The battle opened up for the crossroads at Quatre Bras with the French aligned parallel to the stream south of town. British opened the ball with an attack on the right flank, with the French assaulting the center of the line, with their heavy artillery firing on a unit of British light cavalry. The artillery fire did no damage other than to shake the troops however, the bravery of the British commander in the face of the enemy guns kept his troops steady.
On the right flank a British line infantry opened fire against the heavy French guns and the gunners, though supported, retreated. The French decided they should rethink their strategy and ordered an assault on the left of the British Lines. The British responded with a slight skirmish along the center of the line. The French troops crossed the stream and fired at the British line infantry but missed with every shot.
The French staff sent coordinated orders to all their commanders to press the entire line, though along the left flank their light artillery retired from the stream bank. Along the British left the infantry poured fire into the French line, causing the French two casualties. The French returned fire and also the result. Again the English fired and another French unit was inflicted. The French responded moving forward and firing into the British line causing one English unit to leave the field. The English then saw Napoleon Bonaparte himself join his light cavalry along the hills south of town.
As the half hour passed the British found themselves short of supply on their left and an entire unit of infantry retired to resupply, though still engaged with the enemy. The British probed on the right flank and attacked the French light cavalry hitting them with a light fire.
The French chose to rally their forces on the right, recovering slightly from one of the English blows to their morale. The British, trying to press the issue, ordered a Grand Cavalry charge. Charging the French Heavy Artillery while it was unloaded and causing a hit and the guns to retire.
The French attacked on their left, and the British attacked on their right. The French managed to eliminate one of the British units during the collision, while the British caused minor casualties to the French line.
As the second hour began the French attacked the center of the line while the British attempted to probe the right flank. The French artillery struck a blow against the Elite infantry units of the British infantry. The French light cavalry and Napoleon unsuccessfully attempted to dislodge the British light cavalry from the bridge to their front.
The French responded with a grand cavalry charge hitting the flank of a British infantry unit on their left and causing damage to a second unit in the same sector. However, Napoleon and the light cavalry could still not remove the enemy from the bridge. The British used their time to probe the center of the line striking a light blow against the French light cavalry, which accompanied Napoleon.
The French responded with an artillery bombardment, but were answered by an English bombardment. In the dual of the guns, the British came out ahead as the little corporal’s guns could not create enough damage against the English guns against them. When the smoke cleared the French had lost a light artillery battery.
The French ordered a probe on their weak right flank, but the units retreated from their current position, attempting to put distance between them and the British. The British skirmished along the right flank and caused quite a bit of damage to the French ranks.
The British center ordered their troops to fire and hold, which proved to be an excellent command by Lord Wellington. Placing devastating fire upon the French lines. The French cavalry probed on the left discovering the flank of an infantry and eliminating it from the battlefield. The rest of the second hours was predominately uneventful.
The third hour saw the French ordering an attack along their left and the British attacking in the center. The British served the most damage at that time eliminating a French Light artillery position, and hitting the French cavalry (both light and heavy) with heavy fire.
The British attempted to use the momentum to rally their troops in the center but failed. The French responded with a heavy skirmish on the left, which caused quite a bit of damage to the British right.
The two armies then focused on the center of their lines and both focusing on the opponents cavalry, though when the dust cleared the British had the upper hand against the speed of Napoleon’s army.
The French were running low on supply and one unit broke from the left flank retired to be re-outfitted. Though along the left Napoleon had ordered more skirmishing, to draw fire from his center. The light cavalry hit the flanks of the British infantry which it had been engaged with during the day and eliminated the foe.
When the third hour closed, Wellington had held the crossroads and dealt a devastating blow to the French Emperor. Napoleon had lost much of his cavalry, all of his artillery and two infantry units. Wellington would press the advantage he had gained and the tables quickly turned on the little corporal.