Great Battles in Miniature

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on June 18, 1815 in central Belgium.  Napoleon's French army had engaged the Prussian army commanded by Marshal Blucher and portions of the British and allied army of the Duke of Wellington two days prior.  These two forces remained separated after those engagements.  It was Napoleon's plan to overcome Wellington's force before he could be joined by the Prussians.  In the event this proved unsuccessful.  Wellington's force stood fast in spite of repeated attacks and the bulk of the Prussian army arrived on the French eastern flank securing the success of the Allied effort.  The photos below depict the French and British positions at approximately 11:00 AM on the morning of the battle.  

This photo is taken from the southeast behind the right flank of the French position.  From upper left to lower right the French army is arrayed as follows: the light cavalry division of Pire at top left, Reille's II Corps extending to and onto the ridge at right center, Kellermann's heavy cavalrycorps behind Reille, the infantry of the Imperial Guard to the right of Kellermann, the grande battery on the ridge to the right of Reille and straddling the main north/south road leading to the British line and on to Brussels.  To the rear of the grande battery is Lobau's VI Corps and Subervie's light cavalry division.   Extending from Subervie along the ridge to the right is D'Erlon's I Corps and behind D'Erlon is Milhaud's heavy cavalry corps.  The town at lower left is Plancenoit, and Jacquinot's light cavalry division is at far lower right.  Not shown, behind Milhaud, is the cavalry of the Imperial Guard.  

The view above is from behind the French army looking north towards Wellington's position.  The hamlet at upper left is Braine and below it is Clinton's division.  Within and just in front of the triangle of roads at top center are the divisions of Cooke and Alten.  The large building and walled enclosure at the lower left corner of that triangle of roads is Chateau De Goumont, or "Hougomont."  The red roofed building at the lower right corner of the triangle of roads is La Haye-Sainte.  The British infantry extending along the ridge at the upper right is Picton's division.  The hamlets (barely shown at the upper right and in front of Picton are Papelotte, La Haye and Frichermont.  Six brigades of British cavalry are in support behind the British line - Grant's brigade at far left of the photo with Clinton's division, the brigades of Arentschildt, and Somerset behind the British center, and the brigades of Ponsonby, Vandeleur, and Vivian arrayed from left to right behind Picton.

The view from the east looking west down the center of the battlefield.

Kellermann's heavy cavalry view from the northwest.

Kellermann from the southwest with divisions of Reille's corps in their front.

The cuiraissier

Looking east across Kellermann's cavalry, the Imperial Guard in background.

Looking east across the French position.

The French left flank viewed to the northwest.  Kellermann and Reille in picture center and Pire's light cavalry at top center.

The French center and left from the air.  Kellermann and Reille at left and top, the Imperial Guard at lower right.

Looking northeast across the French center.  The British position is in the top distance, the grande battery at the front of the French position, Lobau's corps and Subervie's light cavalry division in reserve in foreground.

The French left as viewed from the northeast.  Pire in foreground, Reille and Kellermann at center and top right, the Imperial Guard at top left.

The Imperial Guard.

The grand battery.

Lobau's corps and Subervie's cavalry division in reserve behind the French center.  Marshal Soult at work as chief of staff, lower right, and the musicians of the Guard.

The French right.  The town of Plancenoit is in the foreground.  The cavalry of the Imperial Guard is at upper right, Milhaud's heavy cavalry corps is at left center.  D'Erlon's corps is at upper left in front of Milhaud.

The corps of Milhaud and D'Erlon.

The French right viewed from the northeast.  Jacquinot's cavalry division is at top left on the extreme right of the French line.

Jacquinot's cavalry on the French right flank.

Napoleon and Marshal Ney.  Ever present guards from the Chasseurs a Cheval of the Guard in rear.

The French army viewed from the east.

The British army view from the northeast.

The British line as seem from the east.

The British center.

The British center as seen from the north.  In the foreground, at the rear of their position are Brunswick (left) and Dutch (right) troops.

The British center viewed from the west.

Chateau Hougomont, the French army in the background.

The British center and right viewed from the southeast.

The British left flank, Picton's division, and cavalry in support.

The British left viewed from the southeast looking across Papelot and Frichermont.

The Scot's Greys cavalry, at top, right center, in support of Picton.

The British left viewed from the northeast.

The British left viewed from the northwest.

British hussars.

The hamlet of Braine, behind Clinton's division on the extreme British right flank.

The battlefield from the southeast.

The battlefield from the southwest.