Information

What tactic/strategy won Napoleon the six-day campaign


I am using this source: http://www.napoleonsims.com/battles/battles.htm#Fr1814

From the overall statistics, I see that Napoleon was outnumbered 1:10 (!) but still managed to win because he attacked one section at a time. Was this his main strategy? Isolation? Did he intentionally target the center at Chaumpaubert to divide the other two wings of the army?

If not, then what was the crucial factor that caused Napoleon to defy extreme odds?


Napoleon's decision to attack the advancing Allied force was to seize initiative from a not yet unified invasion.

This force consisted of Blücher's Army of Silesia - Bernadotte's Army of the North and Schwarzenberg's Army of Bohemia.

A strung-out Allied army under Blücher quickly threatened Paris itself, and Napoleon's French army looked to seize the moment to destroy Blücher's Army of Silesia. They succeeded in exploiting Blücher's carelessness, but were eventually defeated by overwhelming odds in the theater as a whole.

Napoleon systematically split the Army of Silesia, and attempted to isolate their forces to provide himself with superior numbers over the course of smaller battles.

Being the furthest East, Blücher looked to quickly crush the French army. He receives intelligence that Napoleon was traveling northeast rather than east and changes the marching orders of his corps, causing a slight delay. Kleist and Kapzevitsch march southwest supposedly towards Napoleon and Sacken carries on the pursuit of MacDonald so Yorck can march south to eventually envelop Napoleon from the west.

In reality, Napoleon is marching towards Olssufiev - and as expediently as possible.

Napoleon and Olssufiev happened to collide at Champaubert, where Napoleon's forces crush Olssufiev.

Olssufiev's corps being annihilated, Napoleon's striking force occupies the central position between two pairs of Allied corps. Napoleon breaks his force down into three major parts: Marmont commands a relatively small force to monitor Kleist and Kapzevitsch's progress while Nansouty and Mortier command roughly equal forces to confront Yorck and Sacken.


Napoleon’s Strategy and Tactics

Although Napoleon exercised his military powers during the early 19 th century, his strategies and tactics are still applicable in the 21 st century.

According to Nafziger, “…his campaigns formed the basis of military education throughout the western world and a lot of military thinking is still influenced by the great Frenchman” (1989, 26). Since his military strategies and tactics have stood the test of time, which is about two centuries now, and can still prove to be invaluable in this era of great technology, then it shows that his military skills were and still are quite effective.

The effectiveness of military strategies and tactics depends on the ability of military commander to mobilize his armies and resources effectively. Napoleon applied time and space as the components of logistics that are necessary to win a decisive battle when he invaded Russia in 1812.

By 1812, Napoleon had led France to become a mighty empire in Europe and he boasted the great achievement that he had made. Given the military status of the French Empire, Napoleon was poised to invade and conquer the independent states of Europe. To achieve his mission, “he managed to destroy the unity of purpose which had fed the coalitions against France for so long, as Austria, Russia and Prussia were now ready to fight each other as well as to fight France” (Tarle & Viktorovich 1979, 356).

Napoleon knew that the unity of independent European states threatened and would eventually ruin his powerful empire and there would be no legacy left for him and his successor, so he had to destroy their unity before conquering Russia individually. Therefore, he employed the tactic of dividing and conquering.

The unique strategy that Napoleon employed as a military commander is the use of military professionalism. Many of his successors regard Napoleon as premier general who conceptualized new strategies and tactics in terms of structure and composition of strong armies impregnable in the face of threatening enemies.

“Napoleon embodied the idea of the professional military leader, not gaining his position through familial or political connection, but earning it by distinguishing himself in combat” (Hoffman 2005, 122). In his military professionalism, Napoleon took two years in making logistical planning to invade Russia, for he realized that decisive battles demanded proper logistics.

Due to his logistical approach to battles, many generals have appreciated his approach and have applied his strategies and tactics, which have proved to give consistent successes in various wars. His presence during war made great difference, as he was indispensable in mobilization of resources and troops.

