The Battle of Waterloo on its 200th Anniversary: Relevant Lessons on fighting with a Multinational Coalition

The Battle of Waterloo on its 200th Anniversary: Relevant Lessons on fighting with a Multinational Coalition

Rose Keravuori

While lessons learned from the Battle of Fallujah, December 2004, have replaced the lectures on the Battle of Waterloo, June 1815, in the halls of the Army General Staff College, its relevance in interacting with multinational coalitions during joint operations remains pertinent. On its 200th anniversary, Waterloo should be a critical piece in the education of today’s US Army Officer corps as they prepare for joint and multinational service.  The former British Chief of Defense Staff Field Marshal Lord Bramall called Waterloo the “first NATO operation.”[1] Studying this joint operation imparts four basic lessons to the modern Army Officer: the need for coalition support; the inherent difficulty of fighting using a multinational coalition; the constant need to be careful of biases in multinational operations; and the necessity of obtaining and studying objective lessons learned.

There is a vast literature surrounding Waterloo; in fact, according to former British Officer and military historian Nigel Sale, it is one of the first battles “…in recorded history about which a large number of private accounts were written and published…”[2]  Two hundred years after the battle, the plethora of scholarly work may make it seem that everything important about that day in June 1815 has been written, but Waterloo has historically been dealt with in tactical win/lose terms and often in Wellington/Napoleon comparisons.  This article analyzes the successful and unsuccessful lessons from the Allied Anglo-Prussian side’s coalition operations, lessons that need to be imparted to today’s leaders as they prepare for joint and multinational service.  

The Need for Coalition Support

The first lesson from the Battle of Waterloo that applies to coalition operations today is an obvious one that bears repeating: there has been and will continue to be a need for coalition support.  The Multinational Operations Joint Publication 3-16 states, “Nations form partnerships in both regional and worldwide patterns as they seek opportunities to promote their mutual national interests, [and] ensure mutual security against real and perceived threats...”[3]  In a post-Westphalian system, at the time of Waterloo as much as today, nations decide whether to involve their militaries after weighing their national objectives and determine how their military involvement would assist in the achievement of their strategic objectives.  

At Waterloo, Wellington simply could not and would not have fought without Prussian assurances, as he knew he could not prevail.   British historian John Bew states, “The Iron Duke, a model of calm in a crisis, was honest enough to know that defeat beckoned if his Prussian allies, under General Blücher, did not arrive before sunset. So ‘give me Blücher’, he prayed, ‘or give me night.’”[4] At Waterloo, with the previous six coalitions having failed, the Seventh Coalition knew what was at stake: defeating Napoleon would end his attempts of world-domination and would usher peace into Europe.[5]  General Arthur Wellesley, the First Duke of Wellington and the head of the British and Allied forces, and Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, the head of the Prussian forces had fought several battles in Belgium against Napoleon prior to the Battle of Waterloo. As Coalition partners they came to an agreement on the aid they would provide each other based on where Napoleon attacked.[6]  At Waterloo, Wellington expected Prussian support and would not have fought without those assurances.

In today’s operations, the US seeks to fight with Allies for both strategic-political support as well as operational-military reasons.  While the importance of alliance politics seems self-evident, the dynamics of coalition warfare has lagged in its being viewed as obvious.  The Multinational Operations Publication states, “US commanders should expect to conduct military operations as part of a multinational force…[which] span the range of military operations and require coordination with a variety of US Government departments and agencies, foreign military forces, local authorizes, IGOs, and nongovernmental organizations.”[7]  The need to fight with a coalition force should now simply be assumed as standard operating practice for US military forces. 

The Inherent Difficulty of Fighting Using a Multinational Coalition

The second lesson garnered from Waterloo is that command, coordination, and communication of and between coalition movements remain multifaceted and difficult. As the commander of the Allied forces, which consisted of Dutch, Belgian, Hanoverian Nassau, Brunswick, and British troops, Wellington had to wrestle with any number of coalition issues including widely dispersed logistics and lines of communications across Belgium, different languages, inexperienced new recruits, dubious loyalties, the previous non-integration of troops, and friendly-fire incidents.[8]  Weighing heavily in his favor was his experience in the Peninsular War where he had served as a multinational forces commander and had successfully unified disparate Allies.  Sale uses the example of Wellington “having employed Portuguese light infantry in the Light Division, as well as acting as commander-in-chief of the Spanish armies.”[9] Sale also describes how one of Wellington’s main fighting forces, the King’s German Legion, “although German … was part of the British Army and had integrated completely with the British during the war in Spain.”[10]  Historian John Kuehn states that Blucher and Wellington actually developed into effective coalition commanders because they had practiced this specific type of command in 1813 and 1814, the years preceding Waterloo.[11]

