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Waterloo 200: 15th June 1815

Two hundred years ago the war started on this morning with Napoleon's forces invading the southern provinces of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

That very morning of 15th June the Prince of Orange rode once more towards the border for one of usual inspections. When he arrived at General van Merlen's headquarters in St. Symphorien, he was quickly informed about this news of the invasion. Without much further ado, he sent a note to General Chassé to concentrate his infantry division at once. Next the prince quickly got back to his army headquarters in Braine-le-Comte and informed his staff, before deciding to ride in person to Brussels.

Arriving there in the mid afternoon, the prince was the first to inform the Duke of Wellington about the start of the war.

Facsimile of the order to Chassé, written by the Prince of Orange

You can read all about this in our Volume One "From Mobilisation to War"