On this day, 1815: “Vive l’Empereur!”

Shortly before 7.30 p.m. Napoleon played his final card, despatching the Guard up towards the crest of the ridge that ran from La Haye Sainte to Hougoumont, in what Andrew Roberts describes in Waterloo, Napoleon’s Last Gamble, as “the last great military manoeuvre of a hard fought battle”. In little more than 30 minutes it was over, ‘La Garde recule!‘ and the French army broken.

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