Battle of Waterloo: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Battle of Waterloo.

  • The Battle of Waterloo took place on 18 June, 1815 near the town of the same name in Belgium. Germany, the Netherlands and the UK defeated the French led by Napoleon Bonaparte.

  • Napoleon wanted to make France the most powerful country in Europe. In order to prevent this, the British troops decided to attack Paris, on hearing that Napoleon had escaped from exile on the island of Elba.
  • The British troops were commanded by the Duke of Wellington. Wellington is famous for his victory at Waterloo, although he later entered politics and became constable of the Tower of London and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1829 to 1830.
  • The British orders for the Battle of Waterloo included a ban on the use of umbrellas by the troops.
  • The Prussian army at the Battle of Waterloo was led by a 72 year old commander.
  • The Earl of Uxbridge was hit by a cannonball towards the end of the battle. His leg was amputated and buried in a farm field, where it attracted visitors for many years.
  • Napoleon and the French lost partly because of the weather and partly because of his poor choice of generals. The defeat ended Napoleon’s rule and made Wellington a hero.
  • On the site of the battlefield today is the Lion Mound, built where William II of the Netherlands was shot. The 43 metre high mound was made from earth gathered from the battle site.
  • London’s Waterloo Station is named after the battle. There are over 20 towns in the United States called Waterloo, as well as Waterloos in Australia, Africa and New Zealand.
  • About 15,000 British, German, Dutch and Belgian troops were killed, about 25 percent of all the soldiers. The French lost about 25,000 men, with another 8,000 being captured.