The Dutch and Belgians at Quatre Bras
by John Franklin
Of all the troops within the army commanded by the Duke of Wellington none have been subject to greater scrutiny or censure in English language sources than those from Belgium and Holland. Examination of several famous contemporary accounts shows that during the campaign a variety of charges were levied against this sizeable contingent by their British counterparts and that in the years which followed Waterloo many of these accusations were repeated with remorseless zeal. It has subsequently taken time for a fair and impartial view of the part played by the Dutch and Belgian troops to be accepted by the wider Napoleonic community.
During the course of more than twenty years research into the events of June 1815, I have received help and guidance from a number of individuals who have undertaken their own detailed studies of the campaign, and this has been particularly true with material relating to the officers and men from Belgium and Holland. André Dellevoet, the author of the superb book entitled: The Dutch-Belgian Cavalry at Waterloo, Pierre de Wit and Erwin Muilwijk, have generously shared the veritable treasure-trove of material held by establishments in the Netherlands like the Nationaal Archief in The Hague and the Stadsarchief in Zutphen. A large proportion of the documentation is evidence amassed by Captain Ernst van Löben-Sels in the early 1840s to refute the numerous British accusations of cowardice at Waterloo, evidence which has been ignored by many authors who have described the campaign.
The various letters and reports confirm the role of these important contingents during the fighting, where at Quatre Bras they bore the brunt of the initial French attack until relieved by other elements within Wellington’s army. The courage displayed by both officers and men was manifest. Despite being outnumbered for several hours they held their ground, yielding only to sheer weight of numbers and the heavy losses sustained. One of the key encounters on the 16th June was that between the French light cavalry and two of the regiments in Baron Jean-Baptiste van Merlen’s Brigade. The Dutch and Belgian horsemen were eventually overthrown and the Allied artillery stationed at the crossroads overrun. This is described below.
Jean-Victor de Constant-Rebècque
Baron Jean-Victor de Constant-Rebècque was a Swiss officer who fulfilled the role of Quartermaster-General or Chief of Staff to the Hereditary Prince of Orange-Nassau, He had accompanied the prince throughout his service with the British army in the Iberian Peninsula, and following the creation of the United Netherlands had played a prominent part in the plans for the defence of the realm. He wrote a lengthy account of the events at Quatre Bras, an extract of which is given here:
‘The prince arrived half an hour after myself and we rode together along the line of outposts formed by the Nassau regiment. The enemy Tirailleurs were positioned only a short distance from us and opened fire. There were a great number of Lanciers and Chasseurs à cheval on the height in front of Frasnes by the edge of the wheat, which was very high, they having their left at the farm of Pierrepont and their right at the Bois de la Hutte; their infantry appeared to occupy the environs and surroundings of Frasnes and the area behind the wood. It was Maréchal Ney who led the advance of the 2nd Corps; Comte Piré’s Light Cavalry Division, the Lanciers and Chasseurs of the Garde under Colbert and Lefèbvre-Desnouettes, which were later followed by the 1st Corps along with Général Kellerman’s Heavy Cavalry. The 1st Corps was held in reserve, occupying the village of Villers Perwin behind the Bois de l’Hutte, and served either Bonaparte on its right or Maréchal Ney on its left. On our side we only had a small detachment to oppose the numerous enemy cavalry, two officers and 50 Prussian Hussars of the Silesian Regiment who had been cut off from their own corps and who had offered their services to General de Perponcher. This small band displayed the utmost zeal and skirmished with the enemy in front of our chain of infantry outposts, and made several charges towards the Lanciers so as to make them believe that we were in greater force and secure in our number. Our chain of outposts covered the Bois de Bossu on the right, crossed the high road in front of Gémioncourt and the left wing rested on the hamlet of Piraumont and the Materne pond. After having studied the enemy I encouraged the prince to remove his person from the skirmish line so as not to get himself or his horse wounded unnecessarily, as the Lanciers had opened fire; the prince positioned himself a little further to the rear and dismounted from his horse.
To our left in the direction of the Prussians everything remained completely calm, and no movements were observed in front of our position; the enemy did not appear to be preparing for an attack. The prince sent an order to the Light Cavalry Brigade commanded by General van Merlen to come straight to Quatre Bras, but as he thought the enemy were directing their principal forces against Nivelles, he gave me the order to go to Nivelles and to select appropriate ground on which to position the 3rd Netherlands Division, and he then ordered Colonel Abercrombie to accompany me and to deploy the 3rd English Division on the left of Nivelles. It was towards nine o’clock in the morning when I left Quatre Bras with Abercrombie, and everything was quiet at this time.
