Napoleon wins Waterloo

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by lucaswillen05, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. lucaswillen05 Well-Known Member

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    18 June 1PM Waterloo

    At 1PM the French Grand Battery redoubled its' fire as Compte d'Erlon's 1st Corps began to advance well supported by Milhaud's 4th Cavalry Corps. Meanwhile Lobau's corps redeployed right to intercept the Prussians around the Bois de Paris. Reille's 2nd corps redobled the attack on Hougemont.

    The Imperial Gaurd moved up behind d'Erlon ready to exploit the anticpated breakthroug

    2pm Waterloo

    D'Erlon's Corps reached he crest of the ridge, Bijlan's brigade having fled. On Wellington's left flank Pappelotte and Smohain had fallen to Durrutte's division.

    Sharp eyed officers spotted Uxbridge's cavalry preparing to charge and he divisions of Donzolet and Marcognet formed square despite the threat of Picton's division. The Allied cavalry broke on the French squares and was driven off by a charge of French Cuirassiers.

    he French now formed back into line and advanced on the Allied lines. A brutal firefight followed.

    2.30pm

    Around the Bois de Paris Lobau engaged the Prussians n a brutal, no quarter battle that would last for much of the afternoon. While slowly driven back owards Planchenoit Lobau's men gave a fine account of themselves and held Blucher off while therest of the Armee du Nord was winning the battle against Wellington.

    At 2,30 PM the Imperial Guard advanced between La Haye Sainte, now in French hands despite a gallant defence by Major Baring who died with his men after a gallant defence.

    3PM

    The Imperial Gaurd Infantry divisions crested the ridge, now under firm French control and conducted an efficient "passage of Lines through d'Erlon's men.smashing through Wellingttn's men as they struggled to reform a line at Mont St Jean Farm.

    4pm

    Wellington's line at Mont St Jean Farm broke despite a gallant defence. Kellerman's Cavalry and the cavalry of he Imperial Guard were released in a gallant charge led by Marshal Ney and well suppported by French horse artillery and infantry. In a hopeless position much of Wellington's aryy disintegrated as Hannoverians, Dutch Belgians and Nassauers broke and fled the field. The British infantry, supported by the remants of Uxbridge's cavalry managed a withdrawl in good oorder through the Foret de Soignes.

    By nightfall what was left of Wellington's army was in full retreat towards Brussels. Meanwhile Napoleon issued his orders to the victorious Armee du Nord for a pursuit of Wellington and the expected Battle of Planchenoit next day against Blucher's Prussians.
     
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  2. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer Donor

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    Based on the Napoleon loses at Wagram thread I confidently predict nothing will change whatsoever and WW1 will still begin in August 1914;)

    There is a good book called the "Napoleon Options" which covers a couple of possibilities.

    Militarily Napoleon's position was hopeless - only a loss of nerve by the entire coalition could have saved him.
     
  3. lucaswillen05 Well-Known Member

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    I have read Napoleon's options. There is also Napoleon's Waterloo Campaign by Steven Marthinsen which you will probably really enjoy if you have't alrady read it

    As for this alternative 1815 campaign Napoleon must now finish the fight with Blucher after which he will march on Brussels before marching to defend France's Eastern borders.French armies will of course be better prepared than 1814 and Davout wil certainly play a role.

    Wellington's army, though bady battered and beaten is not destroyed. He will likely have to abandon Brussels and retire on Ostend but he will be back. The 1815 campaign will certainly be a blood soaked affair but, despite the French victory in Belgium and Davout's likely role in the next phase of the campaign the odds are still in the Coalition's favour unless of course military defeats and/or political divisions cause it to collapse
     
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  4. John Fredrick Parker Donor

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  5. Anaxagoras 21st Century Jeffersonian

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    "Hopeless" was not in Napoleon's vocabulary. I don't think it impossible that the coalition might have split - at least it seems more likely than it had been in 1814. The Congress of Vienna had already demonstrated serious divisions between Britain/Austria and Prussia/Russia.
     
