Tuesday, June 18, 2013


 Almost 200 years after Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, Belgian archaeologists have unearthed the complete remains of a young soldier.

"You can almost see him dying," Belgian archeologist Dominique Bosquet said of the skeleton, lying on its back with the spherical musket ball that felled the soldier still between his ribs.

"The skeleton is intact," Mr Bosquet told RTL television.

Believed to have died June 18, 1815, the remains were found under 15 inches of soil as if the young soldier's comrades had hurriedly buried him when he fell on the battleground.

His uniform had been eaten away but archaeologists were studying a spoon, a coin, a leather strap and a piece of wood carved with the initials C.B. to see whether they might help to identify the skeleton.


On 18 June 1815 in present day Belgium took place the battle of Waterloo between the French emperor Napoleon I and the Seventh Coalition, consisting of UK, Netherlands, Hannoverian, Nassau, Brunswick, and Prussian forces.

Napoleon had escaped his exile at Elba and returned to France in March 1815. The Coalition was gathering on his northern border to invade, and his only hope was to beat them before they could concentrate. He met them at the Battle of Waterloo, which the British commander, the Duke of Wellington, called "the nearest-run thing you ever saw in your life."

Wellington was waiting on the best ground, but Napoleon fought a tough battle all day long. Late in the day, and in the nick of time, Prussian General Gebhart Leberecht ("Live-right") Bluecher caught the French from the east. It was all over for Napoleon. The Coalition restored the Bourbon claimant to the French throne, Louis XVIII, and exiled Napoleon to remote St. Helena Island with a strong and permanent guard. He died in 1821. Waterloo had been his last chance to hold onto power, & he lost.

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