Wellington knew he was facing a seasoned and unified French Army, which was not a coalition, and where there would be very few desertions.[12]  In contrast, he was concerned about the inexperience of many of the new troops and about the loyalty of the Dutch-Belgian troops that just a year before had been under Napoleon’s command.[13]  John Keegan, a journalist and historian, describes Wellington’s micromanagement of the positioning of his forces as, “Wellington therefore disposed them [the Dutch-Belgian soldiers] where they could get into least trouble, putting most of the Dutch-Belgians into Braine l’Alleud at one end of his line and La Haye and Papelotte at the other.”  Sale describes Wellington’s answer to the specific dilemmas of inexperienced and potentially disloyal troops was to “smartly mix the Anglo/experienced with the Allied/dubious, as far as national sensitivities allowed.”[14]

A multinational coalition understandably means linguistic and cultural differences, different conceptual problem solving, and regulatory differences that stem from different command structures, systems, and tactics.  All of these differences must be addressed before a campaign occurs to provide for a common operating picture and unity of effort for the joint force.  These differences were clearly evident when Wellington took over from the Prince of Orange as the commander-in-chief of the Anglo-Allied army.  At that point, he commanded an army where more than half the men did not speak English.  Although Wellington spoke French and was able to communicate with the Belgians, Sale describes how Wellington could not communicate with “the contingents from Hanover, Nassau and Brunswick – all Germans – and the Dutch.”[15]  Military historian Gareth Glover similarly describes the challenges as: “…different command structures, languages, battle tactics, weapons, supply systems and even reasons to fight, plus too many raw recruits, [which] led to a disparate, uncoordinated army.”[16]

Cases of friendly-fire were also abundant in the narrative of Waterloo, with Prussians shooting the King’s German Legion or the Dutch and Belgians shooting the Prussians.[17]  These troops had not previously fought together nor did they recognize each other’s uniforms.  Keegan posits it was the indirect leadership of efficient officers over the common soldier that mitigated, as best as possible, these unfortunate incidents. Keegan states that, “Officers … were most concerned about the figure they cut in their brother officers’ eyes.  Honour was paramount, and it was by establishing one’s honourableness with one’s fellow that leadership was exerted indirectly over the common soldiers.” [18]

The Allied side of the battle of Waterloo was a complex coalition operation with many disadvantages.  Sale states simply that the complexities of “co-ordinating troop movement across [a] country have not changed since Napoleonic times.”[19]  Today’s multinational force commander will deal with many of the same issues Wellington faced.  It is imperative they consider command and coordination relationships, a multitude of planning and execution considerations, and conduct training and rehearsals in order to simplify as much as possible the complexities of a coalition.[20]  Likewise, their leadership and influence over soldiers can increase the chances of operational excellence and mission success.

The Need to Beware of Initial Biases in Multinational Operations

The third lesson comes in the form of a caution: beware the initial biases by which coalition partners are viewed.  Our expectations of coalition partners and the lens through which we view them may be biased from the history we read about them, assumptions that are often subjective and frequently mired in back politics.  This means the assumptions we make about our partners stem from a flawed premise and negatively shape our interactions.

Sale mentions that, “In Britain, until only a few years ago, this famous battle was considered to have been an entirely British victory” and was written and consumed from a British point of view. [21]  This viewpoint has currently changed as recent translations of Prussian and Belgian/Dutch efforts in the Battle have been published and their efforts revealed more prominently.[22]  These newly translated narratives shed a different light on the Prussian, Belgian, and Dutch contributions, which as a joint force played an integral role in winning the fight.[23]  They have discredited earlier British battlefield reports, which constitute the majority of the firsthand accounts for military historians, and which were understandably subjective. 

