Has any country in the world ever assembled a more talented military high command than the French did in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars?

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
Really? I was under the impression that he was one of the worst commanders....
Bonerpartists hate him, primarily because of his refusal to rule Sweden as a French vassal state and instead look after Swedish interests.

His career, like any other contains mistakes but he was better than Ney, Murat, Victor and most of the others. He was no Davout, but was amongst the most competent. He was unfairly blamed for not arriving st several battles ... mostly due to bad staff work rather than a malign plot on his part.

I can’t think of any battle in which Bernadotte was defeated though. He was not at Flushing 1809 I think. So he has a record of success. Continuing on as leader of Sweden.
Jul 2018
Hong Kong
You want to start another battle here too ?))
Not in this post. Anyway I am reading Andrew Uffindell's Napoleon 1814 : The Defense of France and jubilantly enjoying the part of the Six Days' Battle — Napoleon's Imperial Guard rolling up the overextended Prussian detachment and corps in piecemeal with massive Imperial Guard elite.

Now reading the part of Battle of Chateau-Thierry, in which Yorck would be a main character fighting Napoleon. Let me assess how able this Prussian general was. The previous battles were basically fought by Russian generals Oisufiev and Sacken, and their general performance was....disappointing due to various reasons. Would Yorck perform better than them ?


Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
Thr Russian Produced a pretty good crop of Generals during teh Napolonic wars

very Good Army commanders

Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly
Prince Pyotr Bagration
Alexander Surorov

good independt cops commanders

Fabian Gottlieb von der Osten-Sacken
Alexander Ivanovich Osterman-Tolstoy
Peter Wittgenstein
Duke Eugen of Wuttemberg

good rear/advance guard commanders

Mikhail Miloradovich
Matvei Platov

good divsion ocmmanders

Nikolay Raevsky
Nikolay Tuchkov
Aleksey Petrovich Yermolov
Dimitry Dokhturov
Andrei Ivanovich Gorchakov
Louis Alexander Andrault de Langeron
Karl Gustav von Baggovut


Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
Ohio, USA
How about the Prussian "Waterloo Four Generals" (Zieten, Pirch, Thleimann, Bulow) ?
How about the Prussian "Four Great Staff-Officer" (Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Muffling, Grolman) ?
How about the other Prussian general worthy for mention such as Yorck and Kleist ?

They were certainly as great as many brilliant French generals and officers in comparison, just overshadowed by the prestigious Napoleonic Empire which always made us feel that the French commanders / officers looked more able than the coalition counterpart, though this is very true in the Order of the AD 1806 Jena-Auerstadt Campaign — numerous "outdated" and "incompetent" generals were easily outclassed by numerous more energetic and experienced French generals (Bernadotted was not in the list, though, his critical mistake almost costed a French defeat at Auerstadt — luckily there was a top-class general Davout and his equally awesome three divisional commanders Morant, Friant, Gudin in charge).
I wouldn't discount Blucher too much, as I see your post implying. For sure, he had his short-comings in terms of being reckless at points and he wasn't the intellectual that these other guys were, but he definitely had a better understanding of warfare overall than most people give him credit for. On my end, I won't discount those other guys, because I don't think the likes of Blucher, Gneisenau and Bulow could have succeeded without the input from all 3 of them, who were themselves building off of framework built by Scharnhorst. All of this was part-and-parcel of the new Prussian system.

For anyone seeking a better understanding of Blucher, I would heartily recommend the biography of him by Michael Leggiere.

Also, while it is certainly true that Olsufiev was inept, the same cannot be said of Sacken, whose performance, while utterly disappointing during the Six Days, was exemplary the rest of the time (same is also largely true of Blucher and Gneisenau), especially in 1812-13.
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