Upon our arrival at Nivelles we found everything in the greatest confusion, as the 3rd English Division was occupied in crossing the defile at the town, while the 3rd Netherlands Division, which had arrived at the same time on the road from Mons, had been blocked by the English division. One had to wait until the latter had entirely defiled in order for General Chassé to cross the town and take the ground I had chosen for him on the right, so as to act in unison with Colonel Abercrombie on the heights of St. Roch. I assured myself of the position taken by General Collaert’s cavalry, who were in front of Nivelles observing the roads from Arquennes, Beuzet and Rêves. General van Merlen’s brigade had already left for Quatre Bras. The road from Braine-le-Comte to Nivelles was blocked by the baggage of the 3rd English Division and the Prince’s staff and our headquarters had remained at Braine-le-Comte.
Meanwhile, the duke arrived at Quatre Bras towards 10 o’clock and the position was reinforced by Count Bylandt’s infantry brigade and by van Merlen’s cavalry; at twelve o’clock everything was quiet, but after an hour the engagement started again along the forward outposts, and one could hear the cannon; at two o’clock Maréchal Ney commenced the attack with the entire 2nd Corps and his numerous cavalry, against the single division commanded by de Perponcher and the two weak cavalry regiments under van Merlen. Upon hearing the sound of the first cannon shot I hastily left the 3rd Division and returned to Quatre Bras at the very moment of the enemy’s attack. Our battalions in the vicinity of Gémioncourt suffered greatly; they lost some ground but the prince rallied them with his very presence and example; our two cavalry regiments made several charges and checked those of the enemy. Colonel Boreel’s Hussars made an attack and were beaten back by the superior enemy force, and the Prince was almost taken; his Aide-de-camp Count Stirum was wounded by a sabre blow to the head. Our foot and horse artillery were overrun and sabred, and the enemy infantry penetrated into the Bois de Bossu. It was a little after 3 o’clock when to our good fortune the 5th English Division arrived from Bruxelles, followed by some Brunswick troops and those of the Nassau contingent. The Scots arrived at Quatre Bras and were immediately engaged with the enemy, pushing them back, and the troops were able to form on the left as they arrived and advance into the tall wheat on our side of the Materne pond. The firing became general along the whole line. The Brunswick cavalry arrived and made several charges, but the Duke [of Brunswick] was killed. The 3rd English Division arrived from Nivelles and chased the enemy from the Bois de of Bossu, but was in turn forced back. During this time we could hear the tremendous cannonade on our left coming from Ligny, where Bonaparte was engaged with Blücher. The Duke was standing by the crossroads at Quatre Bras, a key position on which the enemy was directing all his artillery fire. The French Cuirassiers made a desperate charge and they penetrated as far as the crossroads, but the Scots remained calm at their posts along the edge of a ditch and delivered a volley at point-blank range which caused men and horses to tumble on top of each other and which forced the rest to turn on their heels and retreat.
The 1st English Division arrived from Nivelles and marched into the Bois de Bossu and regained it entirely, but with heavy losses. The enemy made several attempts to gain the high road, but the continued arrival of reinforcements gave us confidence. I received a strong contusion above my right thigh, but my sabre sheath absorbed the force of the blow. Shortly thereafter the prince, whose own horses were not at hand, asked me to exchange horses with him; he mounted Milord for a time but returned him to me a little later. The prince sent an English officer to Braine-le-Comte to give the order to our headquarters’ staff to move to Nivelles with the baggage, but this officer only gave the order to the baggage master and not to the staff officers.
The firing continued until the onset of night, at which time the enemy retired and resumed the position he had in the morning on the heights at Frasnes. At nightfall Lord Uxbridge arrived with the English cavalry, which had made a forced march. The enemy had ceased the offensive, and as it was late he [Uxbridge] placed himself in reserve on the left of Quatre Bras along the road to Namur. The firing towards Ligny had entirely ceased, but the outcome of the contest was unknown to us. Our troops took up the positions they had held in the morning and bivouacked where they were posted. I passed over the battlefield beyond the farm of Gémioncourt in search of our cannon which had been found. The 2nd Division bivouacked behind the Bois de Bossu and looked for their wounded on the battlefield. The 1st and 3rd English Divisions along with the Nassau occupied the Bois de Bossu on the right of the high road from Charleroi; to our left were the 5th Division and the Brunswick corps and the cavalry. The dead body of the Duke of Brunswick was transported to Genappe where the Duke of Wellington established his headquarters. At 10 o’clock in the evening I returned with the Prince of Orange to Nivelles; we encountered the English cavalry which was arriving at that moment from Tournai and the surrounding area.’
