Napoleon Fanboys and Hitler Fanboys: Eerily Similar

May 2018
660
Michigan
#1
Napoleon and Hitler fanboys alike are experts at cognitive dissonance, irrational hero worship, and cult-like followings similar to those of Julius Caesar's contemporaries and Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders today.

Napoleon Fanboys


1. Absolve Napoleon's failures (ie: Russia, Waterloo) by placing all blame upon his subordinate or luck on the part of his opponents. In no way did Napoleon's genius fail him: it was always subordinates who failed or circumstances beyond his control.

2. Ignore or downplay negative aspects of his personality. Even pro-Napoleon historians acknowledge he was an ego-maniac. The term "Napoleon Complex" is not merely a product of British propaganda. Obessed with power, he was famous for saying "Power is my mistress. I've done too much for her conquest to let anyone abduct or even covet her." Respected writer George Orwell did not name the power-hungry delusional pig in Animal Farm Napoleon for no reason.

3. Ignore or downplay the truly horrific things he was responsible for. From the slave revolution in the West Indies to the unforgivable war crimes of the French Army directly under Napoleon's command, his fanboys feebly make limp-dick attempts to absolve Napoleon of responsibility for the conduct of his forces. While armies of the era were rarely kind to local populations, and the British Army under Wellington was famous for its humane treatment to civilians, the French Army under Napoleon was particularly cruel: in Portugal, the French Army hung women and children upside down and burned them alive. This was in addition to the standard "take your food and rape your women." Similar instances also happened in armies under Napoleon's direct command. In fact, the quick strategic movement of Napoleon's army was due to his encouragement of war crimes: living off the land provided a strategic mobility unavailable to some of his opponents. And yes, Napoleon did bring the practice back from the Middle Ages.

4. His fanboys absolve him of his crimes against the Jews. Not quite the case.

5. He left France in a horrible position. When Napoleon abdicated in 1815, France was a defeated, economically devastated nation. As an Emperor with legal absolute power, he takes the lion's share of the blame.

Hitler's Fanboys

1. Absolve Hitler's failures. Neo-Nazis attempt to shift blame for Hitler's failures to subordinates, or the actions of the Allies.

2. Ignore or downplay negative aspects of his personality. No explanation needed, many (but not all) racists in the 21st century love the guy.

3. Ignore or downplay truly horrific things he did. Holocaust deniers either deny the whole affair outright, or claim that "only" 100,000 Jews perished.

4. His fanboys absolve him for his crimes against the Jews. Sometimes, his fanboys can't decide if he did or did not do the Holocaust. On the right day of the week, they will admit the Holocaust but claim the Jews deserved it due to some banking conspiracy or cabal of evil Jewish wizards plotting to take over the world.

5. Germany was in a horrible position when he left power. For all his nationalism, Germany was split asunder, with one side under Communism. East Germany lived through a nightmare thank's to Hitler breaking the Soviet non-aggression pact. Yet his fanboys hold him as some great nationalist. Nationalist, he may have been. But the good ones don't blue falcon half their country.

This post is sure to provoke a storm from the Napoleon fanboys, and maybe even some Hitler fanboys. Yet each post they make trying to explain away the crimes of either merely serves to prove the point: they will do, or say, anything, even untrue things (well, especially untrue things) to defend the personality cult of Napoleon or Hitler.

I don't even hate Napoleon: he had a military talent the way Mozart or Beethoven had musical talent. Their genius was an eccentric miracle not possessed by their opponents like Salieri or Wellington. I even like Napoleon, I simply refuse to defend horrendous campaigns (like Russia), the deplorable conduct of his army and his power hungry arrogance. And even Beethoven himself, once a huge fanboy of Napoleon, rejected the evil he did and wrote a symphony in honor of Wellington's victory at Vitoria.
 
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May 2011
13,856
Navan, Ireland
#2
Not sure its fair at all to compare those who hero worship Napoleon and those Neo-Nazis who make excuses for Hitler.

You can point out the many good things Napoleon did and he was a 'genius' I can think of very few things Hitler did that can merit any praise.

I understand your point about hero worship but Napoleons ability to feed his army on just 5 loaves and two fish was extraordinary, and when the gunboat ran into a storm off the French coast and the Marshals were terrified walking around the boat to calm them was a master stroke-- I think its Napoleon I am thinking about.

And I can only imagine this thread will attract his supporters (who will be most annoyed ,perhaps with some justification, with his comparison to Hitler in anyway) who will claim that they will criticise his faults (should they actually ever find one and if they do it will really be the British fault) and don't hero worship him but......

However to be fair he was a genius and any list of 'great commanders/generals etc' that does not include him is not sound at all, he will (quite rightly) be studied every bit as much as figures such as Alexander or Caesar .

I suppose Hitler will be studied as well but for very different reasons.
 
Aug 2009
5,340
Londinium
#3
The main distinction is the distances from the events taking place, the Napoleonic Wars/Napoleonic France and that of Nazi Germany. While obviously there are many other distinctions between Hitler and Napoleon, this is the main driver behind any form of reconciliation or reconsideration of such evil men.

In the not too distant future (perhaps end of the century) Hitlers’ Germany will start to be re-thought with changed viewpoints, revisionist Historians will start to probe and tinker. This already happened in Asia where Hitler has a worrying level of admiration. Conversely, many Europeans admire Genghis whereas in east Asia and the middle east he is still resented (as I am told). The horrors of the Mongol invasion are still remembered to some extent, just as Hitlers brutal rule will still be remembered in, for example, eastern Europe and Russia (and I suspect the UK, who fought, with the Poles, the longest against Nazi Germany).

Personally, I think Napoleon is a …awful man (I really wanted to swear there!). However, whatever qualities that one can attribute to him are likely just that of any strong national leader who, for a short while, brought victories and prestige to their nation alongside brutality and oppression to any opposition, sound familiar?
 