  6. lucaswillen05 Well-Known Member

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    19 June 6AM

    At Mont St Jean Napoleon had issued his orders for the coming day. At 8pm the previous day a messenger had been despatched to Grouchy who Napoleon believed should now be in he Wavre area ordering him to march at all speed on Mont St Jean. If he was engaged with the Prussians Grouchy was to demonstrate only against he Prussians at Wavre while the rest of his corps was to force march towards Napoleon.s positions in the Mont St Jean-Planchenoit area.

    Millaud's 4th Cavalry Corps was to pursue Wellington's beaten arrmy towards Brussels. The rest od the Armee du Nord would take up positions for the assault on Blucher whose exhausted army had remained in position overnight between Planchenoit and Ohain.

    Morale in Napoleon's army was high and a great victory was expected on the 19th if all commanders did their part.

    In the meantime Wellington's battered remnants approached Brussels. Orders had been sent aheead for the evacuation of the city. Crowds of panicked civillians in carriages, on horseback and on foot crowded the roads, further exacerbating thesituation created by large convoys of those Allied wounded who could be moved.

    Wellington saw that, with his army in he state it was he woulfd have to retire on Antwerp and Ostend. He had already ordered Prince Frederick's ad Charles Colville's detachment at Hal to move i the direcion of Brussels and Ostende in orderto link up with Welligton's main army. Although the Hal force was only 17000 men and 28 guns the Duke knew he would need every ma and gun he could find if Napleon were to move his main army on Brussels on the 19th. Wellington of course had no idea what had happened to Blucher alhough he had heard gunfire from the direction of Planchenoit an the Bois de Paris the previous day

    Blucher could see the French preparations to attack him at his position between Ohain and Planchenoit. He knew there was no chance now of retreat and, of course, the "hussar general" was oo proud to do so in any case. He would fight here and hope to hold the French until darkness. That at least would buy Wellington a day to regroup.
     
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  7. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer Donor

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    Yup

    As 1812, 1813 and 1814 showed "hopeless" was not in Napoleon's vocabulary. Unfortunately it was in everyone else's and all Napoleon achieved was to send another 200,000 Frenchmen to their deaths.

    Despite their differences all the coalition partners realised that if Napoleon survived they would end up with less so there was a coalition of the greedy in place to fight the war as they had fought it in 1812-14.

    To the death and to the last Frenchman standing.

    Napoleon's army will have fought four battles in a week - it will be exhausted after the forthcoming Prussian battle.

    If Wellington withdrew in good order and linked up with the detatched troops it is by no means certain that he would lose a battle against what is left of Napoleon's Grande Armee
     
  8. lucaswillen05 Well-Known Member

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    Blucher's army will be as badly mauled as Wellington's, perhaps even destroyed if Grouchy does his job, Brussels may well; fall in TTL.

    Following the victory i Belgium the staffwork errros should reduce as Soult gains experience as Chief of Staff.

    That is the good news. Napoleon still have to defeat 500000 Russians, Austrians and assorted Germans who will shortly cross France's eastern borders Davout will play an important role in the next phase of the campaign. Frrench morale will be high and the armt now battle experienced, The Coalition will suffer from political divisions owing to the Saxony Crisis earlier in the yearThat distrus will result in coordination problems between Schwarzenburg's Austrans abd Barclay de Tolly's Russians. Meanwhile Wellington and Blucher will use the opportunity to regroup in Belgium.

    The odds are still very much in favour of the 7th Coalition but the strugglewill now be a bloody version of 1814.
     
  9. David T Well-Known Member

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    "The question has often been asked, 'What if Napoleon had won at Waterloo?' The answer is as certain as any mere hypothesis can be: Waterloo would have occurred a few weeks later under another name. Physically, the disparity of forces was too great. Morally, France had lost heart." Albert Guerard, *France: A Modern History,* p. 281. https://archive.org/stream/franceamodernhis006433mbp#page/n307/mode/2up

    A victory, even if short-lived, by Napoleon at Waterloo would still have significant effects on pop music. Stonewall Jackson's "Waterloo" and Abba's song of the same name would both be impossible. The scene of whatever is Napoleon's final battle in this ATL might have a totally unmusical, unrhymable name...
     
  10. chris N Well-Known Member

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    One effect of a French victory at Waterloo all of the Belgian troops in the allied Army would desert to join the French. None of them were ever happy to be part of the Dutch Army. It is also possible that some of the smaller German states might decide that they had had enough and just leave the war.
     