One of the young Dutch officers at Quatre Bras was Captain Franz Mollinger of the 5th Dutch Militia Battalion. In 1841 he wrote a detailed letter to Captain Ernst van Löben Sels, in which he described the struggle for the crossroads:
‘The 5th National Militia Battalion was cantoned in Obay and Bueset until the evening of the 15th June, when we received the order, I presume from Major-General Count van Bijlandt, who had his headquarters in Nivelles, to retire to this place, where we remained until the next morning. At daybreak the battalion marched to Quatre Bras, where it was placed along with a number of the other militia battalions (like the 7th and 8th), in closed column in rear of the houses, where it was instructed to make soup, which was complied with immediately; the exact time or how long it took I do not remember, but it must have been a little after 12 o’clock when the Duke of Wellington arrived, and the battalion was ordered to advance on the road to Charleroi?– the battalion immediately marched off with sections in column; a moment before this a few British battalions had arrived, along with the Hussars under Boreel, who had placed themselves in front of the crossroads, and the 5th Chasseurs, who advanced immediately. As soon as the battalion had cleared the crossroads a cannonball hit us obliquely from the left and wounded Lieutenant Klein and some men, which caused a slight consternation; the brave Westenberg then raised ‘Long live the King!’ which was greeted with enthusiasm by the men, who went forward at a quick pace, if I remember correctly, for about a quarter of an hour. To our left we had an orchard and on the right high corn; in this defile a company of the 27th Jägers led by Captain de Crassier, who had been skirmishing with the enemy, passed us as they went to the rear; on this height the battalion was galled by a strong canister fire, and here Lieutenant-Colonel Westenberg ordered two companies to move into the orchard, while three others, which I had the honour of commanding, were sent further to the front, but in an instant the same were almost completely annihilated, as the men, who had been trained to fight in extended order, congregated and were mown down. I was wounded in the leg and was dragged away by a few men; of what happened thereafter I cannot state; this is natural of course, for everyone wants to show his merit and deeds, and as a result events become unclear, and it is impossible to ascertain exactly what happened; it seems that the battalion had been exposed to a cavalry charge, at least it appears so, as many of the men suffered lance wounds; our Guelders Militia – as it is commonly called – retained a good countenance, being calm and steady, and complied with all that was requested of them, while many Frenchmen fell by their bayonets.
I was momentarily cared for in the houses of Quatre Bras, at least until this position was abandoned, for when I was taken outdoors everybody was in fall retreat, and I saved myself on one of the horses belonging to our Hussars, and travelled as far as Genappe. While doing so I passed Lt-Col. Westenberg who was assembling the remainder of the battalion, which at that moment numbered no more than 80 men, and who subsequently were not heavily involved on the 18th, as so many had been wounded or taken prisoner; for this reason they could not play a role of any importance on that day.’
The various Dutch militia battalions were heavily engaged in the fighting at Quatre Bras. Sebastiaan Allebrandi was a young man who served as a private with the 7th Dutch Militia Battalion during the battle. He described a number of events which took place on the 16th June 1815 in his lengthy account:
‘It was on the 16th June 1815 following a fatiguing march, which I nevertheless enjoyed, that together with my battalion (being one of the militia battalions), I arrived at a position close to the wood near Quatre Bras. I yearned like my comrades in arms to test my strength against the enemy, even though I was just seventeen years of age. An extensive clover field was considered to be suitable for our bivouac, and so we immediately took possession of it. Our most pressing need was to regain our strength by eating a meal, and attempts were made to satisfy this as much as one can within an open bivouac, where everything has to be gathered from afar and with the utmost care due to the proximity of the enemy. We succeeded according to our wishes, which were spurred by our great appetite. The few items our field kitchen produced were enjoyed greatly, almost as if it was an expensive meal which had been organised for our benefit. Yet, we were left with little time to digest the food and were unable to have an undisturbed siesta like the Spanish. This was because during the same afternoon we received the order to advance and to extend as skirmishers in the said wood, as the French had advanced in numbers, and were not more than one hundred paces from us.
