The book “Waterloo 1815 De val van Napoleon” (The Fall of Napoleon) was presented to the public this Tuesday on the site of the Battle of Waterloo. The book was written by Professor Luc De Vos and historians Dave Warnier and Franky Bostyn and aims to give readers a better understanding of this most important battle in the history of Europe. The authors compare information from different countries and discuss some of its lesser known aspects, such as Belgian involvement in the battle.
The authors discovered that in Flanders, the public attaches more importance to the First World War than to the Battle of Waterloo. “Yet the battle of Waterloo was pivotal for the whole of Europe. It marked the decline of France and the rise of the British. It is also interesting to note that the Napoleonic campaigns killed more Belgians than WWI did,” said Luc De Vos.
In the book, the authors also look at how Belgians fared in the Battle of Waterloo: there were about 4,000 in France and a similar number on Dutch soil. These Belgians who fought under the Dutch flag were former French soldiers who were hired after Napoleon left for the island of Elba. At Waterloo, they were forced to fight against their former comrades. “Waterloo 1815: De val van Napoleon” is published by the Davidsfonds Catholic organisation and is not currently available in French.