What is interesting about these battlefield reports is how much the tone of them changed. The sentiments from the reports of the battle evolved quite rapidly, as Glover points out, going from appreciation of their coalition partners: “Marshal Blücher, the Duke of Wellington and the Prince of Orange were all fulsome in their praise of their allies in their reports to the various sovereigns following the battle,” to a more “xenophobic view of the battle [which] soon began to gain credence, with each nation denigrating their allies’ efforts in the battle, which soon started to distort the truth.”[24]  Bew points out that even Wellington was later to downplay the significance of the Prussian intervention, claiming “that if he had been able to field his elite Peninsular Army, as opposed to the hastily convened Allied force, he would have attacked Napoleon first, sweeping ‘him off the face of the earth’.”[25]    

With the Allies denigrating each other’s contribution to the fight, the rumors and reports of unreliable troops proliferated. Keegan describes how, “The non-British troops of Wellington’s army, in particular some of the Dutch-Belgian and minor German contingents, shirked more or less flagrantly; most cavalry of these nationalities refused to charge, or even ran away; a lot of the infantry drifted out of the battle or had to be kept in place by coercion…  [But] The Brunswickers…allowed themselves to be rallied by the Duke, who led them back into the line.”[26]  This past narrative and most accounts of cowardly or fleeing coalition partners have been debunked and reframed through the newly uncovered Prussian, German, and Belgian/Dutch narratives, which show how these units fought just as bravely alongside their British allies and how they played significant roles in the defensive and offensive maneuvers of the Battle.[27]

The political tensions and the rising nationalism in Europe at the time created a distortion of the view of the Battle of Waterloo and the coalition that won it. The successive British histories of the campaign and the reaction by the Allies created hostility and bitterness which Glover states “damaged the ability of historians from each of the nations to view the events of the battle with an objective eye, and these deep-seated resentments have coloured the various interpretations of the battle ever since.”[28]

Negative perceptions of Allies are certainly not a problem consigned only to the time of Waterloo. General Dwight D. Eisenhower noted that “mutual confidence” is the “one basic thing that will make allied commands work.”[29]  The Multinational Operations Joint Publication mentions the six tenets of: respect, rapport, knowledge of partners, patience, mission focus, and trust and confidence, all of which help in the establishment of unity of effort and mutual confidence.[30]  In today’s campaigns much time and effort is spent learning about the enemy; however, it is just as necessary for the Joint Force Commander and their staffs to put in the time and effort to learn about partners, their strategic goals, expectations, culture, doctrine and capabilities in order to fully integrate multinational partners into operations and enhance what JP 3-16 calls “the synergistic effect of their forces.”[31]  This is where Wellington best overcame soldiers’ biases: he had a knowledge of and respect for Prussian forces, he understood the strategic context and objectives of his allies, which happened to be the same objective of stopping Napoleon, and he fought trusting the Prussians would come to his aid at Waterloo.

Prejudgment of coalition partners can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, especially when beliefs are based upon preconceived notions and personal biases that certain coalition partners do not bring value to joint operations and that it is more effective, efficient, and easier to fight alone.  Though many militaries do not think or operate like the US military, it does not mean they cannot contribute substantively to an Allied partnership.  Mutual confidence among coalition partners, which takes work, supports unity of effort and aids in achieving the appropriate strategic objectives in a coalition operation.

The Necessity of Obtaining and Studying Objective Lessons Learned

The fourth and final lesson is to avidly seek out objective lessons learned.  Unfortunately, Wellington himself thought lessons learned were futile, stating:

The history of a battle is not unlike the history of a ball. Some individuals may recollect all the little events of which the great result is the battle won or lost; but no individual can recollect the order in which, or the exact moment at which, they occurred, which makes all the difference as to their value or importance.[32]

Though there is some truth to the fact that one soldier’s account is merely one perspective that might not realistically provide the whole strategic viewpoint, there is perhaps a more compelling reason for Wellington to make such a statement.[33]

