June 18, 2014 by warzan
My my how things have changed for me in a week.
Only last week, I set out (reluctantly I might add) to learn a little about Waterloo (today is the anniversary of the Battle 199 years ago), in the process I have become hooked.
From my original position of thinking about Napoleonic era battles as a bunch of men mincing around like prancing peacocks, I have come to realize that is was all quite the opposite. Men of the utmost courage who were facing a huge change in warfare, where battles were still ultimately fought hand to hand, but had the added horror of ranged fire (both light and heavy) thrown in.
What looked like madness to me, marching directly up to your enemy while they were firing right at you, now has become clear that it was not only a valid tactic, but pretty much the only tactic that was possible, given the unique set of conditions warfare faced in those times.
The brightly colored uniforms, allowed easy identification of your comrades, and camouflage would have been fairly pointless for most soldiers as fighting had to be up close and personal.
Having taken the time to learn just a little (yes I know I love to butcher history on the weekender) I am humbled by the courage of these men, and the warfare they engaged in. Frankly it must have been terrifying.
This is a journey I’m fairly sure I’m going to continue for some time to come.
I received a ton of emails and feedback from the Waterloo feature in the weekender, and I’d like to thank everyone for reaching out to support/help. I have since watched some Sharpe for the first time (and the silk stocking full of shit) and quite enjoyed it.
But the movie Waterloo (1970) was by far my favorite watch over these last days.
The scale was incredible and even then they had only 15,000 soldiers and 2000 horses (the battle had something like 150,000 men and 25,000 horses – oh and did i mention 400 cannons! apparently when Naopleon let loose the guns, they were heard in Kent!)
Fabulous movie, unbelievable battle, two incredible men in Wellington and Bonaparte, and I have embedded it above to have a watch of it
I have been ambushed by Waterloo… will you?