  11. lucaswillen05 Well-Known Member

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    Early days yet. Once Brussels falls Napoleon may very well start recruiting Belgians. Wellington may well have to consider disarming his remaining Belgian troops.

    Regarding the German states. Schwarzenburg may very well start to get cold feet on hearing the bad news from Belgium. It uis too early however for German states to start deserting the Coalition but they could become decidedly wobbly. Even Saxony will likely sit oon the fence for now but, should Napoleon start winning major victories against the Austrians ad Russians this situation could start to change
     
  12. lucaswillen05 Well-Known Member

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    A great victory in Belgium would have been a great morale booster. However, militarily apoleon is still in big trouble. here are 500000 Austrians and Russians coming against perhaps 150000 French on he Eastern borders alone. Howver, du to the Saxon Crisis earlier in the year the ustrians and Russians deeply distrusted each other, unlike in 1814. We are likely to see several more big battles as Napoleon tries to pull of a series of victories against divided Allied forces in order to even the odds somewhat=t. In the unlikely event anyone could pull this off it would be Napoleon. Chances are the Allies will win i the end but it is likely to be bloody.
     
  13. chris N Well-Known Member

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    Actually the Belgians would probably disappear long before Brussels. They never liked being part of the Dutch Kingdom. They felt more loyalty to France. Somehow I think that Wellington would not have the times or enough organized troops to disarm unreliable troops.
    I believe that the smaller German states like Nassau , Frankfurt and Wurtemburg would al decide to sit the rest of the war out.
    Even Britain was becoming tired of fighting not only Napoleon but the war with the United States.
     
  14. David T Well-Known Member

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    Uh, the War of 1812 was long since over by the time of Waterloo.

    Anyway, the main point is this: Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia had the power and the determination to crush Napoleon no matter what happened at Waterloo. They would no longer trust him to keep any compromise agreement--they had had too many bad experiences. Thus, any attempt to split them *before Napoleon was defeated* would fail. (There was of course plenty of danger of them falling out afterwards.) Defections by Belgians or minor German states just would not be enough to make a difference except in the very short run.
     
  15. SlyDessertFox Literally Natalie Portman Donor

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    What if Alexander were to die around this time and Constantine Pavlovich were to take power? Constantine was a huge admirer of Napoleon and argued for a peace with Napoleon even after Moscow fell. A Constantinian Russia might not be as determined to see Napoleon go.
     
  16. Harpsichord Member

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    Austria and/or Russia have more of a say at the Conference, having been the ones to defeat Napoleon while the British and Prussians lost.
     
  17. chris N Well-Known Member

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    Remarks were deleted by the writer as they were incorrect.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  18. Darth_Kiryan The NĂºmenorean Sith

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    Battle of Waterloo was June 1815.
    Peace talks in Ghent was December 1814 to January 1815.

    So no, they were not taking place at the same time. The war of 1812 was over by Waterloo.
     
  19. lucaswillen05 Well-Known Member

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    A lot of Belgians will already deserted Wellington's main army. hose of he Hal Detachment might hold together for a little longer but many of them will be of little military value being militiaand West/Indian/East Indian troops. Nevertheless, Wellington my have to use the Hal Detachment in an attempt to cover his retreat once Blucher is defeated on the 19th which is pretty much certain. It depends how badly Blucher loses.

    After that we will be seeing Napoleon march on Brussels and probably wll pursue Wellington to Antwerp or Ostende. The British contingent will hold together but probably not the remnants of the Dutch Belgians, Brunswickers, Hannoverians and Nassauers.

    apoleon will oly have a few more days o complete his Belgian campaign before he will have to confront the other coalition armies now approaching France's eastern borders. However, he can still snatch a really decisive victory in Belgium, destroying a large part of the Prussian and British field armies. Should Napoleon catch Wellington again before the Royal Navy can evacuate him the British field army on the continent may ell be destroyed. That could well cause a financial crisis and quite possibly he fall of Lord Liverpool's government. That would be very bad news for the 7th Coalition.
     
  20. Simreeve Differently-Sane Scientist

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    Don't the Hannoverians include quite a few KGL veterans? They'll hold together.