The Waterloo Lion Hill                             

The Waterloo Lion, from the top of the hill, you can see I the whole battlefield. This is not one of the five suggested viewpoints, but the climb is worth making to get your hearings. The Waterloo lion is almost in the middle of Wellington's line. You see, running left and right from the the Waterloo Lion hill, the lane

on top of a ridge which he chose to defend against Napoleon's army, which was coming up the main road from the direction of Charleroi.



To the east, the lane is now a motor road to the point where it crosses the main Brussels-Charleroi road. To the west, it is still as narrow as it was then, but it has been tarred in recent years. Wellington deployed his infantry, British, Belgian, Dutch and German, in a line two deep all dong this lane from the Nivelles road on the right to a point about half a mile beyond the Charleroi road. The artillery were among them, and the cavalry and reserves were two or three hundred yards behind the line.

       


Beyond the shallow valley to the I south, you see the opposite ridge, I two-thirds of a mile away, where Napoleon drew up bis forces for the attack Among trees close to the Nivelles road is the farm of Hougoumont, which was under attack all day; and on the Charleroi road the farm of La Haie Sainte, which was captured by the French in the afternoon.




The French made three main attacks. The first ,by infantry and cavalry, was on the far side of the Charleroi road, at the first of the viewpoints described here. The other two - first by cavalry and then by the infantry of the Garde Impériaie - were here where The Waterloo Lion Hill stands, and to the right of  it; these you wil1 best appreciate from the third viewpoint. But, of course, the top of this hill is a point of view which nobody had on the day of battle. From this height, the slopes of the ground seem flattened - and it was on these gentle slopes that the tactics of the battle depended. It is much more evocative to see the field from ground level, as the soldiers saw it.


Perhaps the main impression from the top of The Waterloo Lion hill is that the field on which 140,000 men fought such a desperate battle is so small


Continue tour the battle begun at Hougoumont farm


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