In Lie at the Heart of Waterloo: The Battle’s Hidden Last Half-Hour, Sale argues that the Duke of Wellington knowingly and purposely obfuscated the truth about the Prussians being the ones to break Napoleon’s Imperial Garde.  He did so for his own personal gain because if published battlefield accounts had shown that the Prussians turned the tide of victory at Waterloo, he would not have been remembered as the General who defeated Napoleon and the one ultimately responsible for ushering in Europe’s peaceful period.[34]  Sale’s historical detective work shows how Wellington spent decades after the Battle of Waterloo protecting his story at all costs.  It includes evidence of Wellington bankrupting and sidelining Captain William Siborne, the Officer who was commissioned to produce a model of the Battle of Waterloo at its crisis point that is now known as the Siborne Model, and evidence of his prompting a Spanish ally and friend, Gen d’Álava, to publish a falsified account of events in the Madrid Gazette and The Times of London.[35]  Sale even suggests that Wellington’s secretary and compiler of The Duke of Wellington’s Dispatches 1799-1815, LTC John Gurwood, committed suicide after finding evidence of Wellington’s wrongdoing.  Sale implies this unfortunate act was prompted by the potentially severe consequences and public censure of simply knowing about the wrongdoings of the Duke of Wellington.[36]  These are certainly serious accusations brought against one of England’s most notable heroes, but the uncovered evidence and claim will now allow Wellington scholars to more closely analyze the Allied lessons learned of the Battle of Waterloo. 

The lesson is not the obvious counsel that despite the fog of war, the truth, however ugly, will come out in the end.  The take-away is that a multinational operation should not focus on a one country-centric after action review, but rather should actively seek the viewpoints of all coalition partners, translate them, and digest them for a whole-picture analysis.  The Multinational Operations Joint Publication lists in its Appendix considerations during coalition operations, to include “Is a mechanism in place for the collection, assessment, and reporting of lessons learned?”[37]   Due to the size of the US military, its organized nature of capturing after action reviews, and the establishment of a Center for Lessons Learned, the lessons and history gleaned from current day campaigns will lean towards the American point of view.  Unfortunately this myopic look at campaigns does not allow us to learn from our coalition partners, especially the non-Western and non-NATO ones, who might have a completely different insight.

When creating the Siborne Model, Sale finds it regrettable that Siborne “omitted to seek reports from many of the other national contingents within the Allied army such as the Dutch, the Belgian and the Hanoverian.”[38]   Siborne’s eight yearlong endeavor started with his sending out a circular asking hundreds of soldiers for their viewpoints from the battle.[39]  By extracting certain information from the first-hand accounts of those that responded, Siborne published a book and built his model. Sale describes Siborne’s thoroughness in creating the model and in consulting the Prussians in detail, but then  “…neither he nor his son [ultimately] published their correspondence.”[40] Actually, Siborne changed the mock-up of the battle by taking out Prussian soldiers in order to appease the Duke of Wellington.  We cannot, in hindsight, fault Siborne for doing what perhaps any British officer might have done in his day; instead we must admire his thoroughness and learn from his exhaustive search for the truth, to include the non-British viewpoints at a time when those viewpoints were not usually considered.

Joint planners need to either informally, during general conversation, or formally, through after action reports, seek out objective lessons learned.  These lessons will help the US military build on its own knowledge of coalition partners, their abilities and capabilities, as much as it will shed light on its own force.  These lessons learned not only build on the mutual confidence and trust of coalition partners, but they serve as invaluable aids during planning for future coalition operations.


The Battle of Waterloo continues to prove the value of a strong alliance.  As Glover states, “In our more enlightened age, and in the light of the huge amount of new research on the primary sources, it is clear that all the nations involved played their full part in the defeat of Napoleon on that fateful day.”[41]  On its 200th anniversary, the themes of multinational cooperation and coalition integration from the Battle of Waterloo are as timely and relevant today as they were on the day of the actual Battle.  Just as in 1815, there continues to be a need for coalition support for political and operational reasons.  While multinational operations remain challenging to the Joint Force Commander in regards to command and control due to linguistic, cultural, and regulatory differences, as well as to misplaced preconceptions, America’s strategic strength comes from being part of a trustworthy Coalition Alliance.  

Taking the time to learn about coalition partners and seeking out their lessons learned provides a multi-faceted understanding that will not only help in the evaluation of our partners, but more importantly will allow a better evaluation of our own military.  As an instrument of national power, the US military has been integrated into a whole of government approach, and introspective lessons learned from our Coalition partners gives us the opportunity to see ourselves from another viewpoint.   This new perspective will allow us to address our perceived weaknesses and capitalize on our strengths as we prepare to fight future conflicts as part of a joint force in securing and enhancing our national security objectives.


