The Legion was known for its excellent discipline and fighting ability.
The cavalry was reputed to be among the best in the British
army. According to the historian Alessandro Barbero, the King's
German Legion "had such a high degree of professionalism that it
was considered equal in every way to the best British units."
Napoleon's ruthless expansion and enforced revisions of the political map of Europe created many tens of thousands of refugees,
many of whom ended up in the motey ranks of various, often short-lived corps in British pay. The KGL was something different:
a large force of all arms, which would come to represent a significant minority of Britain's troops in the field, whose professional
quality would keep it in the forefront of the British effort to bring down he French dictator and to free the Hanoverians' country
from occupation by his troops.
At the front of this task; The Second Light Battalion, who's members had made up the oldest and most experienced members
of the KGL, Many of whom had found their origins in the Hannovan Army. The KGL campaigned in several western European countries at a time when the political map of Europe was constantly being re-drawn. From the Baltic in the north to the island of Malta in the south, from Ireland and Portugal in the west to Pomerania in the east, the KGL marched
and frequently fought in a continent very different to that of today.
Although the Legion never fought autonomously, its units participated in campaigns in Hanover, Pomerania, Copenhagen and Walcheren, the Peninsular War under General Sir John Moore; and the retreat to Corunna;
the Peninsular Campaign under the Duke of Wellington, including the battles of Bussaco, Barrosa, Fuentes de Onoro, Albuera, Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca, Garcia Hernandez, Burgos, Venta del Pozo, Vittoria, San Sebastian, Nivelle, Orthez,
Sicily, and the eastern parts of Spain, Northern Germany and Göhrde.
At the Battle of Waterloo, the 2nd Light Battalion — alongside members of the 1st Light Battalion, the Light Company of the 5th Line Battalion, and the Luneburg Battalion defended the farmhouse and road at "La Haye Sainte."
As the 5th Line Battalion under Colonel Ompteda was on its way to reinforce the defenders of Haye Sainte, the French cavalry attached to Jean-Baptiste Drouet, Comte d'Erlon Corp I rode them down; only a few of the intended relievers survived.
After a six-hour defence, without ammunition, or reinforcements, the Germans were forced to abandon the farm, leaving the buildings in shambles and their dead behind.