Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by MikeHorah » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:05 pm

shadowdragon wrote:
MikeHorah wrote:That is a separate issue/thing to the Allied army of TON as that is not supposed to be just for Waterloo. I think we need to see the divisions as the building blocks, from a FOG(N) game perspective. You can create virtual cavalry Divisions and if you wish a virtual Cavalry corps. It's the issue of the particular model for FOG(N) as opposed to other game designs where Btns and even Sqns are the building blocks and where sometimes there is no real Division or even Corps structure allowed for and where the implied or actual fgure ratio is much lower than FOG(N)

....in a way we may be getting back to where we were up to 40 years ago. :idea:
Definitely the infantry divisions should be the building blocks. I think a virtual cavalry corps is going too far in the sense of seeing a corps with only cavalry/artillery and no infantry; there should be at least one infantry division in the corps. BThe list already allows virtual cavalry divisions and that's okay as the actual cavalry brigades are at best only equal to small FoGN divisions (i.e., 2 small units each). The only question is whether or not you should allow a cavalry division that has Dutch-Belgian and British/KGL/Hanoverian cavalry. Since it's a virtual cavalry division, there's no real life order of battle argument that can be used. The counter-argument is that we don't see these nationalities mixed together in any formation below the "corps" level and perhaps that's how it should be in the list.
I rather agree about a cavalry Corps in 1815 fo the allies. Even where we have designed reserve Corps for other campaigns in the lists we usually allow the importation of an infantry Division and who would want to field just a cavalry Corps, so its probably a needless and unhelpful provision anyway for all I am discinclined to "forbid" the plain daft ( well only tournament players seem to want to give one's ramblings the force of law!) . Ok in soem of the major battles you do get some mass cavalry v cavalry action, Austerlitz, the battle just before Leipzig (whose multi syllabic name escapes me as I type ) and some mass cavalry v infantry Eylau, Wagram, Waterloo of course.

But is the cooperation of the three arms in this era that forms a key part of the mix in Grand Tactics , recognising that in the end only infantry can really take and then hold ground. Cavalry can take and artillery can hold but neither can do both - not much anyway . BGO! (blinding glimpse of the obvious).

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by bahdahbum » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:36 pm

The counter-argument is that we don't see these nationalities mixed together in any formation below the "corps" level and perhaps that's how it should be in the list.
The thing is they fought as "brigades" not divisions . DB and hanvrian and british cavalry supported whatever was there and charged side by side .So any nationality is good .

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by bahdahbum » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:32 pm

By the way just a question : Nassau is poor, LINE infantry . Historically you had the 1st regiment of 2 bataillon's + 1 landwher bataillon for a theoretical total of 2834 men . It was indeed a line regiment with ....french uniforms and armaments ....the prussian fired at them thinking they were french :shock:

The 2nd regiment ( nassau ussingen ) was a light infantry regiment , 3 bataillons totalling around 3000 men . Part of it fought at Hougoumont .

So are they just counted as attachments or is there a specific reason they are not light infantry ?

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by shadowdragon » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:46 pm

bahdahbum wrote:
The counter-argument is that we don't see these nationalities mixed together in any formation below the "corps" level and perhaps that's how it should be in the list.
The thing is they fought as "brigades" not divisions . DB and hanvrian and british cavalry supported whatever was there and charged side by side .So any nationality is good .
That "DB, Hanoverian and British cavalry support whatever was there and charged side by side" is a red herring since it is possible in the game that units from different divisions can support each other and charge side-by-side. None of those things require them to be in the same FoGN division. We have to look at what does it mean to be "in the same division" in FoGN game terms and then illustrate where that happened on the battlefield.

For example, being in the same FoGN division:

1) Allows a British cavalry commander the ability to rally, encourage, etc. a DB regiment - and vice versa. Given the mistrust, communications, etc. problems, is that reasonable?
2) Allows interpenetration without a CMT. Again, given communication issues is it reasonable to allow DB and British cavalry the ability to do so without a CMT. Seem to me that a CMT is a nice way to reflect language problems.

Then there's the issue of being an "ally". It would seem strange to treat the DB infantry as "allied" but their cavalry as "not allied".