“The Battle of Waterloo: A near-run thing,” The Economist, May 23, 2015, accessed on June 1, 2015,

Bew, John.  “Waterloo: Beyond the Battlefield” History Today Volume 63 Issue 9, September 2013, accessed April 25, 2015,

Department of the Army, The Army in Multinational Operations, Field Manual 3-16 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Army, April 8, 2014).

Glover, Glover.  Waterloo: Myth and Reality (Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books, 2014), Kindle edition.

Hofschröer, Peter.  1815, The Waterloo Campaign: the German Victory. (London: Greenhill Books, 1999).

Hofschröer, Peter.  Wellington’s Smallest Victory: The Duke, the Model Maker and the Secret of Waterloo. (London: Faber, 2004).

Joint Chiefs of Staff, Multinational Operations, Joint Publication 3-16 (Washington, DC: U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, July 16, 2013).

Keegan, John.  The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme.  (London: J.Cape,1976).

Kuehn, John.  June 14, 2015, interview on blogtalkradio, “Episode 284: 200th Anniversary of Waterloo with John Kuehn,” Blog Talk Radio, June 14, 2015,

Sale, Nigel.  The Lie at the Heart of Waterloo: The Battle’s Hidden Last Half-Hour.  (Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press, 2014).

Simms, Brendan.  “What the Battle of Waterloo teaches us about Europe today,” New Statesman, October 30, 2014, accessed April 23, 2015,

End Notes

[1] Brendan Simms,  “What the Battle of Waterloo teaches us about Europe today,” New Statesman, October 30, 2014, accessed April 23, 2015,

[2] Nigel Sale, The Lie at the Heart of Waterloo: The Battle’s Hidden Last Half-Hour.  (Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press, 2014), 12.  Note that the literature on Waterloo includes such wide-ranging and famous authors as Lord Byron and Victor Hugo.

[3] Joint Chiefs of Staff, Multinational Operations, Joint Publication 3-16 (Washington, DC: U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, July 16, 2013), I-1.

[4] John Bew, “Waterloo: Beyond the Battlefield” History Today Volume 63 Issue 9, September 2013, accessed April 25, 2015,

[5] Note that the Seventh Coalition, comprised of Britain, Russia, Prussia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Sardinia, and a number of German States intended to defeat Napoleon once and for all. It is important to point out that all previous six Coalitions were broken by one country or other when they previously sided with Napoleon.

[6] Gareth Glover, Waterloo: Myth and Reality (Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books, 2014), Kindle edition, chapter 3.

[7] JP 3-16, I-2.  Note that Joint Publication 3-16 also defines multinational operations and coalition forces.  “Multinational operations are operations conducted by forces of two or more nations, usually undertaken within the structure of a coalition or alliance. (JP 3-16, I-1).  “A coalition is an arrangement between two or more nations for common action.  Coalitions are typically ad hoc, formed by different nations, often with different objectives, usually for a single event or for a longer period while addressing a narrow sector of common interest.”

[8] See also Brendan Simms,  “What the Battle of Waterloo teaches us about Europe today,” New Statesman, October 30, 2014, accessed April 23, 2015,  Simms states, “We can in fact say that Waterloo was a ‘European’ rather than a ‘British’ or ‘German’ victory.  Thirty-six per cent of the troops in Wellington’s army were British (that is English, Irish, Welsh or Scottish), 10 per cent were King’s German Legion, 10 per cent were Nassauers, 8 per cent were Brunswickers, 17 per cent were Hanoverian regular army, 13 per cent were Dutch and 6 per cent “Belgian” (Walloons and Flemings).”

[9] Sale, The Lie at the Heart of Waterloo, 24.

[10] Ibid, 23.

[11] John Kuehn, June 14, 2015, interview on blogtalkradio, “Episode 284: 200th Anniversary of Waterloo with John Kuehn,” Blog Talk Radio, June 14, 2015,

[12]  Sale, The Lie at the Heart of Waterloo, 24. Keegan also states the same, “Napoleon’s ingenuity had been less taxed than his opponent’s.  His army was nationally homogeneous and composed to a very high degree of professional soldiers.  The Old Guard contained none but veterans of long service; but even in the line regiments the majority of men had seen action, and had handled their weapons under fire. John Keegan, The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme.  (London: J.Cape,1976), 139.

