The Duke of Wellington
As always, great article this week - the Duke of Wellington is definitely a Grade A military asskicker. We've been talking about him a lot in my History of War class and I have a few supplementary facts for you that make him even more balls-out awesome:
- During his entire military career, he never lost a battle. Not once. That's pretty insane.
- He actually visited the town of Waterloo long before the actual battle, and he was quite impressed with the terrain. So impressed, in fact, that he took out a notebook and sketched a map of the area, declaring to one of his subordinates that this would be the perfect spot to fight a defensive battle.
- During the actual battle, he positioned his troops in a defensive line on the top of a gently sloping ridge which, from the French perspective, looked much less steep than it actually was - it was really an optical illusion. And he kept the bulk of his forces behind the ridge, hidden from view and protected from artillery fire.
- At the beginning of the battle, Napoleon himself at one point actually rode within range of the British. When his men requested permission to take him out, he calmly replied, "Generals have better things to do than shoot at each other." Or something badass along those lines.
- In the middle of the battle, the Duke was talking to one of his generals when a French cannonball flew out of nowhere and tore off the dude's leg. The guy calmly looked down, and exclaimed, "Sir, I've lost my leg!" To which the Duke of Wellington replied, "My God! So you have!" I find that scene strangely hilarious.
- During the Battle of Waterloo, while riding back and forth shouting orders to his troops, Wellington had no less than 5 horses shot out from under him. But each time he just got right up on a new horse and kept riding.
I hope those little tidbits help. Keep up the good work!
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