1815, the 100 days, Napoleon's last campaign

The 1815 campaign, also known as the Hundred Days, marked Napoleon Bonaparte's final military campaign after his return from exile on the island of Elba. This period from Quatrebras and Ligny to the battlefield of Waterloo was a crucial phase that ultimately led to Napoleon's defeat and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in France.

Let's relive this significant campaign, the French Empire against the 7th coalition forces:


  • 1. Quatrebras: On June 16, 1815, Napoleon launched his offensive by engaging the Duke of Wellington's Anglo-Allied forces at Quatrebras, a village located in modern-day Belgium. The battle was indecisive but set the stage for the more significant clash at Waterloo.

  • 2. Ligny: Simultaneously, on the same day, Napoleon's forces  attacked Marshal Blücher's Prussian army at Ligny. The French were able to achieve a victory, pushing the Prussians back and inflicting heavy casualties. However, the Prussians managed to retreat and regroup, preparing for a crucial role to come.

  • 3. Wellington's retreat: Following the Battle of Quatrebras, Wellington decided to withdraw his forces to a more defensible position near Waterloo. Napoleon pursued the British/allied army, but Wellington's successful retreat and his fortification of a ridge near Mont St. Jean set the stage for the upcoming battle.

  • 4. Waterloo: On June 18, 1815, the Battle of Waterloo took place. Napoleon's weakened army faced a combined force of British, Dutch-Belgian, and Prussian troops. The battle was fierce and saw several key moments, including the repelling of the French cavalry charges and the famous defense of the farmhouse at Hougoumont. Eventually, the arrival of the Prussian army proved decisive, and a massive counterattack turned the tide against the French. Napoleon's forces were defeated, and he was forced to abdicate a few days later.


The 1815 campaign brought an end to Napoleon's rule and his grand ambitions of maintaining a French empire. It marked the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in France with Louis XVIII taking the throne. This campaign also led to the Congress of Vienna, where the European powers aimed to redraw the map of Europe in an attempt to restore balance and prevent further French aggression. The Hundred Days and the Battle of Waterloo have become highly significant events in European history, symbolizing both the fall of Napoleon and the end of the Napoleonic era.

Historical battles in the 100 days campaign