Since Napoleon harbored many fears concerning his great empire, which he had managed to hold together through immense challenges, he wanted to guard it jealously without overlooking any possible threats albeit negligible. Napoleon argues that, “…when I am planning a campaign, I purposely exaggerate all the danger and all calamities that circumstances make possible” (Olszewski 2005, 32).

This strategy gave him the advantage in case the potential threat of the enemy was underestimated. During the Russia invasion, Napoleon never at any instance overlooked or underestimated the battle and consequences that arose, for in his logistical skills, he provided for the worst-case scenarios that were bound to occur in decisive battles like Russia invasion that cost the lives of many soldiers.

Primary strategy of Napoleon was to identify the enemy. Identifying the location, composition, and structure of the enemies highlighted any possible threats and imminent calamities, which were very critical in determining whether to go ahead with the battle or not. If the battle was inevitable, then effective strategies and tactics were necessary to combat the enemy.

Hardeman (2006) notes that, “when facing a foe superior in numbers, the strategy of the central position was employed to split the enemy into separate parts, each of which could then be eliminated in turn by adroit maneuvering…” (175).

With this strategy, though overwhelmed by the Russian armies, Napoleon armies managed to kill more of them as compared to their armies who died in the decisive battle. In this case, central position strategy proved useful in combating armies who were mightier while incurring minimal losses and injuries.

Napoleon also utilized the strategy of Battalion Square and the tactic of outflanking his enemies. The Battalion Square consisted of an advance guard, which was to identify the enemy, right and left wings who acted as combating troops that marched within the range where they could offer emergency support to both advancing and reserved troops. At the rear end of the advancing army was a reserved troop, which provided extra support in case the advance troop retreated.

Rainey argues that, “Napoleon could use a mere part of his force to tie down and occupy the attention of one enemy, then rapidly move his remaining forces to build up a local superiority against his enemies” (2006, 158). When Napoleon had built local superiority, he employed the tactic of flanking to combat the Russian armies who were too strong for him to conquer, but at least he demonstrated artful military combat.


The Italian Campaign

In 1796, Napoleon was given command of the French army in Italy. There, his tactical genius repelled the Austrian troops. He won dozens of battles, turning Italy into a series of French satellite states. In Paris, he was immortalized in plays, paintings, and poems mainly due to his own propaganda newspapers.

Bonaparte Before the Sphinx, (ca. 1868) by Jean-Léon Gérôme.


Know about the strategies and tactics of Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars

Napoleonic Wars, (1799–1815) Series of wars that ranged France against shifting alliances of European powers. Originally an attempt to maintain French strength established by the French Revolutionary Wars, they became efforts by Napoleon to affirm his supremacy in the balance of European power. A victory over Austria at the Battle of Marengo (1800) left France the dominant power on the continent. Only Britain remained strong, and its victory at the Battle of Trafalgar (1805) ended Napoleon’s threat to invade England. Napoleon won major victories in the Battles of Ulm and Austerlitz (1805), Jena and Auerstedt (1806), and Friedland (1807) against an alliance of Russia, Austria, and Prussia. The resulting Treaties of Tilsit (1807) and the Treaty of Schönbrunn (1809) left most of Europe from the English Channel to the Russian border either part of the French Empire, controlled by France, or allied to it by treaty. Napoleon’s successes resulted from a strategy of moving his army rapidly, attacking quickly, and defeating each of the disconnected enemy units. His enemies’ responding strategy was to avoid engagement while withdrawing, forcing Napoleon’s supply lines to be overextended the strategy was successfully used against him by the duke of Wellington in the Peninsular War and by Mikhail, Prince Barclay de Tolly, in Russia. In 1813 the Quadruple Alliance formed to oppose Napoleon and amassed armies that outnumbered his. Defeated at the Battle of Leipzig, he was forced to withdraw west of the Rhine River, and after the invasion of France (1814) he abdicated. He rallied a new army to return in the Hundred Days (1815), but a revived Quadruple Alliance opposed him. His final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo was caused by his inability to surprise and to prevent the two armies, led by Wellington and Gebhard von Blücher, from joining forces to defeat him. With his second abdication and exile, the era of the Napoleonic Wars ended.


