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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

Startling New Discovery Made At Battle Of Waterloo Site

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Startling New Discovery Made At Battle Of Waterloo Site

Postby Mark » July 21st, 2017, 7:30 am

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Re: Startling New Discovery Made At Battle Of Waterloo Site

Postby Iain » July 21st, 2017, 6:18 pm

Very interesting !
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Re: Startling New Discovery Made At Battle Of Waterloo Site

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » July 22nd, 2017, 11:56 am

Fascinating. And also very rewarding that the dig is proving useful to today's veterans.

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Re: Startling New Discovery Made At Battle Of Waterloo Site

Postby MarkW » July 23rd, 2017, 3:47 am

so that suggests the French memorial inside the garden walls should be there!
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Re: Startling New Discovery Made At Battle Of Waterloo Site

Postby Amanda » August 20th, 2017, 12:56 pm

Really interesting, thanks for sharing this.
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Re: Startling New Discovery Made At Battle Of Waterloo Site

Postby Andrew » August 20th, 2017, 2:28 pm

All,

I was lucky to visit the dig this July in my capacity as a 'Visiting Historian.' They are very excited about the excavation of French musket balls within the garden and are suggesting this might be evidence that the French did get in. However, the evidence is inconclusive and I am not yet convinced. I will be looking at the pattern of French and British balls in the garden in the coming weeks to see if I can find something more convincing. This will be an interesting project and I have been invited to write a paper, along with others, on this subject. Any thoughts from members would be welcome.

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Re: Startling New Discovery Made At Battle Of Waterloo Site

Postby MarkW » August 20th, 2017, 3:59 pm

So Andrew, what you are suggesting is that the French musket balls got into the walled garden by merely flying over the wall and landing? makes sense to me

Now the new building that has been discovered at the entrance to that made it narrower etc? presuming we are talking about the North Gate and the fact that the north courtyard was surrounded by buildings always made it narrower than the idealist portraits? what new edifice are we talking?

Best discovery i think in the last couple of years is the fact in the apple orchard next to the eastern wall had a large and likely waterlogged ditch (I will give Iain Wood credit for highlighting this so well)

Now the musket ball the size of a golf ball? need help there please?

Is Saltoun the only one who mentions French use of close artillery?

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Re: Startling New Discovery Made At Battle Of Waterloo Site

Postby Andrew » August 21st, 2017, 5:59 pm

Hi Mark,

there are a number of ways French musket balls may have landed within the walled garden; Frenchmen being inside of it is only one! An important part of unraveling this will depend on where they were found (there may be some sort of pattern which gives a hint) and the numbers we are talking about, as well as the location and density of British balls within the garden which might have been fired at them.

You are right about the building near the northern gate; if this building was there at the time of the battle, then we are talking of a much more congested area, and one quite defendable by the number of Frenchmen who got in through the gate. Certainly the measurements given in the diagram produced by Winand Aerts (which Iain displayed) would prove to be wrong.

Eye-witnesses, both British and French, speak of ditches in and around the orchard.

The golf-ball sized 'musket ball' is undoubtedly cannister/caseshot, but I haven't checked the dimensions. You are right, only Saltoun mentions a French gun being brought forward; I know of plenty of French men who decry their absence, but none who mention one being there.

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Re: Startling New Discovery Made At Battle Of Waterloo Site

Postby MarkW » August 23rd, 2017, 2:49 am

Andrew,

As always, cheers ...and hope you are having a good summer.

I think that the aerial shots have helped paint that picture as to the exact location and width etc. around the eastern wall facing the orchard

I did not realise that is what canister would like...i need to update my artillery knowledge clearly :)

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