Quatrebras

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Military art prints of the Battle of Quatrebras showing the Black Watch and the Gloucester Regiment during the Battle of Quatre Bras and Wellington's retreat to reform before the Battle of Waterloo. Military art prints published by Cranston Fine Arts.

Napoleon's object was to divide the British and Prussian armies in order that he might fall upon them separately. How nearly he succeeded is told in the story of Ligny and Quatre Bras. At these points were the allies under Wellington and Blucher with an interval of 18 miles between. Napoleon determined that thus they should remain until he had annihilated them. Turning upon the Prussians at Ligny, he routed Blucher and forced him back. But Marshal Ney was not so successful with the British and this masterly stroke failed.  At the junction of the roads that lead to Brussels, on which the French were advancing, stood some scattered buildings. Here the battle of Quatre Bras was fought, for this humble farm was the strategic point on which rested the peace of Europe and the overthrow of Napoleon.  The struggle was long and desperate and had Ney attacked earlier and with vigour he might have made himself master of the situation. Trusting to his superiority in cavalry and artillery the French leader hurled his full force against the British battalions, each of which in turn bore the shock of an army.  So furious was the assault that the Cuirassiers rode upon the solid lines of bayonets with shouts of "Down with the English! No Quarter!". Picton's division coming on to the field in hot haste found the not very valorous Belgians retiring in confusion before the enemy. Without halt or pause the Black Watch dashed forward to the rescue, forcing a path through a field of rye that rose to the tops of their bonnets. The pursuit of the French was suddenly checked, but the gallant highlanders had pushed on too far, and mistaking the French Lancers for Brunswickers, were roughly handled, few escaping death or wounds. Rallying they formed in line with other regiments to receive and to repulse another charge of Cuirassiers who fell upon their shattered ranks with heavy horse and steel armour. The fight had lasted an hour before Wellington came upon the scene and ordered the Gordons to charge. Cameron, their leader, was mortally wounded. Nothing could resist the general advance, and Ney was unable to secure the position on which so much seemed to depend. But the advantage, dearly bought, had to be abandoned, for Blucher had fallen back and Wellington had no choice but to follow in order that the allies might no longer be exposed to separate attack. Waterloo was the immediate consequence of this retirement.  Text by William Maxwell 1902.

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The Duke of Wellington on the Road to Quatre Bras by Robert Hillingford.


The Duke of Wellington on the Road to Quatre Bras by Robert Hillingford.

Item Code : DHM0241The Duke of Wellington on the Road to Quatre Bras by Robert Hillingford. - Editions Available
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Battle of Quatre Bras, 1815 by Henry Dupray. (P)


Battle of Quatre Bras, 1815 by Henry Dupray. (P)

Item Code : HD0036Battle of Quatre Bras, 1815 by Henry Dupray. (P) - Editions Available
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Brunswick Hussar, Quatre Bras 16th June 1815 by Brian Palmer.


Brunswick Hussar, Quatre Bras 16th June 1815 by Brian Palmer.

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Quatre Bras by Lady Elizabeth Butler.


Quatre Bras by Lady Elizabeth Butler.

28th Gloucester Regiment shown in square repelling the French cavalry.
Item Code : VAR0311Quatre Bras by Lady Elizabeth Butler. - Editions Available
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Quatre Bras (Black Watch at Bay) by William Barnes Wollen.
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Steady the Drums and Fifes by Lady Elizabeth Butler.
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Quatre Bras (Black Watch at Bay) by William Barnes Wollen.


Quatre Bras (Black Watch at Bay) by William Barnes Wollen.

At the height of the Battle of Quatre Bras, 16th June 1815, the French Cavalry almost broke through Wellingtons positions. One Regiment of the 69th was decimated and lost its colour as it tried to form square. Another of the Black Watch received a terrible mauling by General Pires Lancers, as it formed square (depicted here) Reproduced by permission of the trustees of the Black Watch.
Item Code : DHM0015Quatre Bras (Black Watch at Bay) by William Barnes Wollen. - Editions Available
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Death of Colonel McCara (Blackwatch at Quatrebras) by Richard Simkin.
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Wellington Leaving Quatre Bras for Waterloo by Mark Churms.
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Quatre Bras by Lady Elizabeth Butler.
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Square of the 42nd Charged by French Cuirassiers at Quatrebras by Harry Payne.


Square of the 42nd Charged by French Cuirassiers at Quatrebras by Harry Payne.

Printed on high quality 300gsm German etching stock. Only 25 copies of this superb quality reprint are available.
Item Code : UN0510Square of the 42nd Charged by French Cuirassiers at Quatrebras by Harry Payne. - Editions Available
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Brunswick Uhlan, Quatre Bras 16th June 1815 by Brian Palmer.


Brunswick Uhlan, Quatre Bras 16th June 1815 by Brian Palmer.

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Wellington Leaving Quatre Bras for Waterloo by Mark Churms.


Wellington Leaving Quatre Bras for Waterloo by Mark Churms.

Wellington watches as his army retires from the battle field area of Quatrebras
Item Code : DHM0253Wellington Leaving Quatre Bras for Waterloo by Mark Churms. - Editions Available
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Officer, RHA, Belgium 1815 by Mark Churms.
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Death of Colonel McCara (Blackwatch at Quatrebras) by Richard Simkin.


Death of Colonel McCara (Blackwatch at Quatrebras) by Richard Simkin.

Item Code : DHM0018Death of Colonel McCara (Blackwatch at Quatrebras) by Richard Simkin. - Editions Available
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History of the First Royal Scots at Quatre Bras  The 3rd battalion, after taking part in the siege of Bayonne- the birthplace, by the way, of the bayonet - was the last of the British army of occupation to leave France as it had been the first to enter it; and on the escape of the Corsican ogre from Elbe, it was again one of the first that reached Belgium for the purpose of catching and finally caging him up. It formed part of Pack's Brigade in Picton's Division, and at Quatre Bras its square sustained and repulsed no fewer than seven successive charges of French cavalry, without ever flinching. "Though charged six or seven times", wrote an eye-witness, "by an infinite superiority of numbers, the French cavalry never for an instant made the slightest impression upon the square of the Royal Scots", and finally, after having been volleyed at by the enemy's musketeers, and slashed at by their furious squadrons of steel-clad horsemen, who could make not even the slightest impression on their serried, rock-fast ranks, they were formed into line and led forward to the charge by Picton himself, when, with the 28th regiment, they tumbled back the enemy in headlong rout, and enabled Wellington to maintain his mastery of the field.

(Excerpt from The Glories and Traditions of the British Army. (Naval and Army illustrated Feb 26th 1897). The First Royal Scots or Lothian Regiment by Chas Lowe)

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