Napoleon: Total War is not about having the best units, it is about using your units in the best way. Tactics such as flanking can make a huge difference in any battle. Learning how to properly move your troops around the battlefield and what strategies work best against which obstacles is the key to winning battles, and these guides will help you understand which tactics to use for both land and sea battles so that you can emerge from any skirmish victorious.

Almost every computer game has cheats, and using cheats can make a game more enjoyable or fun to play. Using cheats in Napoleon: Total War can add a whole new level to the game, and allow you to play the game from a different perspective and access aspects of the game that are not included in the retail version. Keep in mind that using these cheats can make the game much easier, and can dilute the original experience that the developers intended. Don’t use these cheats until you have already beaten the main campaigns and explored the full multiplayer capabilities of Napoleon: Total War.


4. Battle Of Ilipa

The success of the ancient Roman Empire could be largely attributed to the competence of its military leaders. Some of the most famous military maneuvers in history were executed by ancient Roman commanders, and war history students still study them to this day. One of them was Scipio Africanus in his victory over Hannibal’s forces in the Battle of Ilipa in Spain.

Both of their forces were made up of Iberian mercenaries and well-trained forces of their own. While Scipio did a lot of things right in that battle, one of his best decisions was reversing the order of his formation exactly when the Carthaginians weren’t expecting it.

Commanded by Hannibal’s brother Mago and one of his best commanders, Hasdrubal Gisco, the Carthaginians had initially arranged their lines in the same way as the Romans. They had their well-trained soldiers in the middle, and the mercenaries on the flanks, as it was the best course of action. While the battle continued as a stalemate for a few days, it changed when Scipio suddenly decided to reverse the order, placing his mercenaries in the middle. They did a great job at holding the center of the Carthaginian forces, while the Roman flanks harassed and eventually broke their flanks.

Despite being outnumbered by some 10,000 men and on a sort of a losing streak to Hannibal in the recent past, the Roman forces prevailed. The battle marked a turning point in the Roman war against Carthage, and is still celebrated as one of the best military maneuvers of all time.


Napoleon’s Downfall and First Abdication

In 1810, Russia withdrew from the Continental System. In retaliation, Napoleon led a massive army into Russia in the summer of 1812. Rather than engaging the French in a full-scale battle, the Russians adopted a strategy of retreating whenever Napoleon’s forces attempted to attack. As a result, Napoleon’s troops trekked deeper into Russia despite being ill-prepared for an extended campaign. In September, both sides suffered heavy casualties in the indecisive Battle of Borodino. Napoleon’s forces marched on to Moscow, only to discover almost the entire population evacuated. Retreating Russians set fires across the city in an effort to deprive enemy troops of supplies. After waiting a month for a surrender that never came, Napoleon, faced with the onset of the Russian winter, was forced to order his starving, exhausted army out of Moscow. During the disastrous retreat, his army suffered continual harassment from a suddenly aggressive and merciless Russian army. Of Napoleon’s 600,000 troops who began the campaign, only an estimated 100,000 made it out of Russia.


Why did Napoleon win the Battle of Austerlitz?

The Battle of Austerlitz, also known as the Three Emperors' Battle, was one of the most critical battles in European History. It was also Napoleon’s most significant victory. At the battle, Napoleon’s employed a brilliant strategy to defeat the Russian and the Austrian Empires' combined forces.

The triumph of the French stunned Europe and meant that they were masters of Europe for a brief period of time. This article will discuss the reasons for the French victory. This will include Napoleon's military genius, the French army's superiority, and poor Allied decision-making.

Background

After a string of brilliant victories, Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of France. By 1805, his armies had proven victorious in Germany, Spain, and Italy, and he was the most powerful man in Europe. This prompted the other powers in Europe to form the Third Coalition to defeat the French. This Coalition included England, Russia, Prussia, and Austria. The formation of this alliance caught Napoleon off guard. He had been planning for England's invasion and had amassed a large army in northern France, known as the Army of England.

