Saturday, June 18, 2011

"A near run thing"

Today is the 196th anniversary of one of the most important battles in all of history... Waterloo. Wellington described it as "a near run thing, the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life." That's English for "it was a close call." Napoleon's mistakes cost him the battle which he surely should have won since he greatly outnumbered the allied army.

Some have speculated on what the world would be like if Napoleon had won at Waterloo. For instance, Napoleon's defeat and banishment to St Helena opened up a power vacuum in Europe that was eventually filled by the Germans who were united under Bismarck. We know what came of that little bit of history - three wars, two of them the most devastating in history. Of course, only God knows all things including all possibilities, so we don't know if Napoleon's loss brought us WWI and WWII, but it's fun to think about such things... if you like history anyway.

Above is a romantic rendering of the charge of the Scots Greys (known today as the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards) with the Union Brigade against Count d'Erlon's infantry during the second phase of the battle. I have a framed copy of it in my basement that I purchased at the Citadel (the holy of holies of Scottish military prowess) in Edinburgh. Anyone interested? :)

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