Napoleon may not have expected Wellington to give battle, but he prepared for it.
He didn't expect the Prussians to give battle at Ligny either, had his plans go completely awry, and still beat them with far less troops.
But give the Prussians credit, if there was one thing they had experience with, it was defeat, and hence they recovered splendidly.
If that is the level of analysis you want, I can go all day...
Or, you could ignore June 18th (and all those credible historians who think Grouchy was a traitor - I'm sure they will speak up for themselves.) and offer some analysis on June 5th - June 14th.
I promise when I have time, we'll tackle the Coppens theories in minute detail. Because as everyone knows, Napoleon was very open with his planning. Indeed, there wasn't an order given from him that wasn't perfectly understood through the chain of command down to each battalion colonel and Squadron leader. Hence if anyone within VI Corps was surprised, then Napoleon had to be surprised!
Oh wait, damn it, sometimes I'm get things backwards... hardly anyone knew what Napoleon was thinking, and thus any surprise VI Corps personnel spoke about means NOTHING. The numerous quotes of the entourage around Napoleon that included royalists, as well as the correspondence, demonstrate that Napoleon was aware of the Prussian presence probably by 11 am, could be earlier. But again, it was never estimated to be what Blücher brought to the battle, and hence contributed to Napoleon's defeat. Wellington and Blücher WON the battle of Waterloo. Hence Napoleon obviously did something very wrong, and was the LOSER. Is there something else you want to hear?
But still, again, by June 18th - WHO CARES. Dramatic battle, but Napoleon's plans already largely thwarted. I tried to offer insight into some of the mysteries of the campaign that have been unanswered - not in any way rehabilitate Napoleon. He chose his staff, and treason or not, that was a mistake.
For my next book, I'm going to break down Michael Jordan's jump-shot, because the world wants my validation on Jordan's basketball game - because without it, how can we be really sure he was any good.
And without my rushing to defend Napoleon at Waterloo, how can we be sure Napoleon is even worth talking about. We can revisit this on the Blücher Series discussion forum - please send me the link.