The concise history of the Sixth Regiment Huzaren van Boreel 1813 – 1815
After the end of the French rule in 1813 William I requested Jonkheer (a Dutch nobility title which has no equivalent in English) Boreel to form a light cavalry regiment (hussars) in Haarlem. When Napoleon returned from Elba in 1815 the allies (Russia, England, Austria, Prussia en The Netherlands) prepared for the expected battle.
On June the 16th 1815 the regiment Huzeren van Boreel fought at the battle of Quatre-Bras. The Hussars arrived during a critical stage of the battle, and were deployed immediately after a long march. Thus forced to form for battle they were almost directly scattered by enemy cavalry and could only reform north of Quatre-Bras. The regiment couldn’t participate with the battle during the day anymore. Because of these type of actions Wellington did get time to deploy his troops.
Two days later the regiment took part in the battle of Waterloo. They came in to action at the end of the battle around half past four in the afternoon. The Dutch cavalry division formed a line to prevent the heavy French cavalry from penetrating the allied lines and the brigades of the division did small counterattacks.
After Generalmajor Van Merlen was killed, Boreel and his hussars joined an English brigade and fought with this brigade till the end of the battle. The whole Dutch cavalrybrigade was involved in the pursue of the French till darkness fell.
The entire Dutch Cavalry division had a strength of 3400 man on June the 15th. After the battle casualties were: 173 killed, 814 wounded en 450 missing in action. The majority of the last category were most likely killed in action. A lesser part of the missing in action were made prisoner or were cut off from their own troops or got lost and returned to their regiment during the next days. At the end the losses were determined at 1235 man, 36 % of the original strength.
Of the horses 900 were killed, 500 went missing and 300 were wounded, in total half of the original strength. After the battle the 6th Hussars were allocated to the Brigade Trip. This brigade marched with the first division to Paris, where they suffered severely for months. It wasn’t untill December 1815 before the regiments did return within our countries own borders. They were garrisoned in the Southern Netherlands.
For a biography of Jonkheer Willem François Boreel, click here.