On the evening of June 18, 1815, in the Belgian hamlet of Mont-Saint-Jean, nearly 70,000 troops under the command of the Duke of Wellington, alongside 50,000 allied Prussian soldiers, fought against the French forces of Napoleon Bonaparte in the historic Battle of Waterloo.
Waterloo was a bloody affair, with heavy casualties on both sides. But the Anglo-Prussian alliance won the fight, and Napoleon was forced to abdicate his throne just a few days later.
The Napoleonic Wars– more than 12 years of constant conflict– were over, and Europe was finally at peace.
Now, legend has it that famed banker Nathan Mayer Rothschild was present at Waterloo and witnessed the battle himself. He then braved a massive storm over the English Channel to reach London as quickly as possible where he bought up all the government bonds before news of the victory had reached Britain.
In another version of the story, Rothschild was in London during the battle. But his private intelligence network quickly passed the news of Napoleon's defeat, giving Rothschild the opportunity to buy up British government bonds on the cheap before anyone else heard the news.