We advanced while skirmishing, without being in the least deterred by the warm welcome we received from the enemy Voltigeurs. Finding our way through the wood from the direction of Houtain-le-Val, we made many Frenchman fall in the dirt, despite the fact that on our side more than one brave soldier sealed his loyalty and love for king and country with his death, or was wounded. This first fight would nevertheless have been bloodier, if the widely spread trees and the hanging branches had not made it so difficult to shoot with greater accuracy. Indeed, its results resembled a heavy storm wind that swirls through the wood and covers the earth with leaves and twigs, and creates a scene of devastation which amazes the traveller, as the balls passed each other with such rapidity. At last we exited the wood and found ourselves in an open field of corn, which had been trodden so much that it looked as if it had been flattened deliberately.
We had hardly advanced a few paces when something happened that made a huge impression on me. An officer serving with one of the Nassau regiments lay dead on the road. Curiosity, helpfulness, or whatever other motivation it may have been in such circumstances which spurs the soldier, made me leave the ranks for a moment and approach this motionless figure. All of a sudden I was hit by a sharp blow on my shoulder, and turning round I saw my captain, who did not appreciate my rashness, and whose grim face and upright arm made me aware that I would receive another blow from the hilt of his sabre if I did not immediately return to my former position. Without reflection for a moment I did this, while rubbing my sore shoulder.’
Elias van Balveren
The engagement between the 6th Dutch Hussars and the French cavalry at Quatre Bras was described in a detailed letter written by Elias van Balveren in 1841 to Ernst van Löben Sels. Balveren had served as a Brevet Major with the regiment during the campaign in the Low Countires, and recalled the events:
‘From April 1815 the 6th Hussars Regiment was consecutively cantoned in Estine au Mont, Estine au Val, Maurage and the surrounding villages; there it occupied a line of outposts and sentry posts along the so-called Roman road, and on the great road towards Maubeuge. On our right was the 5th Dragoon Regiment and on our left was the 8th Hussars Regiment; both of these units also had outposts which stretched over a large area. During this time I do not recall any particularities having taken place, and it was not before the morning of the 16th June that we learned of the advance of the French army; yet we had observed their sentries and patrols for some days previously.
In the afternoon of the 16th June the order arrived to leave the position as mentioned above and to march in the direction of Quatre Bras; during this march we encountered a great many units of all arms from our army, including the 5th Dragoon Regiment. Towards 4 o’clock in the afternoon we reached the crossroads where large numbers of Netherlands and British units were already assembled. Yet, in our immediate vicinity no hostilities took place. For this reason the regiment was ordered to dismount and to feed the horses with oats. This took place after having advanced in closed column to a position in front of one of the houses at Quatre Bras; the horses had barely been fed when the order arrived to mount. The removal of the haversacks and the mounting of the horses took place without delay, but this had not been fully completed when another order came to march off in columns by squadrons and to form the column in battle order to the left (in front of the enemy, who was upon the opposite heights). Immediately after this a charge was ordered upon the French troops, among which was a regiment of Lanciers Rouges of the Garde Impériale.
Due to the haste in which the charge took place, the regiment had not completed its formation, and this resulted in the regiment being pushed back in confusion as far as a corps of Scottish troops, which was posted in the low ground and which received the enemy with arms at the ready. This resulted in the halt of their pursuit and in their return to their own lines. The action slowed our retreat and we rallied immediately in rear of the houses of Quatre Bras where we took up a bivouac, without taking any further part in the hostilities, which ended shortly afterwards. In this action our Captain van Wijnberg, 2nd Lieutenant Wolf and many subalterns and men were killed; several were also wounded, including Major de Jacobij.’
Édouard de Mercx de Corbais
The commander of the 5th Belgian Light Dragoons Regiment was Leutenant-Colonel Édouard de Mercx de Corbais. Many years later he wrote to Jean-Baptiste Renard, the famous Belgian historian, concerning the role of the regiment during the battle of Quatre Bras. Renard was attempting to refute the various British allegations that the Dutch and Belgian troops were cowards:
‘On the 15th June I was stationed at the advance posts between Mons and Maubeuge. During the night I had noticed the disappearance of the French outposts. I dispatched a message with a warning to General Collaert at Braine-le-Comte. I observed the movement of the French cavalry, which headed towards Frasnes. On the 16th I arrived at Quatre Bras towards three o’clock in the afternoon. I found Lieutenant-Colonel van den Sande with the 7th Belgium Infantry Battalion and several companies belonging to the 2nd Nassau Regiment, as well as two artillery batteries. 40,000 French troops opposed us, and these were under the command of Maréchal Ney and Prince Jérôme Bonaparte.
