Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns


Anglo-Allied Army in Flanders and France - 1815

By Ron McGuigan

When the Duke of Wellington arrived to take to the command of the Allied Army in April 1815 he found only the original Subsidiary Army, commanded by HRH General The Prince of Orange, which had been stationed in the Low Countries since the end of the previous war in 1814. This was a small force of British and Hanoverians kept here to assist with the formation of the new country of The Netherlands and to guarantee its borders. When Napoleon left Elba and landed in France, taking over the government of that country once again, the Allied Nations at the Congress of Vienna resolved to remove him from the throne and this meant that the army in Flanders would have to be reinforced for a war.

On 11 April 1815, Wellington issued a General Order  assuming the command of the Allied Forces in Flanders and he reorganized the army, merging the British-Hanoverian Forces with those of the Netherlands. The army was reinforced over the next three months [April, May, and June] by Great Britain, The Netherlands, Hanover, Brunswick and Nassau. The army, at this time, was then made up of the forces of Great Britain [including the King’s German Legion of Hanoverians],  the Hanoverian Subsidiary Corps in British pay [part of the old Subsidiary Army], the forces of the new Kingdom of the Netherlands [Dutch, Belgians, and Nassauers in Netherlands Service] and the treaty contingent forces of Hanover, Brunswick, and Nassau.

This article will trace the organization of Wellington’s Allied Army from the start of the Campaign in Flanders and France, 15 June 1815 until the end of the war and the creation of the Army of Occupation in November 1815. I have used the more common names of Dutch and Belgian to describe the units of the Netherlands Army, however, officially they  were referred to as 'North Netherlands' for the Dutch and 'South Netherlands' for the Belgians. Wherever possible, names of officers have been spelled according to their country of origin, but ranks are given in English. It was surprising to discover, that athough the Battle of Waterloo is extensively covered, how difficult it was to compile this list. The sources were not consistent and some information almost nonexistent. Any errors and omissions are mine and I humbly request any corrected or updated information that the reader may possess be posted on the Napoleon-Series.org Discussion Forum for my use, as well as, for the other readers.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2001; updated November 2009.

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