[13] Sale, The Lie at the Heart of Waterloo, 24.

[14] Ibid. 

[15] Ibid, 23.

[16] Glover, Waterloo, Kindle Edition, Chapter 4.

[17] John Keegan, The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme.  (London: J.Cape,1976), 193.

[18] Ibid, 191.

[19] Sale, The Lie at the Heart of Waterloo, 12.

[20] The planning and execution considerations are listed in the Multinational Operations Joint Publication 3-16 as: Diplomatic and Military Considerations; Building and Maintaining a Multinational Force; Mission Analysis and Assignment of Tasks; Language, Culture, and Sovereignty; Legal; Doctrine and Training; Protection of Personnel, Information, and Critical Assets; Rules of Engagement; Combat Identification and Friendly Fire Prevention; intelligence; Information Sharing; Communications; Operational Environment; Special Operations; Joint Fires; Multinational Communications Integration; Multinational Logistics; Counterdrug Operations; Personnel Recovery; Host-Nation Support; Health Services; Noncombatant Evacuation Operations; and Personnel Support

[21] Sale, The Lie at the Heart of Waterloo, 187.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Glover, Waterloo, Kindle Edition, Chapter 20.

[25] Bew, “Waterloo: Beyond the Battlefield”.

[26] Keegan, The Face of Battle, 181.

[27] Glover, Waterloo, Preface.  Also see Peter Hofschröer, 1815, The Waterloo Campaign: the German Victory. (London: Greenhill Books, 1999) and Peter Hofschröer, Wellington’s Smallest Victory: The Duke, the Model Maker and the Secret of Waterloo. (London: Faber, 2004) which discuss the contributions from the German perspective.

[28] Glover, Waterloo, Kindle Edition, Chapter 20.  Glover continues this statement by explaining, “British histories of the campaign were guilty of crowing over a victory won solely by their valiant redcoats, despite the abject cowardice of the Dutch/Belgian and German troops, whom they claimed simply ran away. The Dutch argued that had it not been for their troops at Quatre Bras and for Chasse’s advance against the Imperial Guard at the moment of final victory, then Wellington would have lost. The Prussians soon turned to outright criticism of Wellington’s failure to come to Blucher’s aid at Ligny, claiming that the Duke had purposely left the Prussians to fight alone; they insisted that Wellington would have been defeated without their arrival at Waterloo and that it was the Prussian advance from Plancenoit that caused the French rout, rather than Wellington’s advance, which simply moved up behind an already retreating army. These exchanges between the former allies were vicious, and each side vehemently abused the other.”

[29] JP 3-16, I-4.

[30] JP 3-16, ix.

[31] JP 3-16, I-3.

[32] “The Battle of Waterloo: A near-run thing,” The Economist, May 23, 2015, accessed on June 1, 2015,

[33] Insert book on single soldier account fro Waterloo that is extensively quoted and referenced.

[34] Sale, The Lie at the Heart of Waterloo, 207.

[35] Ibid, 204-229.

[36] Ibid.

[37] JP 3-16, A-8.  Note that the International Lessons Learned Conference is meant to gather lessons learned of coalitions. The Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre, sponsored by NATO, is another tool for NATO partners.

[38] Sale, The Lie at the Heart of Waterloo, 13.

[39] Ibid, 234.  The first question of the circular was:  “What was the particular formation and position of the ------Division, Brigade, Regiment or Battery, at the moment (about 7pm) when the French Imperial Guards, advancing to attack the right of the British forces, reached the crest of our position?”  The second question was: “What as the formation of the Enemy’s forces immediately in front of the ----Division, etc?”

[40] Ibid, 13. 

[41] Glover, Waterloo, Kindle Edition Chapter 20.



Your rating: None


Good overview . . . It also helped the Iron Duke to know that as a coalition partner, Blucher intensely hated Napoleon, nor was Blucher scared of the Corsican.

My point being we have formed coalition with partners whose zeal for the mission has been less enthusiastic than our own.