The Duke of Wellington

Discussion in '1800-1914' started by Hobilar, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. Hobilar

    Hobilar Member

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    A few little known facts about the Duke of Wellington.

    The Duke's horse was named 'Copenhagen'- Like Napoleon's horse it was named after one of his earlier victories.

    The Duke had designed his own uniform which was based on semi-civilian dress.

    The Duke'a famous low cocked hat bore the cockades of Britain, Portugal, Spain and Prussia.

    The Duke would never wear gloves, to which he had a marked aversion.

    The Duke's sword was of French manufacture (perhaps a trophy of the Peninsula War), and was made by the Imperial goldsmith, Biennais of Paris.
     
  2. muller

    muller Active Member

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    He was irish too, which he was a bit sensitive about, his famous quote being, "being born in a stable does not make one a horse." :lol:
     
  3. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    He also went and married a girl who'd he had the hots for, before going to India, sight unseen. When he saw her, the memory did not match the real thing. Good thing there was a major war going on and he could go off and fight in it.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Not my period, but I have had a (very) vague connection. One of my girlfriends, who sadly died of cancer two years ago, was involved in carriage driving. Her father owns and operates the coach that belonged to the Duke. It still bears his crest, on the beautifully finished coachwork, which I have spent hours polishing.
    Just thought I'd throw in that snippet!
     
  5. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Pretty cool. Is there, can you get, a picture. Must be nice.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Should be able to, eventually, Timshatz. I took some myself, part of my job when I was helping the family do a wedding with the coach, and at Royal Ascot. I gave the pics and negs to Louisa's father at the time. However, I'll get in touch with her sister, and see if I can get some shots, hopefully of when they took the coach to Waterloo for the anniversary last(?) year.
    Might take a while, but watch this space!
    Terry.
     
  7. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Thanks Terry. It should be interesting to see the pics.
     
  8. Becca

    Becca Member

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    Definitely!

    as a side note..IMO he should have been proud to be Irish! :D
     
  9. Burmese Bandit

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    If you want to read about the Napoleanic era and Wellington's battles, BUT from the perspective of a grunt's eye point of view, I highly reccomend the 'Sharpe' series by Bernard Cornwell, a writer of historical fiction who is also a dead serious researcher of history as well. Be warned: there are about fifteen novels in the series, and reading them is a major time investment, but well worth your money.

    He has also written the 'Starbuck' series on the Civil War. Also well worth reading.

    And yes, to all the Brits here, there also was a TV series on Sharpe. Did not come up to the books' standards, IMHO.
     
  10. Ferdinand Foch

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    Oh yeah, Burmese Bandit, the Sharpe series are great. I have pretty much all of the books. Haven't read them all though, there is a lot to get through. Every time I read one, it makes you feel like you are actually there by Sharpe, running and fighting French troops along the way.
    Question: did Wellington really say that "We have the mere scum of the earth in our command." Or did he say something else?
     
  11. Burmese Bandit

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    He did more or less say that...but what nearly all those quoting that line leave out the rest of the quotation...which goes

    "....but what glorious soldiers we have made of them"

    Just goes to show what selective quoting does to your true sentiments!
     
  12. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    And one who had a great understanding of the strategic "Big picture", a campaign is not just won in one battle.

    One of the best ever British Army leaders, along with Alan Brooke {another Irishman!} :)
     
  13. Ferdinand Foch

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    Thanks Burmese Bandit, I always thought that that quote had a bit more to it. Makes sense about what he said, since it was recorded that he cried after he witnessed all of the dead British soldiers that were on the walls of Badajoz.
     
  14. Burmese Bandit

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    And another quote which reveals more of his character.

    The battle of Waterloo was not the bloodiest battle in history, but it may well have gone into the record books as the battle that crammed the most amount of dead and wounded into the smallest acreage of space.

    After the battle, watching the carnage, Wellington said "I pray to God I have fought my last battle".
     
  15. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    I just finished reading up on the Battle of Waterloo an amazing Battle. Implemented with brilliant tactics and fought with tenacity. bravery and total devotion to duty!
     
  16. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Hey, if I can recall, there was a movie way back dedicated to Waterloo. A little inaccurate, but overall pretty accurate.

    Hold on, check this out.
    BBC - History - The Battle of Waterloo Game
     
  17. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    yeh ive given that game I try before!
     
  18. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Cool, it's pretty interesting.
     
  19. Burmese Bandit

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    See the third book from last of the Sharpe series, "Waterloo" Bernard Cornwell provides startling proof that the Prussians deliberately arrived much later than they could have because they thought Wellington would lose...though when they did arrive and found that he was winning, they did the mopping-up with a thoroughly teutonic efficiency!
     
  20. Ferdinand Foch

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    Well, that kinda makes sense, since the Prussians had been badly defeated by the French before, so they could have been a bit frightened at fighting Napoleon again. Thank god Wellington was still a general, or Waterloo might have turned out different. Wonder what would have happened if Nelson lived through Trafalgar too?
     
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