Did the Directory send Napoleon to Italy out of fear?

Pacific_Victory

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
7,654
MARE PACIFICVM
What do you think? Did they simply respect his ability or were they afraid of his ambition? Wasn't Italy widely considered one of the less important fronts of the war with Austria?
Was this an attempt to make sure a new national hero was a long way from the seats of power?
 
Sep 2010
3,538
Somewhere in the former First French Empire
I think it is a combination of two factors.

First of all already it was noticed that Bonaparte was a military genius. The way he handled Toulon and the 13 Vendémiaire in Paris were both rather brilliant actions. The Italian front had been pushed back severly and none of the Revolutionary generals really booked any succes on that front. This man might very well have been able to change the difficult position France had over there. Seeing Rivoli, Lodi, Arcole etc we can conclude he was.

The other reason like you already stated Pacific, the directory was afraid with this man. As someone said to Barras: "Promote this man, or he will promote himself without you". I compare it to the situation of the senate and the generals they sent out to crush distant rebellion or fight wars. They too were afraid man like those could become to powerful and thus rewarded them with status and cash.

Same for Bonaparte really. He had become rather well known and popular in France, the directory however was considered weak and corrupt. It was a matter of time before the card house would come crumbling down, an ally such as Bonaparte might come in handy. Or at least keep the man satisfied.

Same for Egypt three years later.
 
Sep 2010
3,538
Somewhere in the former First French Empire
I supports the Bonaparts cause they are a contrast to the time at that time. The represent an enlightened form of monarchy I support as well. Their way of authoritarian leadership with a liberal economic and conservative social policy is one I back 100%. Just like them I do not care for democracy, and rather would have the illusion of democracy then direct democracy. Doesn't mean I would like to put on my uniform and fight in all their wars. Although I wouldn't mind to be an officer in the Grande Armee.
 
Mar 2013
485
Moscow
Napoleon was willing to conguer Italy, because it was the easiest way to get glorious victory and rich trophies. Before Italian campaign Napoleon didn't have big victories, so Directory had nothing to worry about. If you mean expedition to Egypt, that's correct, because in Italy Napoleon appeared to be an invincible general and ambitious diplomat and politician.
 
Sep 2010
3,538
Somewhere in the former First French Empire
Napoleon was willing to conguer Italy, because it was the easiest way to get glorious victory and rich trophies. Before Italian campaign Napoleon didn't have big victories, so Directory had nothing to worry about. If you mean expedition to Egypt, that's correct, because in Italy Napoleon appeared to be an invincible general and ambitious diplomat and politician.
Well I consider his military actions on Corsica, Toulon and Paris as quite good military performances. Especially for someone of his rank.
 
Mar 2013
485
Moscow
Well I consider his military actions on Corsica, Toulon and Paris as quite good military performances. Especially for someone of his rank.
That's true but in 1796 Napoleon was just a "general Vendemiaire", generals of Italian army didn't want to obey him. After campaign of 1796-97 he became a rich, powerful and well-known leader.
 

Mangekyou

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
7,963
UK
Not fear per se, but it was most likely political. Napoleon was hungry and ambitious and successful. The army of Italy was neglected completely, and by relegating him to this obscurity, they hoped to be rid of him.