Skip to main content
  1. Leisure
  2. Travel
  3. International Travel

Coming in 2015: A big bicentennial battle at Waterloo

See also

It's June 18, 1815, and a third of a million guys are about to slug it out on the battlefields of Waterloo, about 10 miles south of Brussels. One one side, Napoleon Bonaparte – back from exile on the island of Elba – is betting the farm that his French Grande Armée can defeat the Anglo-allied forces led by the British Duke of Wellington.

Bugles blare, troops charge, muskets blast, swords slash, cannons roar...and Napoleon's army is cut to bits.

His defeat ended 26 years of constant turmoil among Europe's major powers, ignited mostly by Napoleon. England, Prussia, Austria and the other biggies thought they were finally rid of “the Little Corporal” when his Russian invasion flopped in 1812. After that, Napoleon abdicated the French throne and ended up on Elbe...but he escaped, and 100 days later turned up at Waterloo.

The main battle pitted Napoleon's 125,000 nattily dressed cuirassiers, chevau-legers, and grenadiers against Wellington's coalition of 210,000 troops mostly waiving the Union Jack of Great Britain, the Dutch tricolors and the mean-looking black eagle of Prussia.

In the final hours of the fight, Wellington's forces were dug in atop the steep slopes of Mont-Saint-Jean, and Napoleon couldn't get them to budge. Suddenly, Prussian troops broke through Napoleon's right flank, and then the rest of Wellington's army counterattacked to win the day, and the war.

Beaten, what was left of the Grande Armée went limping back to France. Later on, Napoleon was exiled to St. Helena, where he died in 1821.

History lovers won't want to miss a replay of this granddaddy of all European battles during its bicentennial celebration, set for June 17-21, 2015. Among highlights of the five-day program, more than 5,000 colorfully uniformed “soldiers” and 100 cannons will blast and slash away at each other during two big battle reenactments.

More info: Visit the official website for the event and the Belgian Tourist Office.



  • Corned beef
    Find out how to prepare a classic corned beef recipe in a slow cooker
    Slow Cooker Tips
  • Left handed eating
    Find out why you should never eat with your left hand
    Wives Tale
  • Subway message
    Subway customer finds 'Big Mama' written on her order
    Subway Message
  • Deviled eggs
    This is the only deviled egg recipe you’ll need this Easter
    Delicious Eggs
  • Natural solutions
    Natural beauty: All natural solutions to life's little beauty headaches
    Natural Solutions
  • Chocolate souffle
    Love chocolate? Get tips on making the perfect chocolate souffle every time
    Recipe 101

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!