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Napoleon Bonaparte: Tactician And Military Commander

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According to historians and expert tacticians and military commanders as a group say that Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the most successful and influential generals in the history of the world. To begin with, Napoleon was the one who changed the face of war, which set the way for modern-day warfare. The career that Napoleon led as emperor of France and being the commander of the battlefield we can compare him to being such as the famous historic figures such as the great leader Alexander the great who Napoleon wanted to be like. He can be compared to men as Hannibal the conqueror and other great leaders. The conquest of Napoleon would take his empire through all Europe leading to the rule of about 70 million people. I ask the question what was it about Napoleon that made him as successful as he was as a leader in his time period, the questions are was it his skill as a leader, could it be his intelligence and wisdom of his strategic warfare and tactics?

Napoleon was lucky in that he became a master of Europe in such a short period of time, Napoleon really changed the world, here you have Napoleon a man that raised not completely on the basis of his blood, not on his background but it was surely based on his ability. A good portion of his victories and the success he had can be owned by the millions of people who supported him and loved him. Napoleon had the advantage of being a student at the military academy being educated in the arts of war, Napoleon was just nine years old when he attended the prestigious Royal Academy in France. At fifteen Napoleon would make a move to start training as an officer at the Royal Military Academy, it was almost a year later that Napoleon who was then sixteen years old was given a promotion to 2nd Lieutenant and then transferred to the prestigious artillery unit where he would gain his experience and knowledge in warfare, artillery, and becoming a leader being able at a young age to lead troops, the troops felt comfortable with Napoleon leading them into battle he was a natural at being a leader.

Napoleon had this astounding life and was a military genius, he was able to capture the imaginations of two centuries, It was August 15th, 1769 that Napoleon Bonaparte was born and came into this world, Napoleon was the 2nd child of a total of 8 children and was living on an island called Corsica. His family made the move from Italy too there in the 16th century. Interestingly enough Napoleon did not like the French original, the reason being he thought that the French were oppressing his country. Napoleon’s father as an occupation was a lawyer, his father was not a friend of the French, being raised in a family of radicals helped Napoleon to become the military leader and revolutionary he was.

Napoleon would suffer at the hands of fellow students at the French military government school called Brienne, the students would relentlessly tease the young Napoleon who would make it known that he had a destiny and even had dreams of being a great leader in the military The years 1784 and 1785 he received military training in artillery and then joined the French Army. Napoleon would suffer a personal tragedy when his father died when he was just 16 years old resulting in him having to support his family.

Napoleon was probably one of the most famous figures in France history, he was famous as not only an officer and then a general, but he would also be famous as an emperor. Napoleon was a genius when it came to psychology, one of the things that made him so good with his troops is that he was able to keep hold of a talented and well-disciplined army by showing them support, Napoleon would express his pleasure and how proud he was of his troop’s bravery which helped to create cohesion among the troops. Napoleon would give motivating speeches by telling them how proud he was of his troops going on long marches and going without by sometimes marching with lack of equipment, they would march without shoes and even have to camp at the end of the day without any bread.

Napoleon would push his troops to their limit but the troops would not complain because Napoleon created an atmosphere where his troops not only trusted him but would stand behind him and back him up no matter what the challenge. It was the year 1805 when his troops were able to accomplish a great feat, that wasn’t attempted since the days of Hannibal, as Napoleon and his troops approached the mountains of the Alpine to cross over and surprise the Austrians. The strength and endurance needed to do this show how Napoleon through his leadership instilled the mental and the physical strength needed to succeed. The battles Napoleon and his troops engage in were Toulon, Arcola, and the Lutzen. Napoleon at these battles would put himself in the open in the line of artillery fire to increase his troop’s motivation.

The accomplishments that Napoleon did were based on his military expertise, about 60 battles were won by Napoleon using his military strategies and tactical knowledge along with his genius knowledge in military maneuvers to take advantage of the enemy, Napoleon would bring modern warfare to Europe, he would mobilize the largest and well defined Army Europe had ever seen. The 1790s would see a French Army that had an estimated 1 million troops, the Italian campaigns were successful after Napoleon was made commander of the Army which was being neglected transformed into an unstoppable force that won many battles at the beginning of the war. Napoleon would inflict three times as many deaths on the allied side.

The Royal Academy issued a report on Napoleon which the academy would give a description of Napoleon as a proud, go-getter, ambitious, and full of ego which would serve him well in his future battles with different countries, a few facts that made Napoleon a successful general a general who created fear in the countries who were against him and became his enemy to which this fear was the factor that allowed him to conquer almost all of Europe. To many Napoleon was considered a military genius and the military tactics he learned at the academy would mold him into this successful general. Within the people and his troops, he was very popular which helped with his success as a leader.

It was in 1792 that Napoleon was promoted to the rank of captain, he also was given the responsibility and honor of directing artillery fire against the city of Toulon. This tactical engagement was a success and after the fall of Toulon Napoleon received the honor of being promoted to the rank of brigadier general. It was after this time period that he was made the commander of the French army in Italy, his accomplishments include defeating a dozen Austrian generals, it was soon after that France made peace with Austria that should have allowed Napoleon to continue his rise in the French Army but it was not made to be.

