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The future of Europe hung in the balance at the battle of Waterloo in 1815. The British, led by the Duke of Wellington, held Napoleon’s Grand Armeé to a standstill, waiting for General Blücher and his Prussians to add their weight to the battle. Without his Prussian allies, the best the Duke could expect was an inconclusive outcome that would prolong the fighting. With them, Wellington could end Napoleon’s dreams of empire. As it turned out, Blücher arrived toward the end of the day and tipped the scales against the French. Europe could look forward to peace and stability.

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