the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

This Week in HistoryThis Week in History: Week 25 (18 June 1815)

France Loses The Battle Of Waterloo

French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte are defeated by the Allies in Belgium.

In 1815, French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte suffered their final defeat in the "The Battle of Waterloo", and the Napoleonic Wars were over. The French were defeated by Allied armies commanded by the Duke of Wellington from Britain and General Blucher from Prussia. The battle was fought a few kilometres south of Brussels in Belgium and was over within a single day. It marked the end of 23 years of conflict across Europe resulting from Napolean's attempt to establish a French Empire across much of the continent. Napoleon was exiled to the island of St Helena where he died in 1821.

forces (noun): people in the military services; soldiers, sailors etc
Allied armies (noun): armies from different countries fighting on the same side
continent (noun): one of the world's large land masses (Africa, Asia etc)
exile (verb): send out of one's country (usually for political reasons)

Wellington at Waterloo
The Duke of Wellington seen at the Battle of Waterloo in this painting by Robert Alexander Hillingford (1825-1904).

Test your understanding:

1. The Allied Forces were fighting against

a) Belgian forces under Brussels
b) French forces under Napolean
c) Prussian forces under General Blucher

Show answer


2. The Napoleonic Wars were fought

a) in 1815
b) within a single day
c) for 23 years

Show answer


3. If you are exiled from your country, you'll have to

a) live in another country
b) live on an island
c) live on a pension

Show answer


Contributor: Matt Errey