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In 1795 Napoleon to his shock was taken away from his command on the pretense that he was committing treason, not long after Napoleon when a revolt threaten the French government it was Napoleon who saved the French government. This act of heroism convinced the French military commanders to give him back his rank but also most importantly his respect. At this point Napoleon was given back command of the French Army, he was good at making up plans that work well in military tactics. Napoleon came up with a genius idea to take the enemy’s army and break it up into two, his idea was to surprise one part of the enemy attack and then the other side of the enemy army would be slow to come to their defense. Napoleon would defeat the Sardinian army almost half a dozen times within a two-week period.

Napoleon was at this point seemed impossible to stop, at this point he was conquering most of Europe, Austria would be the first country he would conquer. Napoleon would take all the money and whatever treasures he gained and send it back to Paris a good gesture that would help France with the shambling economy. The Austrians would eventually surrender once Napoleon moved ever closer to Vienna, this event would force the Austrians to create a peace pact with France, this would give France the Netherlands increasing power, Napoleon, however, made an attempt that did not succeed to move into Egypt however the strength of Egypt was too much. It was in 1799 that Napoleon would make his return to France and find some changes that occur, mainly the French government itself was in shambles and completely disorganized. The French people loved Napoleon the year 1802 brought a peace treaty between England and Germany. His successes outweighed the defeats.

The year 1809 was a disappointing year for Napoleon when he made a judgment error with the Austrian Army, Napoleon severely underestimated the number of troops the Austrian Army had and ended up fighting almost 50,000 more troops than he had, which ended in him being defeated. Napoleon tested his ability in other countries as well to including trying to invade Spain, which also was an ugly defeat, Napoleon would face challenges that included rebel revolts, those revolts happened because Napoleon replaced their king with his brother, Napoleon was fighting several war fronts that made his troops weak and exhausted and that was the reason he failed not only in Spain but Napoleon tried unsuccessfully to gain territory from Russia. Napoleon’s power would be decreased by moving his troops all over.

Napoleon’s talent was a contributing factor in his promotions, but the military successes he had do not automatically back up him being given the title of a great commander, although he was considered one of the greatest generals of all time mainly because of him being a genius. Piedmontese at Diego who was defeated by Napoleon would say that “it is to the ability of the general of artillery that I owe our success”. G. Smith, A Nunez, and Z Olszewski, Napoleon, Bonaparte Napoleon’s invasion of Europe

Napoleon’s great knowledge and Napoleon’s military tactician skills allowed him to succeed. The troops saw how Napoleon was a natural at leading and could rely on him to take command and lead them, the troops even though as discussed earlier sometimes would take these ruck marches without the proper gear and sometimes while camping went without bread and other foods knew that Napoleon would take care of them and give them direction.

Napoleon did have some political pull by knowing certain people, Napoleon would rise from a 2LT all the way to ruler of France, his rise was fast and swift. Napoleon knew from the time he was a youth that he wanted to rule France. Napoleon had dreams when he was just a boy that he ruled France, while the other youths made fun of him it was evident through his talent as a leader in military school that he would someday become a great military leader and ruler.

Napoleon did other good works like taking the University of France and restructuring it, he also took the current education system and reformed it. A common fact not known is he created the bank of France; Napoleon would make himself ruler of France. In the year 1809, Napoleon would divorce his current wife Josephine and remarry a lady named Marie Louise, who just happened to be the daughter of the Austrian empire. Whether this was to expand his power or just out of love is not known, of course, King Louis the XVI married an Austrian to secure peace with them and create an alliance. His second wife would bore him a son to which would be made king of Rome, “when Napoleon was in Egypt and his fleet destroyed there was a rumor that Napoleon had been killed, the government body moved swiftly to make his son who was just a toddler emperor”, “Presentation: Napoleon’s Conquest of Europe, 1805–1809” Napoleon could now be what he so many times dreamed of and wanted the one thing that he was made fun of for saying it would happen he became the ruler of an empire that was great.

Napoleon upon his return to France made a swift decision to create a new government and broke into the chambers after becoming inpatient, while Napoleon stood outside with his troops waiting for the governing body to decide on a new constitution, after Napoleon went into the chambers there was an uproar and the committee was outraged that Napoleon pushed his way into the chambers, no outsiders were allowed into the chambers, then someone shouted that Napoleon was trying to take over the government in a coup. It was Napoleon’s brother who calmed the men saying with his sword pointed at Napoleon’s chest that if his brother was trying to take over he would thrust his sword into Napoleon’s chest which that point the people calmed down. “Presentation: Napoleon’s Conquest of Europe, 1805–1809”

In conclusion, never less Napoleon’s success would not last and after attempting to invade the country of Russia who was a strong country Napoleon failed and it was at this point that the empire he had helped create would start to fall apart, in the year 1814 Napoleon was forced removed from the throne and he retreated to the island of Elba, it was almost two years later that he would be able to assemble over a thousand men go to Paris and take it back. It was only a short triumph, Napoleon surrendered to the English. Napoleon who was once a great ruler and ruled an empire would be reduced to just a prisoner of British identity, he was once one of the most brilliant and greatest military strategists probably in the history of warfare, In the year 1821 Napoleon died. His death was disputed as what caused him to die but it is believed in succumbed to cancer. It was the end of a great military leader and empire. Napoleon’s remains were to be transferred back to Paris where he was interned in the Hotel des Invalides where he lies today. Napoleon’s fame is widely known and today all it takes is a picture of him and people say that is Napoleon.

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