We immediately entered the battle and were engaged; two French regiments charged the 6th Hussars, who were driven back, but it was my turn to charge the enemy and we pushed them back. I was engaged in battle for quite some time and executed several charges, in which my regiment was covered in glory. It never would have crossed my mind that any of these brave men under my command should run away. Some English and Brunswick troops arrived quite late in the afternoon, as did the Prince of Orange and Duke of Wellington.
As masters of the battlefield, my regiment positioned itself in bivouac between Quatre Bras and the nearby village of Baisy. I had my own wounds dressed. My horse had been shot 16 times. I did not imagine that I should fail to hold the French troops at Quatre Bras, at the same time as Napoleon was beating the Prussians at Ligny, otherwise the corps commanded by Maréchal Ney would have been in Bruxelles that very evening of the 16th, and the battle of Waterloo would never had taken place.’
Willem van Wassenaar
The role of the Dutch and Belgian artillery at Quatre Bras has invariably been ignored in the hundreds of English language accounts of the battle. The lengthy letter written by Willem van Wassenaar, a former 2nd Lieutenant with the Horse Artillery Battery commanded by Captain Adrianus Geij, in 1841 provides details of the moment the guns were overrun by the French light cavalry:
‘During the first days of June the corps undertook many movements, but as we heard nothing we enjoyed the lively pace; on the 15th June we heard cannon fire but presumed that this was merely target practice, as we had heard this many times before. However, towards evening it appeared to be closer, and a trumpeter signalled the assembly. We took the road to Nivelles and when it was dark we went into bivouac, which we left early the following morning and arrived at Nivelles, where part of the army was concentrating. From there the brigade under General van Merlen was sent to Quatre Bras, with Captain Gey and the section I commanded. When we arrived in the afternoon the battle was already raging; I recollect that the terrain on which Quatre Bras is situated dominated the plain in front. At first we came under fire, but were later placed in position by General van Merlen. The infantry, who in many places had formed square, prevented us from firing. We were then moved to a position in front of Quatre Bras between the roads from Brussels to Charleroi and that from Nivelles to Namur. From there we retired to the farm of Quatre Bras; it was at this moment that the French attacked the Bois de Villers Perwin and the farm of Gémioncourt. The cavalry under General van Merlen charged, but we soon saw them fleeing in our direction. My captain threw himself from his horse and the gunners crept beneath the guns. I did not perceive the imminent danger and remained in a state of doubt for a moment, when suddenly I was in the midst of the fighting. How I managed to escape is still a mystery to me, and I was fortunate that none of the Chasseurs of the Garde Impériale tested their swords upon my person. We were pushed back beyond Quatre Bras to a farmhouse, but I managed to escape from the confusion and returned to the guns to find the captain and the gunners dismounted and holding the horses. The limbers and wagons had all been sent to the rear. After a considerable effort we managed to reassemble everything and only one man was
At this time the French had taken a position on the other side of the Charleroi road, a little to the left and behind a farm a few hundred paces in front of Quatre Bras. A battalion of Jägers had taken a more protected position across the road and opposed the French under a very heavy fire. The Prince of Orange and an adjutant arrived and stopped next to us to observe the French position. We were then ordered to take a position on the other side of Quatre Bras, where the Brunswick and English batteries were located. It was already late in the evening, but both sides continued to fire and one could see the manoeuvres of the infantry, as well as the French cavalry charging the squares and being repulsed, and charging a battery. This charge was so well received that no others occurred that evening. By now it was night, so one could only hear a ball or a shell fly through the air.
