At about 11:30 on a Sunday morning in 1815, a few shots rang out as the curtain-raiser to one of Europe's most titanic military clashes. By late afternoon, at the close of the Battle of Waterloo, nearly 40,000 men lay dead or wounded.**Until that day, the army of Napoleon Bonaparte seemed almost invincible. Indeed, by mid-afternoon, victory for the French seemed a distinct possibility. **But the Allied army, led by the Duke of Wellington and ably assisted by Marshal Bluecher, finally delivered a fatal blow that not only defeated the French forces but destroyed for ever Napoleon's dreams of conquest and glory, in which he would stand astride Europe like a colossus.**Events that day confirmed the Duke of Wellington as a military genius and Bluecher as an eccentric but loyal ally.**For the British, the Battle of Waterloo was one of our greatest ever victories and the story of that extraordinary day. **As featured in Essence Magazine.