The "they fought as 'brigades' and not divisions is getting too hung up on terminology used in actual orders of battle. Most Prussian infantry "brigades" are larger than most French divisions. The strength of the British, Hanoverian and DB cavalry "brigades" varied between 1,000 and 1,600 troops while the 14 French cavalry "divisions" varied between 1,000 and 2,000 troops. Only 6 (cavalry divisions of the I and II infantry corps, both divisions of the III Cav corps and the 2 Guard cavalry "divisions") of those 14 divisions have a strength that exceeded the largest Anglo-Allied cavalry brigade. All this does is show the problems when fitting real life orders of battle to an artificial game concept. There are an infinite number of ways to organize troops and to label the various organizations, but a rule set must choose an appropriate one. In this case FoGN focuses on a "corps" with command represented as "divisions". While this is good for continental armies in the latter period of the wars, it does mean it's less "good" for armies that did not fight in corps, which are the earlier armies of the period and as it just so happens that's somewhat true of the Anglo-Allied army of 1815.

So, again, just because various formations in the Anglo-Allied fought together does not necessarily imply that it's a good choice to allow them in the same FoGN "division". I will also repeat my earlier comment which is that in which formation, below corps (i.e., division, brigade, regiment, battalion,...), do we find both British and DB forces under one commander? The answer is, "none". But that in itself doesn't necessarily mean that we can't have virtual "FoGN divisions" with both nationalities, but I do think we need to see that trust, communications, etc. were not issues between the nationalities. That brigades of both sides charged "side by side" only means that they both obeyed the corps commander. That the supported each other is currently possible with units belonging to different FoGN divisions.

What is the benefit, in terms of modelling the Anglo-Allied army, with British and DB cavalry in the same virtual FoGN division? The ability of units to interpenetrate each other without a CMT, which if we allow British-DB cavalry divisions is something we allow the cavalry but not the infantry. Is that rational? The other benefit, is that it allows the gamer to save a "cavalry division" and therefore, with the current minima, to have a corps with 2 British infantry, 1 DB infantry and 1 multinational cavalry divisions. But there are other ways to do this.....Mike has said he would look at some wording. Let's see what he comes up with. It may be that the best way is to allow a multinational cavalry division. If so, that's fine.

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by madcam2us » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:31 pm

bahdahbum wrote:By the way just a question : Nassau is poor, LINE infantry . Historically you had the 1st regiment of 2 bataillon's + 1 landwher bataillon for a theoretical total of 2834 men . It was indeed a line regiment with ....french uniforms and armaments ....the prussian fired at them thinking they were french :shock:

The 2nd regiment ( nassau ussingen ) was a light infantry regiment , 3 bataillons totalling around 3000 men . Part of it fought at Hougoumont .

So are they just counted as attachments or is there a specific reason they are not light infantry ?
Not too sure about their ratings either... By most accounts they gave a right good fight to the Frenchies and most rulesets classify them much better. I would have thought avg but then again, I have yet to play a game...

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by bahdahbum » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:41 pm

My question is more : why are all nassau line and not party light infantry . With near 3000 men you can easely field one "brigade" . While being poor ...yes that's also puzzling .

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by bahdahbum » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:43 pm

It may be that the best way is to allow a multinational cavalry division. If so, that's fine.
Fine with me but I would have the minimum decreased to 8 bases .

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by Ambiorix » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:37 pm

shadowdragon wrote:.....Mike has said he would look at some wording. Let's see what he comes up with
It seems there is a consensus the minima of British cavalry is too high. Any idea when there will be an 'official' ruling ?
I am in the market for an Anglo-Belgic army for some time now but still am not sure of its composition. Any chance there will be clarity before 03 Nov 2012 : date of 'Crisis Antwerp', the biggest wargame show on the continent ?
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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by bahdahbum » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:12 pm

the biggest wargame show on the continent ?
Ever been to Salute ....it a bit bigger not that much but bigger

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by Ambiorix » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:47 pm

Of course !!!!

But it is not on the continent (according to the British that is)
:D
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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by adonald » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:21 pm

For example, being in the same FoGN division:

1) Allows a British cavalry commander the ability to rally, encourage, etc. a DB regiment - and vice versa. Given the mistrust, communications, etc. problems, is that reasonable?
2) Allows interpenetration without a CMT. Again, given communication issues is it reasonable to allow DB and British cavalry the ability to do so without a CMT. Seem to me that a CMT is a nice way to reflect language problems.
Hmm, I would have thought they all spoke French...

I thought there were instances of the British officers leading, or at least, initiating actions, of DB troops?

