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200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo marked by Isle of Man Post Office in collaboration with Waterloo 200

To view the Battle of Waterloo stamp issue or to order click here

Isle of Man Post Office together with Waterloo 200 is pleased to present a set of four se-tenant pairs of stamps to celebrate the Bicentenary Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The stamps due for release on May 8 use images that depict various stages of the Battle from both sides.

The Battle of Waterloo marked the end of the Revolutionary (1792-1803) and Napoleonic (1804-1815) wars. These long conflicts cost Britain dear financially and also resulted in a greater proportional loss of population than WW1.

In March 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte made a surprise return to France following his abdication in 1814 and as a result four armies, the British/German and Dutch army, the Prussian force, also the distant Russian and Austrian armies were mobilised against him. Anticipating an allied invasion, Bonaparte advanced rapidly with 125,500 men to the border of France with the Netherlands (now Belgium). Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington had never faced each other in battle until this point.

War broke out on June 16 following two preliminary battles, and by June 18 a three mile allied line with three defended farms in front (Hougoumont, on the right, La Haye Sainte and Papelotte) waited for Bonaparte's first move. At 11.30am Hougoumont was attacked, the first of several assaults that lasted all day. At around 12.45pm a 64-gun battery fired on Wellington's left centre, followed by a 17,000 strong infantry assault which was repelled by a strong but wasteful British heavy cavalry attack, countered by French cavalry. Fighting continued on both sides all day, then by around 7.30pm victory was complete and Prussian cavalry pursued the French off the battlefield. The victory was momentous but the butcher's bill high with 55,000 men killed, wounded or missing.

Isle of Man Post Office has produced four evocative se-tenant pairs of stamps that capture in striking detail images of The Battle of Waterloo from both sides and the resulting victory for the Duke. Together these stamps tell the story of the battle by capturing its key stages including the preliminary battle at Quatre-Bras, the fighting at La Haye-Sainte, defence of Chateau de Hougoumont and an image of General Hill who was thrown into combat at the last minute to salvage victory for Bonaparte but could not break the British centre and was forced to retreat, with victory for the Duke.

Waterloo 200 organiser Mick Crumplin said: "As education lead for Waterloo 200 and a military historian, I was delighted with the Isle of Man's decision to commemorate one of Britain and Europe's most important historical events - the Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo. The stamps splendidly portray various stages in the action of the 18 June 1815. This issue will remain a treasured memorial for collectors and the general public."

Tim Cooke Chairman of Waterloo 200 said:" Waterloo 200 is a registered charity with a vision to deliver an appropriate international commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and its consequences for the history of Europe."

Commenting on Waterloo 200's collaboration with Isle of Man Post Office, he continues: "As the Chairman of Waterloo 200 we are delighted to be in partnership with Isle of Man Post Office, Stamps and Coins division."

To view the Battle of Waterloo stamp issue or to order click here

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