However, he learned that Austria, Prussia, and the Russians were mobilizing and planned to attack the French and their allies. Napoleon abandoned his plans to invade England and decided to attack his enemies in the east before they could unite their forces. This was typical of Napoleon, who was always willing to go on the attack and believed that the key to success was never to let the enemy settle and attack them before they could attack the French. [1]

Moving with great speed, he took his army of over 200,000 French and allied troops from their encampments near Boulogne and crossed into Germany on September the 25th. The army was divided into several corps. They were independent units with artillery attachments, and each corps commander had a great deal of autonomy in their decision making. The army also had two cavalry divisions of approximately 20,000. The Austrians, with their German allies, decided to meet Napoleon in Bavaria in Germany. They intended to slow down his army and defend Austria from a French invasion until the huge Russian army's arrival.

The Prussians, because of internal politics, had been very slow in mobilizing, and the Austrians were forced to meet Napoleon almost independently. The Austrian General Mack established a line of defense near Ulm in Bavaria. However, Napoleon’s army was swift, and after a feint attack, he was able to appear at the rear of the Austrian army and inflicted a decisive defeat on Mack. In this battle, the French captured Mack and some 23,000 of his men. Napoleon was free to march into Central Europe. [2]

In November of 1805, the French marched on Vienna and occupied it. The Austrian army knew it could not defeat Napoleon, so it retreated to an area in modern-day the Czech Republic, here they met the Russian army under General Kutsov. Here they waited for the Prussian army. Napoleon did not stay long in Vienna and marched forward to meet the allies before the Prussians joined them. He had swept aside all opposition, but he was faced with many problems. His men had marched across Europe and needed rest, while worryingly, his logistics were breaking down. His men were reliant up confiscating food from the locals. Then, the snows of winter were due, and the French army had not established any winter quarters. Napoleon was eager for a quick battle or would have to retreat because of the weather and a shortage of supplies.

The Preparations

The Allies' leadership was divided. [3] The Austrian and the Russian Emperors were present at the battle and they had a great influence on the commanders. General Kutsov, the Russian commander in chief, correctly believed that Napoleon’s forces were running low on supplies. With the weather, his army would soon be in difficulties and then ready for an allied attack, possibly in the Spring. The Austrian Emperor agreed with his strategy.

The Tsar over-ruled General Kutuzov, and the Austrian Emperor were in a weak position after the defeat at Ulm and his capital loss. Napoleon wanted the allies to fight him in a battle, and he pretended to want peace negotiations. [4] He was not sincere and did not want peace. This fooled some of the allies and persuaded them that they should attack Napoleon immediately. The wily Kutuzov knew that it was a trap, and he counseled for a more cautious approach. He lost out, once again, and the allies agreed that once they made contact with the French army, they would stand and fight. [5]

The allies decided that they would stand and fight at Austerlitz's small village. Here they had secured some high ground and waited for the French to approach. The allies waited for Napoleon’s army with some 88,000 men. They were well supplied with cavalry and cannons. The majority of the forces were Russian. [6] . Both the Austrian and the Russian army was organized in a manner very similar to the eighteenth century. The main unit of organization was the regiment, and they were all commanded by aristocrats. Nearly all of the officers were aristocrats, and they maintained a strict discipline in their units, and physical punishment for even slight infringements were common.

The French arrived at Austerlitz with a force of approximately 72,000 men. This was smaller than the Russian and Austrians, but they were among the finest and most experienced soldiers in Europe, and they were highly motivated by their officers and Napoleon. Unlike the allies’ officers, they had all received their commission based on merit. The French officer corps was generally better than the allies, and this was a direct result of Napoleon’s reform and reorganization of the previously undisciplined French Revolutionary armies. [7]

Battle of Austerlitz

The two armies faced each other at Austerlitz on the 1st of December 1805. The allies attacked the French right. This was what Napoleon had expected. He had deliberately weakened it to entice the allies into an attack on this area. He ordered his right to hold on for as long as possible. The Allies initially made some headway, and they drove the French from a small hamlet. Still, the French right retreated in an orderly manner and inflicted heavy casualties on the Russians and the Austrians. The French artillery was very accurate and efficient, and it managed first to slow the allies and later stopped their attack on the right. A Corps under Davout then arrived and bolstered the right. Napoleon saw that the allies had weakened their center to attack his right.

