The Battle of Waterloo is one of the most famous battles in history. The battle was between, France on side and Great Britain, Prussia and their allies on the other. The battle was a great victory for the British and the Prussians and it is widely seen as the end of the series of wars that had ravaged Europe since the French Revolution (1789). The Battle of Waterloo was the last attempt by Napoleon to establish himself in France and Europe, after his defeat in 1814. This article will discuss the reasons for the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, these include stubborn British resistance, their superior cavalry, Wellington’s leadership and, most importantly, the timely arrival of the Prussian army on the battlefield.
Napoleon has become the master of most of Europe by 1805 after his victory over the Austrians and the Russians at the Battle of Austerlitz. For several years Napoleon and France dominated Europe and only the British continued to oppose Bonaparte’s ambitions. Napoleon decided to invade the Russian Empire, to force the Tsar to join a trade embargo on Britain. The French army marched into Russian and captured Moscow, but it disintegrated in the terrible Russian winter. Napoleon retreated back into Europe and in the process lost the majority of his army. The French Empire was severely weakened after the Russian Invasion and eventually the allies, (Britain, Russian, Austria and Prussia) marched into France and deposed Napoleon and restored the Bourbon Monarchy. Napoleon was exiled on the island of Elba in 1814.