Poll: Wellington vs. Napoleon

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Offline Lord Wellington

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Re: Poll: Wellington vs. Napoleon
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2007, 07:34:26 PM »
I completely agree with Lord Crow.
I add also that much of Boney "myth" was built, or better, planned during the Romanticism by the propaganda of declared bonapartist writers like Hugo and Dumans.
During the Napoleonic Wars, the only people who held Boney in high esteem are Polish and Irish rebels, but both was betrayed by him. All the other people hated the French. In some countries (for example Spain, some parts of Germany and Italy) the corrupt ruling classes, mostly jacobin, accepted French occupation only to keep its own business. Naples is an example; and Lord Nelson was right to use iron resoluteness executing all that traitors. Maybe he had an excess of zeal, but I cannot blame him at all, because also many executions were willed by Their Sicilian Majesties and Sir William Hamilton.
Nelson was a great men, I believe one of the greatest heroes of every time. And I can say safely that only one Nelson is better than hundred Boneys.
Anyway going back to the original talk, I have two examples: Germans and Italians. Both these people were subjected with violence; before Italy and than Germany were devastated, sacked and trumpled by the French.
The result was that a lot of them joined the British Army and Navy or deserted French mass conscription. Germans went in the KGL, whilst many Italians enlisted in the Royal Navy.
The same thing we can say about Spaniards, who were forced to be ally of the French nearly ten years because of the deplorable Treaty of San Ildefonso.

I have the honour to be, &c.


- LW -
« Last Edit: September 10, 2007, 11:29:41 AM by Lord Wellington »
"Napoleon didn't manoeuvre at all. He came on in the same old style and he was defeated in the same old style" - The Duke of Wellington

Re: Poll: Wellington vs. Napoleon
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2007, 10:23:22 AM »
I agree the Brits ruled over an immense Empire. But they didn't fight the endless battles that Napoleon fought against all the might of Europe.
I do not consider India a powerfull enemy like the Russians, Prussians, Austrians and British.
Napoleon defeated their armies many times and occupied their lands. He even managed to get to Moscow and gathered an army of 500.000 for that.
If I look at the overall military accomplishments I have to give it to Napoleon by far even if it is not a noble accomplishment.
Had the British not have had a strong Navy and Nelson, they might have been invaded too and had to move their capital to Madras. The British alone would probably not have had enough military power to stop Napoleon then, because their army was to spread out over the World.
You Brits have always been lucky and benefitted from the fact that you live on an island. Much easier to defend than a country on the mainland. Every other country in Europe has been conquered by someone else several times during history, with all the economic damage. You Brits didn't have to deal with that very much. That's a great economic advantage.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2007, 10:25:55 AM by William the Silent »
Men willingly believe what they wish - Gaius Julius Ceasar



Re: Poll: Wellington vs. Napoleon
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2007, 02:50:21 AM »
Not sure what you mean by the Brits being lucky. Our history is full of bitter wars and a  bloody civil war, well two civil wars if you wish to be technical. I would also disagree that Britain did not have to fight endless battles to maintain their Empire. Britain was fighting well into the 20th century to perserve it, even after the American revolution the British Empire was more than Boney had and today the Queens commonwealth is bigger and stretches all over the globe.

Britain has always had a strong Navy as you pointed out that they had to being a island and all that, I would even go as far to say Britain was their for the taking during the Napoleonic era but to me that was due to Boney's ineptness than Britains luck. I think Boney planned 3 invasions but only one landed to threaten England and even that one was a mess. They intended to land in Bristol but ended up in Fishguard, Wales. And due to the lack of discipline showed by the French they surrendered to a group of welsh women who they thought were Red coats.

I would concede though that if Boney had planned his Empire more slowly he might well of succeeded. You can't fight everyone at once and expect to hang on to the gains.

Do not underestimate the India either, they were ruthless. You mentioned Boney getting to Moscow with 500,000. They were allowed to get to Moscow and more than that he was out classed in Russia and was made to look mediocre at best. How many did he come out with? Even Austria turned on him. With Boney supposed to have all these superior tactics why didn't he use any at Borodino? How can a supposedly great General lose all the cream of his Army in one campaign?

With the benefit of hindsight he should have stayed in Spain finished what he started and then try to secure it, preferably not upsetting the rebels, lol. In my own personal opinion of him he was too greedy and wanted his Empire all at once but like Lord Wellington said he was hated mostly where he went. Even some of the French hated him. The Brits had a French regiment in the peninsular campaign, Chasseurs Brittanique (Sp?) and very good they were too.

Re: Poll: Wellington vs. Napoleon
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2007, 04:45:01 AM »
I think a big weakness in the French warfare was that they didn't suplly their troops with food and forced them to live off whatever they could get off the land and population.
That made them more hated by the conquered populations, because of the cruelties coming out of that. Spain would have been hard to master because of that I believe. The French lost more through starvation and sickness then through warfare there.

Napoleon could have held Moscow had he waited in Smolensk during the winter.

Napoleon probably thought that nothing could stop him, because he thought himself superior to everybody. That led to his downfall I believe.
As you said patience would have brought him much further. Can you imagine what he could have done had he not lost that whole army in Russia.

I don't know if Napoleons ambitions were fed by jealousy of the British. His ambition was to create a European Union.
Men willingly believe what they wish - Gaius Julius Ceasar



Re: Poll: Wellington vs. Napoleon
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2007, 09:35:38 PM »
Yeah I agree about the food policy.

Concerning Moscow I think Boney was totally outwitted there, he was allowed to have Moscow and little good did it do him. I reckon he should not have invaded Russia and should have stayed in Spain and Portugal. He should have let the Russians come to him, but hey what do I know, lol.

At the start Boney had greater ambitions than just Europe, hence Egypt and all that but he was jealous of Britains trade and he wanted it desperately.

But I think you are right again, by wasting his Army in Russia he effectively lost the War. IMO between the Peninsular and ultimately the Russian campaign was the end for Boney.