Posted 8 years ago
Another card collected by Septimus and Clara Miller in 1907 was this photo postcard published by E.G. (a Belgian firm run by E. Grégoire). There is something uncanny about the trees and the printing fault too on this image.
La Belle Alliance is an inn situated just thirteen kilometres south of Brussels in Belgium. It was built around 1765 - and the name of the place refers to a marriage alliance between a widow and one of her workmen. These days the place is used on Friday and Saturday evenings as a night club.
On the morning of June 18, 1815 the farm house became Napoléon Bonaparte's headquarters for the Battle of Waterloo.
On Sunday the 18th of June Wellington was occupying the ridge of Mont-Saint-Jean to the south of Waterloo and Napoléon Bonaprte occupied a ridge at La Belle Alliance across the valley.
After the battle, at around 21:00, the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard Blücher met close to the inn signifying the end of the fighting.
We refer to the Battle of the 18th of June as the Battle of Waterloo.
Napoléon Bonaparte used another name “la Bataille de Mont-Saint-Jean” - (Wellington stayed at the Ferme Mont-Saint-Jean on the night of June 17 before the battle).
Another name that was proposed for the battle came from one of Wellington’s Allies at the Battle General Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher.
General von Blücher suggestion was a pun: “La Belle Alliance” – the Great Alliance to commemorate the European Seventh Coalition of Britain, Russia, Prussia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Sardinia, and a number of German States which had all joined the coalition to defeat the French Emperor.
In German it is still known as « Belle-Alliance Sieg ».
It had a good ring to it!
But Wellington thought it would not do to name the battle after the loser's command post; he preferred Waterloo a town to the north of the battlefield itself.
But certainly this inn/command post was where Napoléon Bonaparte met his Waterloo!