Napoleon Bonaparte was the Greatest.

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,315
South of the barcodes
#91
We need to recall that when Nappy landed in Egypt, he had no way of knowing that Nelson was going to destroy his fleet. He didn't have our hindsight It makes a difference.
Point of order.

When Napoleon landed in Egypt he had no way of knowing Sidney Smith was going to banjax every move he made and drag him into a siege he could not win, while Nelson destroyed his fleet and any hope of resupply or escape.

The French had a lot of momentum and manpower, they never could match the originality and flexibility of the British response. We had a lot of first rank planners!
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,663
#93
Point of order.

When Napoleon landed in Egypt he had no way of knowing Sidney Smith was going to banjax every move he made and drag him into a siege he could not win, while Nelson destroyed his fleet and any hope of resupply or escape.

The French had a lot of momentum and manpower, they never could match the originality and flexibility of the British response. We had a lot of first rank planners!
It was known tbne the Royakl Navy was dominiating and the French were sneaking thtough to Egypt that reliable sea communication from France to Egypt was deeply problematical.
There was also no real plan or preparations for further action beyond the occupation of Egypt.

That sea communications would be cut, or that there would be no easy or achievable next step were relatively foreseeable.
 
Likes: Gvelion
Sep 2016
911
Georgia
#94
We need to recall that when Nappy landed in Egypt, he had no way of knowing that Nelson was going to destroy his fleet. He didn't have our hindsight It makes a difference.
What ? Rumours became rife as 40,000 soldiers and 10,000 sailors were gathered in French Mediterranean ports. Napoleon tried to avoid interception by the British fleet under Nelson and the expedition's target was kept secret.

Nelson was searching the Italian coast for Napoleon's fleet, but was hampered by a lack of frigates that could operate as fast scouts. Napoleon had already arrived at Malta. Nelson followed him there, but the French had already left. He decided Egypt was Napoleon's most likely destination and headed for Alexandria. Nelson arrived on 28 June, though, he found no sign of the French and withdrew. While he was absent, Napoleon's fleet arrived on 1 July and landed their forces unopposed.

Napoleon was lucky to even make it to Egypt.

In early 1798, Napoleon himself proposed a military expedition to seize Egypt. In a letter to the Directory, he suggested this would protect French trade interests, attack British commerce, and undermine Britain's access to India and the East Indies. He assured the Directory that "as soon as he had conquered Egypt, he will establish relations with the Indian princes and, together with them, attack the English in their possessions ''
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,663
#96
In early 1798, Napoleon himself proposed a military expedition to seize Egypt. It was his idea.
He certainly presses for the idea but it may have been around earlier and exact origin is not clear, several people may have come up with it independently.

But certiabnly Napoleon certainly pressed for the campaign, even if somebody had the idea first.
 
Likes: Gvelion
#97
I find such statements as the OPs actually pretty puzzling. The world in 1800 is much different than in 2000, or 1900. There is simply so much more complexity in the running of the affairs of the state as the modern era goes forward.

Bonaparte was a military genius for his time. No doubt about that. But the battlefield was much less complex than it is now; for example modern logistics were in their infancy at the time. How would have Napoleon managed a war in the industrial era where one would need to take into account the needs of military industry and balance it with the civilian economy? How would have our hero, for example dealt with the press of the late 1800s or even 1940s? How would he have managed an educated and self-confident electorate that would make demands on its rulers? We don't or can't know, thus such discussion is purely subjective.

Also, if we measure by impact that the actions or deeds of any one person has had in history, then I think the perhaps unpopular (in the west) but honest answer is that this person would probably be a religious leader. Maybe first Mohammed due to his unparaleld status in Islam, the second largest value and cultural metasystem in the world. And then perhaps St. Peter, the first head of the most enduring cultural institution in the western world, the Latin Church
 
Feb 2019
304
Serbia
#98
I find such statements as the OPs actually pretty puzzling. The world in 1800 is much different than in 2000, or 1900. There is simply so much more complexity in the running of the affairs of the state as the modern era goes forward.

Bonaparte was a military genius for his time. No doubt about that. But the battlefield was much less complex than it is now; for example modern logistics were in their infancy at the time. How would have Napoleon managed a war in the industrial era where one would need to take into account the needs of military industry and balance it with the civilian economy? How would have our hero, for example dealt with the press of the late 1800s or even 1940s? How would he have managed an educated and self-confident electorate that would make demands on its rulers? We don't or can't know, thus such discussion is purely subjective.

Also, if we measure by impact that the actions or deeds of any one person has had in history, then I think the perhaps unpopular (in the west) but honest answer is that this person would probably be a religious leader. Maybe first Mohammed due to his unparaleld status in Islam, the second largest value and cultural metasystem in the world. And then perhaps St. Peter, the first head of the most enduring cultural institution in the western world, the Latin Church
I agree that the statement in the OP is strange as ''who is the greatest?'' can be defined in a number of ways.

On the part were you ask '' how would he fair in industrial warfare?'' seems like a pretty strange way to rate him. Why is our modern view and our version of warfare the norm? In a few hundred years our view will become ''obsolete'' and something new will take its place. I think that if you put Alexander or Wellington in command of a tank division or give them machine guns and place them in a WWII setting they would fair badly, likewise if you put Manstein or Zhukov or any industrial warfare commander in command of a Macedonian Phalanx in 331 B.C. they would also probably fair badly. This ranking system doesn't work for me, why should Napoleon be rated on Industrial warfare and by that logic why should the Industrial leaders not be rated on the standards of Alexander.