The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, 200 years ago, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. The French army under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition, comprising an Anglo-Dutch-Allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington combined with a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher. Find out more about the Napoleonic wars, the Congress of Vienna and the European balance of power in our collection.
Waterloo was a decisive battle in more than one sense. Every generation in Europe, up to the outbreak of the First World War, looked back at Waterloo as the turning point that dictated the course of subsequent world history. In retrospect, it was seen as the event that ushered in an era characterised by relative peace, material prosperity and technological progress. The battle definitively ended the series of wars that had convulsed Europe, and involved many other regions of the world, since the French Revolution of the early 1790s. Pictures in the slide show below by Kees de Man, our stacks manager.