The Duke of Wellington – “The Man Who Saved The World”

Arthur Wellesley became a soldier because his family could not think of anything else he could do. After success in India he returned to fight in the Napoleonic Wars, and transformed the fortunes of the British military during the Peninsula Campaign. His reputation was built on his extraordinary grasp of logistical detail and determination to offer battle only when he could win! In 1814 he played a major part in securing the abdication of Napoleon, but when the Emperor returned a year later at the head of a great army, it was the Tsar of Russia who told the Duke of Wellington, “It is for you to save the world again.” At the Battle of Waterloo the Allies faced a formidable enemy and the outcome was described as “the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life,” but it was a victory and Europe sent Napoleon to exile and death on St Helena. Unlike his opponent, Wellington did not want his troops’ adoration, just their respect. He got it because it was so richly deserved.