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by bahdahbum » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:44 am

Given the mistrust
Still that fairie idea . If Wellington really did mistrust the Dutch Belgian ( who stopped Ney at Quatre-Bras ) why would he bother to have them in his army ...
I thought there were instances of the British officers leading, or at least, initiating actions, of DB troops?
Perhaps, and the same for Belgian high ranking officers for British units , for exemple Constant de Rebecque, the chief of staff who by the way saved Welington's ass at Quatre-Bras . He was the one who decided to hold that place against Wellington's first orders :D

And many DB officiers were saw former service with the french and sometimes even in the olg guard . Still they fought with gallantry . Something that is easely forgotten by some people .

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by shadowdragon » Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:03 pm

bahdahbum wrote:
Given the mistrust
Still that fairie idea . If Wellington really did mistrust the Dutch Belgian ( who stopped Ney at Quatre-Bras ) why would he bother to have them in his army ...
I thought there were instances of the British officers leading, or at least, initiating actions, of DB troops?
Perhaps, and the same for Belgian high ranking officers for British units , for exemple Constant de Rebecque, the chief of staff who by the way saved Welington's ass at Quatre-Bras . He was the one who decided to hold that place against Wellington's first orders :D

And many DB officiers were saw former service with the french and sometimes even in the olg guard . Still they fought with gallantry . Something that is easely forgotten by some people .
Guys...guys...it's modelling questions I've posed, not political or moral statements. :wink:

Miscommunication:
Miscommunication is more than just about the ability to speak the same language. It is about a common understanding of the language used which implies an understanding of cultural context, doctrine, etc. Example: the Baron de Collaert, commander of the Netherlands cavalry division, was an officer in the French army until as recently a 1 March 1815. Are there no doctrinal differences between the French and British armies that could cause a miscommunication problem? A famous example of miscommunication is that between the Gloucester Regiment at the Battle of the Imjin River (Korean war) and their American commander. When asked about their situation, the Gloucester's commander stated that, "Things were a bit sticky", which is British understatement for "all hell's breaking loose". The American commander took that to mean that things were okay. The results were tragic for the Gloucesters. They were surrounded and overrun.

Back to the 100 days campaign - did all officers at all levels of the Anglo-Allied army speak a common language with sufficient proficiency to communicate properly in the heat of battle? Did they have a common "military" culture - similar experience, doctrine, etc. Anecdotal examples only show that some officers could communicate easily with each other.

Mistrust:
Mistrust isn't just about do I like you or not. It also has to do with confidence that someone has an ability to carry out a task as you intended. I might trust you with some cash to do a shopping errand for me, but I might not trust you with doing brain surgery. Awareness of the competence might be one level of trust, but there's a different degree of trust that comes with serving a long time together. Even when officers and their troops come from the same army, there's a different degree of trust from officers and troops that have served a long time together and situations where the troops and officers don't know each other.

As for mistrust of the Netherlanders on the part of the British, we can't go and ask all those now dead British divisional and brigade commanders what they thought, can we? So anything is speculation. There are a whole host of political and practical reasons for including the Netherlands troops in the Anglo-Allied army - not the least of which was it was their national territory. But...that doesn't mean that there might not have been some doubt - rightly or wrongly - in the minds of some British officers. Remember they didn't have the history of the campaign behind them. After all some French officers did desert the Emperor - both before and during the battle. If things started to turn against the Anglo-Allied army then what? The only actual information we have is the disposition of the troops and British attitudes after the battle. Wellington's disposition of troops is ambiguous. There are no clear examples of Wellington trusting critical positions to be held by the Netherlands troops nor are there clear examples that he did not trust them, but regardless of Wellington's attitude it is no guarantee that the same attitude applied to all British officers. (Perponcher's division did hold the critical ground at Quarter Bras did indeed save Wellington, but Wellington did not expect the main attack there and the division was there despite Wellington's orders. So that's not really an example of Wellington trusting them with holding a critical piece of ground, but rather an example of the military astuteness of the Netherlands commanders on the spot. The only real example is how British writers, including those at the battle, downplayed - UNFAIRLY - the contribution of the Netherlands forces. That might only be the British wanting the glory for themselves and may not indicate any mistrust during the battle but even then it doesn't show a high degree of trust.

Modelling
But all of that may or may not be relevant to the question of modelling. The question is one of modelling the Anglo-Allied army using FoGN concepts for corps and division. For the infantry it's easy....the army was organized into separate divisions for British/Hanoverian, Brunswicker and Netherlands infantry.

