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Old June 17th, 2017, 03:05 PM   #1

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Napoleon in Alexander's Persia


I recently watched the anime Drifters. Some of you may know it. It's a sort of alternative history fantasy with various historical characters - Shimazu Toyohisa, Oda Nobunaga, Hannibal, Butch Cassidy, Scipio Africanus and others sent into a fantasy world of elves, dwarves and others to win a war (with Uncle Adolf having established an empire some years earlier).

Just for fun, suppose we develop our own idea along those lines. So let's say, a certain Napoleon Bonaparte suddenly finds himself in the court of King Artaxerxes III, around 340BC. Through a set of interesting circumstances, the king recognises Napoleon's talent for warfare and organisation, and makes him into a general (let's not worry about how they communcate with each other here).

Napoleon, having studied his history, knows that in around 6-7 years, Alexander will invade.

What can he do to defend the Achaemenid Empire and succeed where Darius failed?
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Old June 17th, 2017, 03:17 PM   #2

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An invasion force is most vulnerable when it tries to create a beach head. Napoleon knows where Alexander lands. He only needs a small force to destroy the army as it tries to disembark.
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Old June 17th, 2017, 11:02 PM   #3
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Id have him executed or imprisoned, because as soon as I gave him an army the person most likely to be defeated would be ME.
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Old June 18th, 2017, 12:28 AM   #4

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Napoleon would have known the mistakes made by Alexander in the Issos campaign. He could have maneuvered his army and attacked Alexander from behind further west of Issos rather than waste his time attacking a small Macedonian camp. Or he might try to maneuver his army through the northern passes rather than enter through the south and cut off Alexander in Cilicia, effectively removing him from his supply lines and forcing Alexander to fight a desperate battle on his own terms. As we know Alexander did not conduct proper scouting before Issos and would not have known that Napoleon's army is actually entering from the north east pass rather than the south east pass, as Darius did.

Knowing Napoleon he probably would have done more information gathering, put out false information, consolidated his resources in preparation and mobilized his forces much faster than Darius did. He might have had the Imperial army ready by the time of Granicus or very soon after. Which means that Alexander would be walking blind and even if he defeated the provincial forces at Granicus then he would not have been able to take cities unimpeded as Napoleon could have contested these sieges with the Imperial army as a relief force.
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Old June 18th, 2017, 02:38 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Howard View Post
An invasion force is most vulnerable when it tries to create a beach head. Napoleon knows where Alexander lands. He only needs a small force to destroy the army as it tries to disembark.
But that's pretty much what they did attempt to do at the battle of Granicus, isn't it?
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Old June 18th, 2017, 03:00 AM   #6

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There is a huge difference between disembarking from ships and crossing a river.
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Old June 18th, 2017, 09:24 PM   #7

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What can he do to defend the Achaemenid Empire and succeed where Darius failed?
Knowing Napoleon, probably overthrow Darius and make himself Emperor instead.
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Old June 19th, 2017, 02:27 AM   #8

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Knowing Napoleon, probably overthrow Darius and make himself Emperor instead.
On the assumption that Napoleon arrives before Darius becomes king, it's almost a given that Darius doesn't make it to the throne.
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Old June 19th, 2017, 03:29 AM   #9

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Quote:
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An invasion force is most vulnerable when it tries to create a beach head. Napoleon knows where Alexander lands. He only needs a small force to destroy the army as it tries to disembark.
Indeed, Napoleon would stop Alex from crossing into Asia Minor. This would have been the best option for Darius...
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Old June 19th, 2017, 03:32 AM   #10

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Indeed, Napoleon would stop Alex from crossing into Asia Minor. This would have been the best option for Darius...
Why did Darius not do that?
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