Nov 2015
1,747
Bye, bye
#4
About Nappy

Apart from the fact that you have every right to like or dislike Nappy.
I don't think it's a question of Napoleon fanboys but rather a problem of anti Napoleon fan boys.
Often Anglo Saxon (what a coincidence) and fan boy of the viscount of Talavera (what a coincidence too).
One wonders why....
The process of calling those who have an opinion different from yours "fanboy" is a way of doing things that I find hypocritical.

EDIT:
About your knowledge of Napoleonic history, they seem to me approximate and biased.
Napoleon persecutor of the Jews?
seriously?
 
Last edited:
Aug 2009
5,340
Londinium
#5
Apart from the fact that you have every right to like or dislike Nappy.
I don't think it's a question of Napoleon fanboys but rather a problem of anti Napoleon fan boys.
Often Anglo Saxon (what a coincidence) and fan boy of the viscount of Talavera (what a coincidence too).
One wonders why....
The process of calling those who have an opinion different from yours "fanboy" is a way of doing things that I find hypocritical.
...I doubt the Arabs, Russians, low countries and various German states are that fond of Nappy either!
 
May 2011
13,856
Navan, Ireland
#6
Apart from the fact that you have every right to like or dislike Nappy.
Why does it have to be a simplistic 'like' or 'dislike'? why has history got to be split into 'good guys v bad guys'?


I don't think it's a question of Napoleon fanboys but rather a problem of anti Napoleon fan boys.
You mean people who don't hero worship him are 'ant-Napolean fanboys'?


Often Anglo Saxon (what a coincidence) and fan boy of the viscount of Talavera (what a coincidence too).
One wonders why....
So if you don't hero worship Napoleon you must hero worship Wellington?

Why so simplistic?

Wellington did defeat Napoleon (whoops sorry blasphemy! its a well known little known fact that Napoleon actually technically won Waterloo but its an 'Anglo' conspiracy that has 'spun' it as actually a defeat terrible propaganda) but that's beside the point.

The process of calling those who have an opinion different from yours "fanboy" is a way of doing things that I find hypocritical.
And calling any one who is even remotely critical of Napoleon (claiming to have a 'measured' opinion of him) as biased isn't hypocritical?

Just prone to terrible 'Anglo' propaganda-- who for some strange reason did not want to be invaded (whoops sorry liberated) by him and have their (very imperfect) democracy replaced by a military dictatorship or have a member of his family imposed on them (although Napoleon never used nepotism at all Joseph was the perfect choice as King of Spain -- infact the peoples choice! for instance), simply blind Anglo bias.

EDIT:
About your knowledge of Napoleonic history, they seem to me approximate and biased.
Napoleon persecutor of the Jews?
seriously?
And your not biased?

Seems to be that's what the OP is complaining about that some hero worship Napoleon.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,885
#7
Look I'm not Napoleon fan, I'm like Wintzingerode always ready to trun out against Boney no matter where,


But There no real Comparison with Hitler and Napoleon.
 
May 2011
13,856
Navan, Ireland
#8
..........................,


But There no real Comparison with Hitler and Napoleon.
I would agree other than the most obvious -- they both invaded Russia/Soviet Union, fought a pan -European war etc -- Hitler and Napoleon are very different and Napoleonic France nothing like Nazi Germany.

I think the OP was venting his frustration of the level of hero worship he attracts and the seeming forgiving/ignoring/denying the existence of any possible negatives that could be found in his regime/actions.
 
Feb 2016
5,049
Atlantic Ocean
#9
I am a uncle Adolph and uncle nappy fan so i can give my take. it really comes down to mr Kevinmeaths analysis, it can get irritating when the level of hero worship is at a point were basic facts are thrown into the wind in the name of worship.

take a singular massacre under both men. say Jaffa for nappy boy and some eintzgruppe shooting. fan boys will dismiss both as 'anti-partisan' without reading more into it. obviously one can make their own decisions but the facts are the same murder happened.

As for the points you brought up, almost all off it comes down to morals which as we all can agree are of secondary concern most of the time.

also " cult-like followings similar to those of Julius Caesar's contemporaries and Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders today." oof muh modern politics

"His fanboys absolve him of his crimes against the Jews. Not quite the case." oosh he was ahead of his time :p

"4. His fanboys absolve him for his crimes against the Jews. Sometimes, his fanboys can't decide if he did or did not do the Holocaust. On the right day of the week, they will admit the Holocaust but claim the Jews deserved it due to some banking conspiracy or cabal of evil Jewish wizards plotting to take over the world."

lel it comes down to who you ask really. asking two different people and getting two different answers should not be a surprise, as for the JQ i think there is a rough agreement what it means.
 
Feb 2016
4,313
Japan
#10
As much as Boneys Gallic propaganda swallowing, brainwashed by the heroic mythology and Francophile history, cultists love him....

They are not as bad as Nazis. And any Adolf fan boy is a Nazi. I’ve met and spoke with Boney lovers ... being a wargamer and former Napoleonic reanactor you meet a lot of them. They are usually normal (as normal as neckbeard wargamers and chubby overweight people pretending they are the 15th Hussars and 21eme can be) ... I’ve never met a Hitler fan boy. Wehrmacht fanboys you meet a lot of.... and some of them worry you .... but I’ve obly met two people who’ve ever said anything nice about Hitler. And they were teenage Russians.

And I’d add that a “fan boy” of any person or thing would have the same basic pattern of behavior. When I was younger I was a huge Motörhead fan... id absolve their failures and mistakes... must have been someone else’s fault, ignore negative parts of their character (it’s just a bit of drugs) and so on and so on. Almost every military leader will have some innocent blood splattered on their uniforms....
 
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