Napoleon placed Lannes's V Corps at the northern end of the line, and Claude Legrand's Corpsmen at the southern end. He then placed Soult’s IV Corps in the center, and this strengthened it greatly. This was a very complex maneuver, but it was carried out efficiently and speedily thanks to the Grand Armee corps system's efficiency. Then Napoleon ordered a corps under Davout to attack his right flank, and this caught the allies by surprise, the Russian commander was drunk, and soon the allies were in full retreat in this sector [8] .

Around 8:45 AM, believing that the Allied center had been sufficiently weakened, Napoleon summoned Soult to discuss an attack on the enemy lines at the Pratzen Heights. Napoleon believed that ‘one sharp blow’ at this point could bring him victory. The Corps under Soult was thrown back after brave Russian resistance. However, Saint-Hillaire swept the Russians from the heights, which meant that the allies center had been broken [9] . A French cavalry attack was driven back on the left by the excellent Austrian cavalry. However, the center and the right of the Allied army was in full flight. The French, sensing a total victory, charged after the fleeing troops' many Russian troops drowned in a marsh as they attempted to flee. The Austrian cavalry mounted an almost suicidal attack on the advancing French Corps, which may have saved the allies from complete annihilation.

Aftermath of the Battle of Austerlitz

The French were the clear winners of the battle. It ended all Austrian resistance and ended the War of the Third Coalition. The French had lost about 1300 killed and 6000 wounded. The allies suffered much heavier losses. They lost 15,000 men, and thousands more are captured. Austerlitz was perhaps, in many ways, Napoleon's greatest victory. [10]

After his victory, he forced Austria to sign a humiliating Treaty, and the Russians were forced to retreat. Napoleon had a free hand in Germany and dissolved the Holy Roman Empire and established the Rhine Confederation in its place, a French puppet. Without the threat from Austria and Russia, the French were able to concentrate on the Prussians and defeated them decisively at Jena's battle. Napoleon was almost the complete master of Europe. However, many believe that the victory was not as decisive as it first appeared, as the Austrians were able to wage war against Napoleon in 1807, and the Russians were far from defeated. Furthermore, the English had defeated the French at Trafalgar, which meant that they had complete control of the seas. [11] The English as a result, were determined to continue the fight against Napoleon, even after the battle. Nonetheless, the French had established supremacy in Europe that had not been seen since the days of the Romans.

Why did Napoleon Win?

There were several reasons as to why the French won at Austerlitz. One of them was Napoleon’s military genius. He had cleverly convinced his enemies that he was weaker than he was by his insincere proposal for peace negotiations. This fooled the Tsar and encouraged him to stand and fight. This played into Bonaparte's hands. [12] Then the French strategy and tactics during the battle were brilliant. Napoleon predicted where and when the allies would attack and then attacked them at their weakest point. This meant that he and his troops could rout a huge army in less than a day’s fighting. Another reason for the French victory was the French army's superior organization. The corps system was flexible and could react to any changes on the battlefield. [13]

The French officers were also much better than the allies, who only had their position because of their birth and were often incompetent. The average French soldier at Austerlitz was a battle-hardened veteran who was inspired by the ideals of the Revolution. The French cannon was superior to the allies, but not much so. One of the main reasons Napoleon was able to defeat Austria Russia's combined armies was fighting in an eighteenth-century manner. Their organization, tactics, and strategy were outmoded, according to a German observer of the battle. [14] The French had changed the nature of warfare, and the Allies did not recognize this.

