Napoleon’s Grand Army was defeated in the Battle of the Nations in 1813. The Emperor abdicated and was banished to Elba. But his army was not disarmed and destroyed by the victors.
Just 2 years later, Napoleon escaped and quickly re-mobilised his army. Only Wellington blocked his path to Brussels, at Waterloo.
After a fierce day of battle, a weary line of redcoats still held the ridge at Waterloo. But Napoleon’s Old Guard had been held in reserve for this decisive moment. Advancing like a spear, three columns wide, “The Invincibles” aimed to pierce the middle of the thin red line.
But a miracle occurred. Withering fire on both sides of the spear from the thin red line sapped their strength – Napoleon’s Old Guard broke and ran.