14 illustrations; 169 full-page color maps, 13 x 10*
* Large color maps show the course of each campaign. Complemented by a full narrative history
"A superb historical atlas that is a seminal work and provides a comprehensive overview of the battles and campaigns between 1796 and 1815. The 169 maps chart the course of twelve crucial campaigns including Marengo, Austerlitz, and Borodino. It illustrates Napoleon's concept of war, his grasp of strategy, and his complete mastery of battlefield tactics.
Vincent J. Esposito was professor and head of the Department of Military Art and Engineering at West Point from 1956-1963. Colonel John R. Elting is the foremost expert on Napoleon's Grande Armee."
Col Elting taught the senior course, History of the Military Art for eleven years at West Point and ended his tour there as an associate professor.
The impression created was entirely yours. “The French fought outnumbered at Waterloo the VI Corps only being engaged against the Prussians and not the Anglo-Dutch. And they nearly won there also. Wellington had as good as lost the battle and then the Prussians belatedly showed up.”
@Kevin F. Kiley because we need to balance the impression that the Armée du Nord was at a disadvantage in the morning of Waterloo. They weren’t outnumbered. They weren’t facing significantly fresher troops. These are all excuses used to avoid critiquing Napoleon’s performance.
@Kevin F. Kiley , thank you for the analysis of Wellington’s Allied army. In light of that I’m willing to modify my assertion to “most of the frontline units and about half of Wellington’s strength”. The general point still stands though, Wellington’s forces were far from fresh. Indeed, if we survey the units in the frontline that morning (from right to left from Hougoumont to Frichermont) 200 Hanoverian Rifles Hougoumont garrison Nassauers and Guards Maitland’s Guards Halkett’s Brigade (inc 69th who lost a colour) Kielmannsegge La Haie Sainte garrison 2nd Lt Bn KGL Kempt Bijlandt Pack (inc 92nd who lost CO) Best Saxe Weimar The majority were indeed at Quatre Bras.
From Prelude to Waterloo: Quatre Bras by Andres Field, pages 203-205. These are the totals without the artillery numbers (each artillery company would number a little over 100 all ranks each), but it does not add up to over half of Wellington's allied army:
2d Netherlands Division (Perponcher): 7,533 all ranks. Two foot artillery companies.
Netherlands Cavalry Division (Part) (van Merlen): 1,082 all ranks. One section of horse artillery.
5th British Infantry Division (Picton): 7,209 all ranks. Two foot artillery companies.
Brunswick Corps (Duke of Brunswick): 4,953 infantry; 922 cavalry. One foot artillery company, one horse artillery company.
3d British Division (Alten) (2d KGL Brigade arrived too late to participate in the action): 5,447 all ranks. Two foot artillery companies.
1st British Infantry Division (Cooke): 4,061 all ranks. One horse artillery company; one foot artillery company.
Artillery: 8 foot artillery companies; two horse artillery companies plus one section of horse artillery.
I did not add in the units that joined after the action and were in the 'fox hunt' run to Waterloo on the 17th as the initial parameter you posted was for Quatre Bras, not the pursuit. Even adding in the cavalry that participated in the pursuit it would not add a number that would equal the other parameter of 'most' of Wellington's army.
From my quick 'calculations' there were five British brigades at Quatre Bras, plus 2 Hanoverian Brigades and 2 Netherlands brigades plus the Brunswickers.
In addition to those, at Waterloo there were 3 British brigades, two KGL brigades, 2 Netherlands brigades, 1 Nassau regiment, and two Hanoverian brigades who were not at Quatre Bras.
If you consider only British brigades as being 'front line' units, then it is even (as the KGL were British units as part of the British army).
So, it appears that 'almost all of Wellington's front line' were not at Quatre Bras.
@Kevin F. Kiley I mean the “fireside staring romantics” who spout florid prose too vague to say anything meaningful or without recourse to the data. For example, we get assertions that a regiment wore this or that in such and such a colour. We then find there was no cloth on charge in the depot and the accounts recorded no such purchase, insufficient buttons etc and no eyewitness account to support their manufacture. The data can be awfully inconvenient. Simply declaring a unit ‘veteran’ just because a famously experienced author or two were in it. A statistical analysis of the MATs might reveal a very different picture. Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Machine Learning are either here or coming fast. Neural networks will allow us to detect patterns and boilerplate solutions to mine the swiftly digitising archives. Granted some divisions and brigades were arriving late in the day, but almost all of Wellington’s front line had put in a appearance.
Nord performed well at Quatre Bras, especially the cavalry.
The French defeated the Prussians badly at Ligny fighting outnumbered and inflicting three times the number of casualties on the Prussians.
The French fought outnumbered at Waterloo the VI Corps only being engaged against the Prussians and not the Anglo-Dutch. And they nearly won there also. Wellington had as good as lost the battle and then the Prussians belatedly showed up.
Be careful of statistics. I'm an engineer by university degree and served as a statistical analyst for three years at Headquarters Marine Corps. An old adage regarding statistics is always relevant: 'There are lies, damned lies, and then statistics.'
I’m eagerly awaiting @Gareth Glover ‘s new ‘Waterloo Atlas’ fro Ken Trotman and it will be interesting to see how this compares to the 1815 section of this ‘standard’ work.