On this day, Napoleon Bonaparte suffers defeat at the hands of the Duke of Wellington, bringing an end to the Napoleonic era of European history. Forced to abdicate as French emperor in 1814, Napoleon escaped from a brief exile on the island of Elba in 1815 to France, where he raised a new Grand Army.
For the next 100 days, Napoleon, once regarded as an invincible military commander, again enjoyed success on the battlefields of Europe. However, on June 18, 1815, at the Battle of Waterloo in Belgium, he suffered his last defeat against an allied force under Wellington. Soon after, Napoleon was arrested and exiled to the island of St. Helena, where he died six years later.