In the case of the cavalry, the British/Hanoverian cavalry were not organized into "divisions" but into "brigades". The Netherlands cavalry was organized into a single "division" but didn't really fight in the battles as a "division". We shouldn't necessarily equate real organizational "brigades" and "divisions" with FoGN "brigades" and "divisions". After all, FoGN treats Prussian infantry "brigades" as FoGN "divisions". With respect to the British cavalry "brigades", they were the equivalent size of most French cavalry "divisions" - although both the British "brigades" and French "divisions" would only be a rather small FoGN "division of two (2) small cavalry units. Although I think a cavalry division of just 2 small cavalry units is allowed the authors have indicated that they intend divisions to be larger (see their comments on not allowing FoGN cavalry "divisions" for the French infantry corps). So for modelling the Anglo-Allied cavalry with FoGN we're into the realm of FoGN "virtual divisions" (i.e., FoGN "divisions" that are formed by arbitrary groupings of actual "brigades"). Since it's an arbitrary grouping of real cavalry 'brigades" into "virtual divisions", the decision of what can or cannot be grouped is going to be arbitrary too. The only argument - for me - against allowing British/Hanoverian cavalry in the same "virtual division" as the Netherlands cavalry, is that the infantry have to be in separate divisions, but there are examples in other lists where the infantry are separate divisions but the cavalry can be mixed. The main argument for it is that the Netherlands cavalry didn't fight together as a "division" but as separate "brigades" which would in FoGN terms as small FoGN "divisions" (2 small cavalry units...or less...the 3rd brigades would be only about 6.4 bases, the 1st brigade comes in at 7.5 bases and the 2nd at 6.6. These could be rounded up at 8 bases each or rounded to the nearest even number at 8, 6, and 6 bases).

The conclusion from that is that: (1) if the British/Hanoverian brigades are to small to be FoGN "divisions" and are combined into "virtual divisions", the same should apply to the Netherlands cavalry which are equally small; and (2) from the employment in the actual fighting there's no reason that the Netherlands cavalry brigades should be combined into "virtual divisions" with only Netherlands cavalry brigades since that's not reflected in their actual battlefield employment. However, the counter-argument is that (3) allowing the Netherlands and British/Hanoverian cavalry brigades into the same FoGN "virtual division" is making assumptions about the degree of interoperability* between these forces which may or may not have been the case, but we won't know since these are "virtual divisions".

But....I don't play competition games but historical / scenario games where real orders of battle trump FoGN army lists. :D

*Note: Interoperability is a huge problem for military forces - even for troops from the same nation. NATO spends a good deal of effort (e.g., developing common doctrine, conducting exercises, etc.) to achieve interoperability but that hasn't prevent the occasional mishap.

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by bahdahbum » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:20 pm

did all officers at all levels of the Anglo-Allied army speak a common language with sufficient proficiency to communicate properly in the heat of battle
Yes, french

Culture : exceptfor the british who did loose the battle ( yes they did ) , the others used the "french system" . the fench system being the same as the british one ....2 lines for firing as most armies since 1812 , and column to assault ( yes even the british ) .

The thing being ...the anglo allied were on the defensive

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by shadowdragon » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:14 pm

bahdahbum wrote:
did all officers at all levels of the Anglo-Allied army speak a common language with sufficient proficiency to communicate properly in the heat of battle
Yes, french
Yes, speaking French, regardless of proficiency, never leads to misunderstanding. :wink: English has no such quality. I remember a German colonel who was confused when an American major referred to using a "quick and dirty" approach. Still I'd be interested in your source on the percentage of Anglo-Allied officers speaking French with proficiency....unless your comment is meant as a facetious one. If the latter I see no reason for unpleasantness.

But back to the issue of mixing British/Hanoverian cavalry with Netherlands cavalry in the same division. I see that in the FoG lists they normally don't seem allow that unless there are actual historic examples. However, should that apply to "virtual divisions". Hard to say...it's all so "virtual"....and speculative. Either way it's a "what if" scenario.
the others used the "french system" . the french system being the same as the british one ....2 lines for firing as most armies since 1812 , and column to assault ( yes even the british
At a superficial level that may be true, but that does not imply that there weren't important nuances at a practical level. Besides which the relevant doctrine isn't how battalions operated but how divisions operated.
exceptfor the british who did loose the battle ( yes they did )
I don't understand the relevance of this comment.
The thing being ...the anglo allied were on the defensive
I don't understand the relevance this either.