Furthermore, the Tsar interfered with his commander’s decisions, and many Generals only agreed with his tactics out of respect for his Royal Person. This meant that the great Russian General Kutsov was sidelined. He had proposed different tactics, and this was to draw Napoleon further into eastern Europe, to weaken him before the allies would destroy him. This was actually what Kutsov would do when Napoleon invaded Russian in 1813. The Tsar’s failure to listen to his most experienced soldier contributed to his disastrous defeat. Another reason for the French's victory was the failure of the Prussians to send their army on time. They could have helped to turn the tide of the battle if they had been present. [15]

Conclusions

Austerlitz was a great victory. However, it was not the decisive victory that it has often been portrayed. Napoleon was able to inflict a defeat on the Coalition. Napoleon won because he duped the allies into thinking that he wanted negotiations, which prompted them to seek a battle, which he had expected and wanted. The allies perhaps should have avoided a battle and allowed Napoleon’s army to suffer from an overextended supply line in winter. During the actual battle, Napoleon’s strategy worked very well. His strategy and tactics were superb. Then his army was superior to the allies, except their cavalry. His units were well-led, motivated, and flexible, while the allies were using led by often incompetent officers and poorly organized. These factors all allowed Napoleon to defeat a slightly larger army and establish French supremacy in much of Europe. [16]


This paper won an Honorable Mention in the “Best Publication
and/or Translation into English of New Archival Material or Books Long
Out of Print” Category in the 2005 Napoleon Series Writing Contest!

A reproduction of the 1789 year book describing the pre-Revolution
French military establishment.

Contemporary sketches of the French Army in Germany.

French Cavalry At Eylau, 1807 And Napoleon’s Cavalry Doctrine.

What ships French admirals sailed on.

Prior to the introduction of the Legion d’Honneur in 1803 the men
of the French Army received Armes d’Honneur in recognition of their
bravery on the battlefield.

Napoleon’s artillery was the most feared in the world. This group of
articles looks at the French gunners and the men who led them!

While there are literally thousands of books on the Emperor and his
marshals, generals, and the people who surrounded him very little as
been written on the men who commanded his regiments. This is a 21
part series that looks at the history of each cavalry regiment, plus
their regimental commanders and officer casualties. This series of
articles won the 2000 Napoleon Series Writing Contest’s Best of Series
Award
!

A 32 part series on the history of the French line infantry and the
men who led them!!

A eight part series on the French light infantry regiments. This
group of articles won the 2002 Napoleon Series Writing Contest’s “Honorable
Mention, Best of Series Award”!

A variety of articles on the most famous units of the Napoleonic
Wars.


Julius Caesar-Military genius? His tactics and strategies.

Would Caesar really be considered a military genius? He seems to have good knowledge of military as well as politics, but would you consider a good tactician and strategist at the same levels of Hannibal, Alexander and Napoleon?

Caesar invasion of Gaul was no conventional war with fronts. He invaded and Aedui instantly sided with him. Most of his campaigns were actually just moving around Gaul rather fighting an war. All his battles there don't seem to have much smart tactical maunvers, except against the Germans when Publius Crassus saw a weak spot and charged the German flank.

The War with Verxogengetoix saw some an actual conventional war with fronts. Caesar did a pretty good job chasing Verxongetorix but got defeated at Gregovia. Verxongetroix chased him but was bogged by Labienus' cavalry and forced to settle in Alesia. Was the cavalry expeditions planed by Caesar or Labienus?

At Alesia, Caesar made brillian feat building two walls. When the Gauls attacked Caesar showed personal courage and joined the battle inspiring his men. Caesar's German cavalry then attacked the flanks routing them, was this planned by Caesar?

Against Pompey he had some setbacks as Pompey was much more ready and had naval superiority. Caesar almost beat him at Dyrachium but one of Caesar's generals betrayed. Pompey's army was less capable so Pompey tried to keep the high ground and starve Caesar, but Senators pushed him into battle so Caesar won. His smartest move in that battle was tricking Pompey's cavalry.

He went to Egypt wit not much significant force, until Mithrates helped him out. Caesar quickly levied Legions and marched to Pontus where he beat the Pharacus at Zela.