I have entirely forgotten to inform you of several important events. When our cavalry was repulsed by the French the battery commanded by Captain Stevenaar [sic] and part of the battery under Captain Bijleveld were overrun by the enemy. Captain Gey took the opportunity while they were capturing three guns to charge them with some volunteers he assembled on the height, and the brave captain succeeded in recapturing the guns. Later two more guns were retaken. General de Lassarz [sic] came to us and I believe he ordered Captain Gey to return the guns to whomsoever they belonged. However, I do not know how this was undertaken. When our cavalry was thrown back and I was caught in the mêlée, I saw the Brunswick cavalry enter the fray, although I was prevented from seeing the contest. When it became clear that the fight had ended everyone began to settle for the night, and having heard nothing from General van Merlen, my captain ordered me to look for him and to ask where we were to establish our bivouac. After riding down the paved road behind Quatre Bras I found our General already in bivouac with his Hussars, who we had not seen since their dreadful charge. His Excellency asked me where we were positioned and I answered that we were still in the position we had held at the end of the day, whereupon he said that we were to remain there, which was most unpleasant. When I returned with the order I found a Prussian Dragoon amongst our ranks. He was lost, and his bloodied face testified to the fact that he had been heavily engaged. He was surprised that we had also been engaged in battle; we listened in amazement to his account of the bloody contest at Ligny. Outposts were established and we remained in bivouac until the following morning.’
Another young officer serving with the Dutch artillery was Wijnand Koopman. As a 2nd Lieutenant he had commanded a detachment from the Horse Artillery Battery under Captain Adriaan Bijleveld, and he recalled the action at Quatre Bras:
‘On the 16th the battery was divided and positioned as follows: 3 guns (6-pounders) under 1st Lieutenant de Vincij on the left of the road from Quatre Bras to Charleroi, close to the road and fronting the village of Frasnes; 2 guns (the howitzers at that time were still in position on the left wing) on the right of the same road under Lieutenant Dibbets; 3 guns (6-pounders) under my command were more to the rear between this road and the one to Namur some 200 paces from the crossroads of Quatre Bras, each with their limbers removed from the first line, but with the ammunition wagons present. The remaining vehicles under the command of the 1st Lt. of the train were positioned behind the large farm of Quatre Bras. The last 3 guns were placed to the left and forward as much as possible, so that their arc of fire extended from the left of the guns under Lieutenant de Vincij, and were aimed against the French troops positioned to the right of Frasnes.
There were no specific troops present to cover and protect the battery. After firing for a while I found it more convenient to take a more forward position, to the right of an English battery which could cover me in the event of a retreat. After we had been in this position for some time the 6th Hussars Regiment charged, and were repulsed by the French, who I believe were Chasseurs of the Garde Impériale. Because this charge failed I sent my ammunition wagons to the rear through a defile and retired myself onto the road, which had been behind me, and as my ammunition wagons did not encounter any obstacles I pulled back my two guns on the right a little and started firing with these against the right, which stopped the cavalry from pursuing, because I noticed a large opening in their formation. To my regret I also saw our line retreat and therefore had to withdraw my 3 guns under the cover of the English battery, so as to ensure that they were not isolated. I could not find a suitable new position immediately to the rear and moved to Quatre Bras, where I met the Major de la Sarraz of the artillery staff, whom I asked for orders, but received none. On my own initiative I positioned myself between the road from Quatre Bras to Genappe and the one to Nivelles, fronting the latter in a position opposite a wood close to Quatre Bras. After being here for a while and with nothing occurring, nor having received any orders, I went with a Brunswick or Prussian battery that marched from Genappe to Quatre Bras to obtain a better opportunity, but was prevented from doing this by Captain Bijleveld, who was parked behind the farm of Quatre Bras with 4 guns and Lieutenant de Vincij and the other vehicles. He ordered me to join him with my 3 guns and 5 ammunition wagons. The 4th piece was later retrieved by the battery commanded by Captain Geij; the limber was destroyed by an explosion and Lt. Dibbets was wounded and taken to the rear, and on this occasion the horse belonging to Captain Bijleveld was wounded by a splinter from the limber. According to my estimation this was around 6 o’clock in the evening.’
Front image: The Prince of Orange-Nassau leads the Dutch troops into the fray at Quatre Bras. The charge by the 6th Dutch Hussars was thrown back in disorder by the 6e Chasseurs à cheval and the French cavalry subsequently overran the Allied artillery at the crossroads. Painting by Reinier Vinkeles (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam)
There we have it, another fascinating piece from John. If this is the sort of stuff that didn't make it into the book, just imagine the material that did! Best of all, there's one more to come in the mini-series! No prizes for guessing which nationality will feature next...