Napoleon Fanboys and Hitler Fanboys: Eerily Similar

Jun 2017
2,974
Connecticut
As someone who admires Napoleon greatly I find it highly offensive to be seen as anything similar to the genocidal Hitler fanboy's.

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."

You didn't address the actual arguments people make. Of course Napoleon nor anyone is perfect and the choice to invade Russia to uphold his delusional Continental System is on him. This is largely a strawman.

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."

I mean no one's perfect.

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."

Napoleon lived in the immediate post French Revolution early 19th century, Hitler lived in the 20th century. There were different standards of acceptable behavior.

4)Not addressing this. This is not even close to a valid comparison.

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."


I mean unlike Hitler who just started invading places for living space, Napoleon actually wasn't aiming to conquer Europe the insecure monarchs spent several decades trying to depose Napoleon in France. Except the continental system and his invasions intended to uphold it like Spain and Russia most of the blame belongs to the people actually starting the wars which were the various pro monarch Coalitions fighting to depose Napoleon.

This is a super weak point. You're blaming a man for defending his country.
 
Jun 2018
127
Philadelphia, PA
People get a lot wrong about Hitler. Much of his actions (like Putin) are driven by ardently nationalism. He was extremely passionate about reinstating Germany to the glory it held before The Great War. He probably did hold many of the beliefs that were in practice under his leadership, but more than anything they were a means to an end. He was able to gain support because he convinced the German populace that these were the actions necessary for them to become prosperous again.
 
Apr 2017
734
Lemuria
It's hard to be an Hitler fan and very easy to admire Napoleon. Hitler fandom is niche while Napoleon is common. You can admire the efficiency (which came at the cost of adaptability) of the NAZI army but their ideology was reprehensible. They set back ethical eugenics. Ethical eugenics was going to be good for mankind. Napoleon had a meritocratic streak although he was technically nepotistic.
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,643
I Napoleon had a meritocratic streak although he was technically nepotistic.
On what basis ? He restricted civil offices to those in the upper 10% of wealth, created a new hereditary Nobility, heavily favored those of wealth and high birth, favored his friends, family and allies in his appointments, he removed more egalitarian practices.
 
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Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
I always thought this was to an extent a thing about uniforms and equipment, not so much about politics, at least not for those who are not radicals.

This is subjective of course, but the French had the best uniforms when we get to the Empire, look how many reenactors take on the uniform of Le 1er régiment de grenadiers à pied de la Garde impériale, and of course those snazzy black uniforms of the SS attract many, the vast numbers of books about them testify to that. Try finding as many books about British Battle Dress. Polish and Dutch Lancers of the Guard have, arguably, the best cavalry uniforms of the period, or of any period. Panther and Tiger tanks, for all their faults, are far more attractive than those of the allies, and again, just look at how many books there are on those two tanks compared to others.
 
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Apr 2017
734
Lemuria
On what basis ? He restricted civil offices to those in the upper 10% of wealth, created a new hereditary Nobility, heavily favored those of wealth and high birth, favored his friends, family and allies in his appointments, he removed more egalitarian practices.

Meritocratic does not mean egalitarian. He promoted the most competent to position of marshals based on ability. I'm not saying he was a champion of meritocracy; I said he had a meritocratic streak.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,643
Meritocratic does not mean egalitarian. He promoted the most competent to position of marshals based on ability. I'm not saying he was a champion of meritocracy; I said he had a meritocratic streak.
The Appointment of Marshals was mainly political. The Marshals were important Generals he was courting to support his Military rule., a group of the most important, the most supportive and his family and friends. He appointed his relatives to high military command for which they were unsuited. He persisted with Murat a complete military imbecile. How was the appointment of his Marshals any more Meritorious than say the appointment of Army commanders in the Russian army at the time?
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,533
Europix
...I doubt the Arabs, Russians, low countries and various German states are that fond of Nappy either!
My friend, rarely a conquered / attacked is fond of his attacker.

But let's be honest: putting Napoleon and Hitler on the same level ??
 
Feb 2016
5,049
Atlantic Ocean
My friend, rarely a conquered / attacked is fond of his attacker.

But let's be honest: putting Napoleon and Hitler on the same level ??
I know Adolph was easily better :D

Kidding, kidding. what exactly do you disagree with? the political comparison? the military comparison?
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,533
Europix
… what exactly do you disagree with? the political comparison? the military comparison?
Everything.

We are talking about two distinct types.

We can idolise or hate Napoleon, it's more a question of how ourselves view history, but he wasn't proposing a genocidal empire.

It's exactly why the comparison of Napoleon's "fans" and Hitler's "fans" is totally absurd. Why not comparing Queen Victoria's "fans" and Bin Laden's "fans" then ?

Absurd.