If we want to say that someone has suffered a crushing defeat, we say: this is their Waterloo. And Napoleon was the one who gave birth to this expression: the Battle of Waterloo is the last major battle of the French emperor and the largest military leader of the 19th century. He tried to regain his power when he lost after the war against coalition of the largest European states and reconstruction in France of the Bourbon dynasty. In February 1815, Napoleon fled from exile to the island of Elba and came to Paris to collect troops. But he didn't manage to gather much – the enemy troops outnumbered Napoleon's several times. There was only one chance left – to defeat the allied armies part by part.
On June 18, 1815 at 11 am, in the vicinity of the Belgian town, in the pouring rain and knee-deep in mud, Napoleon attacked the right flank of the enemy. Anglo-Dutch troops under the command of the Duke of Wellington held positions. They were waiting for the night or for Blucher, the commander of the Prussian army. Both night and the Prussians approached at the same time, and here, worn out by 20 years of war and bloody carnage, the French wavered. They left an expression “The Guard dies but does not surrender!” and so in the heat of the battle disappeared the last hope of Napoleon’s – the Old Guard. The mistakes made by a dictator suffering from a severe cold completed his defeat. Later, a kind Russian Emperor Alexander I allocated two thousand rubles from the treasury for the residents of a town that suffered from a brutal battle. It was called Waterloo – now it is a synonym for the word “fiasco.”
A well-known fact is that “war is when one fights to the last ditch and another gets rich.” For one next day only, Nathan Rothschild increased his fortune several times. The pigeons were the ones helping him – they quickly delivered him the results of Battle of Waterloo. Having received the news, as they would now say, an insider information, Rothschild successfully played on the stock exchange. The band called ABBA also helped Waterloo: in 1974, they performed a song at Eurovision contest with this name and quickly became famous.