He later beat the final Popmpeian forces at Rushpia, Thapsus and Munda. In Munda he showed some tactical prowness using his elite legions to attack the Pompeian left flank. Caesar was almost killed in the fighting. However it was his Spanish cavalry that won the day as they move towards the rear. Did Caesar plan this?

How would you rate Caesar as a strategist and tactican? Is he a military genius or just a charismatic man with a highly trained and funded army?

Theodoric

Alexander was following a blueprint from the 10,000 mercenaries, and using the greatest military force in the western world which he acquired.

Napoleon led the army of the most militarily powerful country in the world at the time.

I know less about Hannibal, so I could be incorrect here in saying that he built his own army, and utilized them effectively.

Similarly, Caesar's legions grew incredibly disciplined and "tough" under his leadership. In addition, Caesar was able to annex and territories, and set up later territories for future annex - he transcended his position in the republic, Caesar was a gambler - as he did accept battles where he was outmatched in brute force - but would effectively utilize what he did have to achieve victory charisma was a big deal, he could lead his troops into fighting battles as if all of their lies depended on a decisive victory. I would place him above Alexander and Napoleon.

I think given equal starting forces and equal value starting points and potential, Caesar would be more successful with his campaigns than they would be I can't speak for Hannibal. All I can say is that Caesar started with less than the other three people, and won it all in such a decisive fashion that it was fought over by a man who (while one of his assassins) was like a son to him in Marcus Britus, was his second in command in Marc Antony, and was his official heir in Octavian - and the heir he chose succeeded Caesar as Emperor over all of the Romans. None of the other three had such a legacy as Caesar. Just a mere 100 years ago, Caesar's name was used as the title of the two greatest Emperors in the world not Alexander, Hannibal, or Napoleon.


Sorry to drift off the topic target - I do think that the late antiquity military leaders deserve more praise. Aurelian was a master in psychologically defeating his opponents as well as utilizing his cavalry to bring down forces such as the Goths, the Palmyrene Empire, and the Gallic Empire. Constantine, beginning with some Legions in Northern England, conquered the Western Empire, and then afterwards the Eastern Empire. Geiseric, led a people who had fled through Europe into Africa, and was able to best both the Romans and the Byzantine armies and fleets - sacking Rome, and then sinking over 600 Byzantine ships at the battle of Cap Bon.

Tapio the king of forest

Caesar was at the first line many times in his battles. Off course not at front row, but in the first (out of three) battle line. I don't think there's any indication that he ever fought with his sword in battle? Exept maybe in Siege of Mytilene where he was awarded for bravery.

We need to remember that in Gaul Caesar was proconsul. He had exellent higher and lower level officers who did their parts. War was only one part of his job and in that he had great help from these officers.

Nuclearguy165

Caesar was at the first line many times in his battles. Off course not at front row, but in the first (out of three) battle line. I don't think there's any indication that he ever fought with his sword in battle? Exept maybe in Siege of Mytilene where he was awarded for bravery.

We need to remember that in Gaul Caesar was proconsul. He had exellent higher and lower level officers who did their parts. War was only one part of his job and in that he had great help from these officers.

Tapio the king of forest

Nuclearguy165

Tapio the king of forest

From this verse (Finnish version of the book): "He snatch a shield from a soldier who was in a rear rank, because he had arrived without a shield, and went to the first battle line, addressed every centurion by name and encouraged other soldiers."

He talks of battle lines and there were usually three of them. He doesn't say he fought in the first row.

Whyte

Caesar proceeded, after encouraging the tenth legion, to the right wing where he perceived that his men were hard pressed, and that in consequence of the standards of the twelfth legion being collected together in one place, the crowded soldiers were a hinderance to themselves in the fight that all the centurions of the fourth cohort were slain, and the standard- bearer killed, the standard itself lost, almost all the centurions of the other cohorts either wounded or slain, and among them the chief centurion of the legion P. Sextius Baculus, a very valiant man, who was so exhausted by many and severe wounds, that he was already unable to support himself he likewise perceived that the rest were slackening their efforts, and that some, deserted by those in the rear, were retiring from the battle and avoiding the weapons that the enemy [on the other hand] though advancing from the lower ground, were not relaxing in front, and were [at the same time] pressing hard on both flanks he also perceived that the affair was at a crisis, and that there was not any reserve which could be brought up, having therefore snatched a shield from one of the soldiers in the rear (for he himself had come without a shield), he advanced to the front of the line, and addressing the centurions by name, and encouraging the rest of the soldiers, he ordered them to carry forward the standards, and extend the companies, that they might the more easily use their swords. On his arrival, as hope was brought to the soldiers and their courage restored, while every one for his own part, in the sight of his general, desired to exert his utmost energy, the impetuosity of the enemy was a little checked.

