The Defence of Hougoumont Farm by the 1st
Foot Guards and Coldstream Guards during the Battle of Waterloo, shown in heroic
military prints at various stages of the defence of Hougoumont.
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The Great Gate of Hougoumont by Keith Rocco.
Anchoring the Anglo-Allied right center, the formidable chateau of Hougoumont has become synonymous with the Battle of Waterloo. It was here that the French army - driven by its institutional memory grounded in victories which saw Napoleonic soldiers defeat other armies while carrying such celebrated defensive positions as the Abbey of Elchingen and the Castle of Ebelsberg -- met a foe of a more determined mettle. Time and again, French attacks swept forward in vain attempts to capture Hougoumont which, if successful, would have opened the covered way into the heart of Wellingtons position. The closest the French came to capturing the chateau was their second assault, spearheaded by Colonel Cubieres 1st Legere. Although Cubieres was wounded and thrown off his horse just outside the chateaus great gate, the assault was sustained by sous-lieutenant Legros. Wielding a pioneers ax, and though facing a hail of bullets, Legros, nicknamed lEnforceur, broke open the barrier and forced his way.........