be a defeat in a war (Britain suffered more than one offset in Europe during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars).

Where did you get an idea that Alexander was "ambiguous" I have no clue: Nappy was his personal enemy beyond and above the demagoguery about "liberation of Europe". Austria may want to counterbalance Russia but Napoleon on the throne is a non-starter. After the initial confusion regarding conditions, the Brits rejected them and neither Russia nor Prussia were too enthusiastic about them. Actually, after Nappy rejected them, the whole idea of retaining him on the throne and having border of France on the Rhine was dead and not to be brought up in 1815. Russian-Prussian-Austrian-British disagreements regarding Poland and Saxony had been already over and Metternich was not God Almighty and even not an Emperor of Austria to define the fate of Europe singlehandedly. The Austrian troops already had been on a march when Waterloo happened.
And what if Napoleon makes a deal with the Coallition to resign in favour of his son, Napoleon II?
 
@alexmilman I'm sorry, but I'm not willing to enter into a condescending debate with you. I have already refuted you properly and would not contribute anything to the OP.
There is nothing condescending in my reply but you did not produce any facts to back up your statements or to “refute” mine.

You are more than welcomed to produce the factual materials confirming that in 1815 Alexander or the Brits were ready to offer the Frankfurt terms, that in any major battle Napoleon completely exterminated his opponent, that in 1815 the Prussians and Russians forgot about Eilau or that the Northern France was anywhere close to the Central Spain in its terrain, density of a population and culture.
 
And what if Napoleon makes a deal with the Coallition to resign in favour of his son, Napoleon II?
IIRC, this option was considered and rejected in 1814 so why exactly it is going to be accepted in 1815? Beside, of course, the fact that pretty much anything which obviously does not violate the laws of physics has a non-zero chance for happening? 😉

No, seriously, can you propose a plausible scenario (aka, not involving the Allies succumbing to a fit of panic after the first defeats, Napoleon completely annihilating his opponents in all battles regardless the numeric odds, Metternich being omnipotent in the European affairs and ready to keep surrendering the allied interests to Napoleon, etc.) in which the allied leadership reverses their collective attitudes, decides to dump the Bourbons, put Napoleon II on the throne and to keep Napoleon where exactly and in which capacity? If you can then it would be really interesting to discuss.

While playing the purely military scenarios has obvious limitations in the terms of options available, perhaps changing some underlying “fundamental” factors may change the odds and the whole situation.
 
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