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(June 18, 1815, Belgium) Napoleon's escape from Elba began a period known as the "Hundred Days," in which the emperor briefly returned to the throne of France. The struggle between the restored emperor and the "Seventh Coalition" began when Napoleon's Army of the North marched into the Low Countries, hoping for a showdown with the British, Dutch, and Prussians before the Austrian and Russian armies gathering further east could come to their aid. The French brushed aside Allied advance guards at the two preliminary battles of Quatre Bras and Ligny on June 16. Napoleon's victory over the Prussians at Ligny led him to falsely believe that he had enough time to pursue and defeat the British without further Prussian interference. On June 18 Napoleon's advance on Brussels approached the crossroads of Mont St. Jean, where the Duke of Wellington had set up a defensive position for a combined army of British Peninsular War veterans, Dutch, and pro-British Germans. On the French left, British troops defended the walled farm of Hougoumont from a series of infantry assaults; in the center, Marshal Michel Ney's massed cavalry charge was broken by the square formations of the British infantry; on the right, Gebhard von Blücher's Prussian army arrived to attack the French army in the flank. Napoleon's final gamble was to commit his Imperial Guard to a renewed assault on the Allied center. The guardsmen were cut down by the fire of British light infantry, leading to the general collapse of the French army. Napoleon was exiled once more, this time to the isolated South Atlantic island of St. Helena, where he died in 1821.