Nuclearguy165

I don't know, it's really all about the implication and how one interprets it. The way I interpret it is just different from you and Tapio, I guess. To me, he is implying that he did do a bit of personal fighting in order to shore up the most distressed sectors of his army. Adrian Goldsworthy, famous writer on Ancient Rome, also seems to interpret it this way, at least from what I can remember.

It's also possible that, especially considering how close-fought and severe the struggle was, that the Nervii did manage to break into the first line, past the first row. This was far from a clean battle, meaning that the Romans probably didn't manage to keep every part of all their lines inviolate.

Pyrrhos The Eagle

Alexander was following a blueprint from the 10,000 mercenaries, and using the greatest military force in the western world which he acquired.

Napoleon led the army of the most militarily powerful country in the world at the time.

I know less about Hannibal, so I could be incorrect here in saying that he built his own army, and utilized them effectively.

Similarly, Caesar's legions grew incredibly disciplined and "tough" under his leadership. In addition, Caesar was able to annex and territories, and set up later territories for future annex - he transcended his position in the republic, Caesar was a gambler - as he did accept battles where he was outmatched in brute force - but would effectively utilize what he did have to achieve victory charisma was a big deal, he could lead his troops into fighting battles as if all of their lies depended on a decisive victory. I would place him above Alexander and Napoleon.

I think given equal starting forces and equal value starting points and potential, Caesar would be more successful with his campaigns than they would be I can't speak for Hannibal. All I can say is that Caesar started with less than the other three people, and won it all in such a decisive fashion that it was fought over by a man who (while one of his assassins) was like a son to him in Marcus Britus, was his second in command in Marc Antony, and was his official heir in Octavian - and the heir he chose succeeded Caesar as Emperor over all of the Romans. None of the other three had such a legacy as Caesar. Just a mere 100 years ago, Caesar's name was used as the title of the two greatest Emperors in the world not Alexander, Hannibal, or Napoleon.


Sorry to drift off the topic target - I do think that the late antiquity military leaders deserve more praise. Aurelian was a master in psychologically defeating his opponents as well as utilizing his cavalry to bring down forces such as the Goths, the Palmyrene Empire, and the Gallic Empire. Constantine, beginning with some Legions in Northern England, conquered the Western Empire, and then afterwards the Eastern Empire. Geiseric, led a people who had fled through Europe into Africa, and was able to best both the Romans and the Byzantine armies and fleets - sacking Rome, and then sinking over 600 Byzantine ships at the battle of Cap Bon.

Napoleon started off with less than Caesar and Napoleon should get most of the credit for the French army being what it was. Caesar should get credit for maintaining his army and developing them into solid veterans, but that doesn't compare to what Napoleon did in transforming the French army and warfare as a whole.
Hannibal didn't fully build his own army, his father contributed much to it, but he did assist and then use that army to its full capabilities. Caesar didn't display more military prowess than either of them and he was in a better position from the get go.

You mention Caesar developing his army, but what exactly did Napoleon and Hannibal do? The French army was in terrible condition before Napoleon. France had a Revolution and was facing numerous enemies, the army lacked supplied and even shoes.

Hannibal was also in a worse position than Caesar, facing an enemy with a better navy, more resources, more men, etc. Caesar, in Gaul at least, was facing an inferior task than that of Hannibal and Napoleon. I'm not really sure where the idea that Caesar had less comes from. He was born into a notable family and was operating with solid troops from the start in Gaul.