Friday, July 29, 2011

Ligny Today

Ligny is easy to find - Fleuris, Ligny, Brye & St Armand are on modern maps as are the two main roads through the site.  But there is little in the way of monuments or info signs.  I expect the Prussians don't revere it because they lost, the Poms are obsessed by Waterloo & the French are too depressed about the big loss two days later to care.

From the sign in pic 1 where the road to Ligny leaves the main road, one can see that some re-enactors put on a show sometimes for Napoleon's last victory. 

The view beyond the sign is looking north between the main road and Ligny.  It is typical of the flat plateau that covers most of the battlefield.  Huge fields of wheat, with some corn fields and the odd patch of trees.  Some gentle undulations, but no hills.  It's a pretty featureless landscape except for the patch of villages in the middle.  Ligny, Brye & St Armond are all nondescript boring villages now and probably were then too, but the main feature is that they are in little valleys of close terrain with lots of farmyards, creeks & woods.  The extent of all these man-made features may not be the same as 1815, but the essence of the battlefield is unchanged. 

It's not  very photogenic battlefield, particularly on a typical Belgian summers day. In the second pic you can see the trees around Ligny.  The essence of the battlefield is a flat open plateau with a patch of dense terrain in the middle.

The 3rd pic is looking towards Brye from where d'Erlon should have arrived.

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