Napoleonic War Tour

The Napoleonic Wars

Follow in the footsteps of the Duke of Wellington and his allies as they clash with armies of the Emperor Napoleon across the width and breadth of Europe in the Napoleonic Wars.  Visit the sites associated with the battlefields of the Peninsula, Austria, Prussia, Russia and those associated with Napoleon's last hundred days, including Waterloo.

Join one of our Expert guides on a tour of the Napoleonic Battlefields, follow the battles and see how they developed.

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Naploleonic War film strip

The Napoleonic Wars, that took place between 1803 and 1815, were a series of major battles in which the First French Empire, led by Emperor Napoleon I, clashed against the European powers formed in various coalitions that were principally led by the United Kingdom.

These battles revolutionized Europe's armies and were fought on a previously unheard of scale. They are traditionally seen as a continuation of the French Revolutionary Wars, which broke out in 1792. Initially, Napoleon's power rose quickly as his armies marched across and conquered much of Europe. This domination, however, collapsed rapidly after Napoleon's disastrous Invasion of Russia in 1812 and ended in his defeat and exile to the island of Elba in 1814. The spectre of war rose once more in 1815 with Napoleon's brief return to power in France and the Hundred Days Campaign that culminated in the battle at Waterloo on 18th June 1815. Following this final defeat, the Allies then reversed all French gains made following the Revolutionary Wars at the Congress of Vienna.

Before a final victory against Napoleon, five of seven coalitions were resoundingly defeated by the Armies of France. France defeated the first and second coalitions during the French Revolutionary Wars; the third was again defeated, notably at Austerlitz on 2nd December 1805; the fourth was defeated at Jena, Eylau, and Friedland in 1806-1807; and the fifth coalition was again defeated in 1809 principally at Wagram — all under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte. These great victories gave Napoleon and his Army a sense of invulnerability, but after their retreat from Russia the French were defeated by the sixth coalition at Leipzig and in the Peninsular War at Vitoria. Napoleon's final defeat, at the hands of the seventh coalition, was at Waterloo.

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Last updated: 12th December 2018