Battle of Waterloo - “the first NATO army”

Speaking in the House of Commons on the Government’s plans to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, Keith Simpson asks about the two thirds of the Duke of Wellington’s army that were not British - “ultimately, this was the first NATO army” he adds.

Mr Keith Simpson (Broadland) (Con) rose—

Mr Speaker: I am sorry; I am getting ahead of myself. Let us hear from Mr Simpson—not that he was present on the occasion.

Mr Simpson: Alas, Mr Speaker, I was not, but my hon. Friend the Member for North East Somerset (Mr Rees-Mogg) was. I congratulate the Minister on her appointment. What will we do to celebrate the two thirds of the Duke of Wellington’s army that were, in fact, not British? Some 36% of His Grace’s army were British, of whom about one third were Scots and Welsh—the Scots were fighting for the Union—but 45% were Germans; not Prussians, but Hanoverians and others. I think that we should give credit to what, ultimately, was the first NATO army.

Tracey Crouch: My hon. Friend is a great military historian, and I often listen carefully to what he says about these battles. As he knows, the battle obviously took place with a coalition. Events are being planned across Europe, and we are working with various Governments across the whole European Union. A number of events are taking place in Scotland, including regimental exhibitions at the National Army Museum in Edinburgh.

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