I'd rather you don't put ascribe various opinions to me (which I don't necessarily hold) and then knock them down. For what it's worth I do think the Netherlands troops performed well enough in the campaign and have been unfairly treated by British writers. I also am happy if the authors allow divisions with both British and Netherlands cavalry or if they keep it the list the way they are.
Last edited by shadowdragon on Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by adonald » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:48 pm

I'd be interested in your source on the percentage of Anglo-Allied officers speaking French with proficiency
Now who's being facetious? :twisted:

French was the lingua-franca of the Napoleonic period. As an indicator of this, one senior British officer could NOT speak French well, a fact that was consequently widely remarked on (and for which we now have the record). That would tend to imply that the rest were more comfortable with it.

Alastair

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by adonald » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:14 pm

There are no clear examples of Wellington trusting critical positions to be held by the Netherlands troops
Dutch 1st "Van Bijlandt" brigade (Bijlandt) of the 2nd Dutch-Belgium division. First line facing D'Erlon. Not a good place to put unreliable troops - and they did alright at the end too, although they weer forced to retire and took no further part in the battle, they held their own for a while.

Regarding the Allied cavalry. There were no British/Hanoverian cavalry divisions at Waterloo, they operated by brigades. The 'division' thing is a FOGN artifice and therefore shoud NOT be used to limit the use of the cavalry on the battlefield/wargames tabble, because it wasn't limited by that. If we have to buy a 'division', fine, but it should be flexible to allow the actual use of cavalry at Waterloo to be reflected.

So, did Dutch-Belgian calary cary out charges with British/Hanoverian cavalry during the battle under the command of a senior officer? If so, then why not have mixed nationality divisions? The rest is idle speculation, particulalry around whether the officers could talk to one-another.

Alastair Donald

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by shadowdragon » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:34 pm

adonald wrote:
I'd be interested in your source on the percentage of Anglo-Allied officers speaking French with proficiency
Now who's being facetious? :twisted:

French was the lingua-franca of the Napoleonic period. As an indicator of this, one senior British officer could NOT speak French well, a fact that was consequently widely remarked on (and for which we now have the record). That would tend to imply that the rest were more comfortable with it.

Alastair
I'm not being facetious. You're reading more into that than is intended.

I am familiar with French being lingua-franca (literally and in the modern defintion of the term) of the period but I appreciate your reference to the "senior British officer". I'd still be curious as to how far down the food chain that would apply - probably reasonably far for armies with an aristocratic officer corps.

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by shadowdragon » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:07 pm

adonald wrote:
There are no clear examples of Wellington trusting critical positions to be held by the Netherlands troops
Dutch 1st "Van Bijlandt" brigade (Bijlandt) of the 2nd Dutch-Belgium division. First line facing D'Erlon. Not a good place to put unreliable troops - and they did alright at the end too, although they weer forced to retire and took no further part in the battle, they held their own for a while.

Regarding the Allied cavalry. There were no British/Hanoverian cavalry divisions at Waterloo, they operated by brigades. The 'division' thing is a FOGN artifice and therefore shoud NOT be used to limit the use of the cavalry on the battlefield/wargames tabble, because it wasn't limited by that. If we have to buy a 'division', fine, but it should be flexible to allow the actual use of cavalry at Waterloo to be reflected.

So, did Dutch-Belgian calary cary out charges with British/Hanoverian cavalry during the battle under the command of a senior officer? If so, then why not have mixed nationality divisions? The rest is idle speculation, particulalry around whether the officers could talk to one-another.

Alastair Donald
I'm just trying to toss around the pros and cons. If you read the above post I thought I came down more on the side of allowing mixed nationality cavalry divisions, but perhaps I am only annoying you. I don't really have a "horse in this race" so I'll just leave the topic there.

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Re: Anglo-Netherlands Army 1815 - army building questions

Post by bahdahbum » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:31 pm

came down more on the side of allowing mixed nationality cavalry divisions
All the allied cavalry was organised in one corps , but it was a theoretical organisation as the cavalry was used by brigades :D

As for the remarks concerning the fact that the british did loose Waterloo, well it was just an iddle remark . They did not use the french system, OK . And they also lost the battle being saved at the end by the timely arrival of the prussians . Ok the DB, brunswick and Hanvrian did loose the battle also . :D . the prussians are the real victorious side . Hurray for us, they were with Wellington .

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