Napoleon Fanboys and Hitler Fanboys: Eerily Similar

Aug 2012
1,554
#61
I don't think Napoleon and Hitler can be compared. Napoleon was an opportunist, he was an instinctive pragmatist who seemed to hold tradition in contempt, but he used his power to do some small good through legal reform as well as his kind treatment of the Jews. Who even dedicated a prayer to him.
But for all his failings, he was personally brave, could inspire great loyalty through his daring and willingness to share the hardships of his soldiers.


Now, maybe at one time Hitler shared similar qualities, perhaps during his time in World War I as a messenger. But as a leader, he soon fell into ruin. He allowed his underlings to fight among themselves, dictating policy on their own authority, because he liked to pit them against each other. On a personal basis? He was a drug-addled sexual deviant, ill-disciplined in his personal habits and - upon the prospect of defeat - prone to temper tantrums. When his Beer Hall Putsch failed, he threatened to kill himself. When the Russians were in Berlin, he ranted against his own people, deriding them as weak and deserving of their fate.


Both men defined their age, but the gulf between their virtues is staggering. I could legitimately only say a handful of positive things about Hitler, whereas Napoleon, for all his megalomania, was possessed of many admirable traits.
 
Jul 2017
187
Wales
#63
I think they can't be compared, personally. Hitler was surrounded by the greatest generals of his day, but Napoleon was the greatest general of his day (and possibly ever). The story of Napoleon is one of triumph - rising through the ranks during the French Revolution with military victory after military victory to become the most powerful man in the world. Hitler's story is one built on hatred and a lot of luck. There are small comparisons, such as their successes in Europe; their failures in Russia and some similar personality traits, but that is about all there is to it.

As for comparing Napoleon fanatics to Neo-Nazis? Ludicrous.
 
Last edited:

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,986
Lisbon, Portugal
#64
I want the OP to answer my simple question:

- What is the legacy Napoleon and his short-lived Empire left to the world and compare it the legacy Hitler and his Third Reich left to the world?
 
Feb 2016
4,300
Japan
#65
I think they can't be compared, personally. Hitler was surrounded by the greatest generals of his day, but Napoleon was the greatest general of his day (and possibly ever). The story of Napoleon is one of triumph - rising through the ranks during the French Revolution with military victory after military victory to become the most powerful man in the world. Hitler's story is one built on hatred and a lot of luck. There are small comparisons, such as their successes in Europe; their failures in Russia and some similar personality traits, but that is about all there is to it.
I thinks it’s fine to compare any two people of similar rank...

Also I don’t think you could say Hitler was surrounded by the finest generals of his day. He would have won then. Both of them came from the ranks. He had some good soldiers, many mediocre ones and a few who didn’t deserve their rank...

Napoleon had aristocratic ancestory if not wealth. Napoleon had victory after victory but bailed on his failure in Egypt and left others to bear it out, he made a huge blunder in starting a war in Spain, a bigger one in invading Russia and still kept trying to fight everyone, he was surrounded by a few talented generals, many average ones as a few who’d been promoted above their level. Hitler started as a ranker of working class origins, made himself into a politician, had victory after victory until he blundered into Africa, then Russia, and still tried to fight everyone.


So more than enough parallels there. It doesn’t mean they had no differences .... clearly Napoleon was a brilliant battlefield commander and officer, Hitler never made it past corporal. Hitler killed himself... Napoleon lacked the decency to do that in 1812 or 14 when he should have. Hitler genocidal wanted to purge the world of Jews, Napoleon didn’t care who died as long as he was in power. Hitler had socialist/racist politics, Napoleon wanted to be a emperor and one of the Royal European elites, and was busy setting his brothers up as kings and princes. But it is fair to compare them.
 
Jul 2017
187
Wales
#66
I thinks it’s fine to compare any two people of similar rank...

Also I don’t think you could say Hitler was surrounded by the finest generals of his day. He would have won then. Both of them came from the ranks. He had some good soldiers, many mediocre ones and a few who didn’t deserve their rank...

Napoleon had aristocratic ancestory if not wealth. Napoleon had victory after victory but bailed on his failure in Egypt and left others to bear it out, he made a huge blunder in starting a war in Spain, a bigger one in invading Russia and still kept trying to fight everyone, he was surrounded by a few talented generals, many average ones as a few who’d been promoted above their level. Hitler started as a ranker of working class origins, made himself into a politician, had victory after victory until he blundered into Africa, then Russia, and still tried to fight everyone.


So more than enough parallels there. It doesn’t mean they had no differences .... clearly Napoleon was a brilliant battlefield commander and officer, Hitler never made it past corporal. Hitler killed himself... Napoleon lacked the decency to do that in 1812 or 14 when he should have. Hitler genocidal wanted to purge the world of Jews, Napoleon didn’t care who died as long as he was in power. Hitler had socialist/racist politics, Napoleon wanted to be a emperor and one of the Royal European elites, and was busy setting his brothers up as kings and princes. But it is fair to compare them.
I disagree.

Hitler was surrounded by the best generals of his day. Sure, they lost. But so did Napoleon against Wellington and Blucher - who were, indeed, lesser generals.

Napoleon was minor nobility at best and was very lucky to be able to study at Brienne. Sure, he bailed on Egypt when that turned south and I certainly can't defend the Iberian failure (I wrote my dissertation on it). But even with those failures, he was the undisputed best of his day. The Iberian campaign (the original intention of cutting off Portugal to Britain, at least) was absolutely necessary at that time. Napoleon's downfall was getting greedy and desiring Spain, too.

The fact is, those of us who are deemed "fanboys" of Napoleon do admit to his mistakes. Personally, I feel he should have never have made himself Emperor (Beethoven was right) - a colossal mistake. His treatment of rebelling Muslims in Egypt - whom were executed by being fed to crocodiles - was inhumane and indefensible. Neo-Nazis defend Hitler and make excuses for his actions; we do not.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,801
#67
I want the OP to answer my simple question:

- What is the legacy Napoleon and his short-lived Empire left to the world and compare it the legacy Hitler and his Third Reich left to the world?

I challenge your reading comprehension,

The OP did NOT compare Hitler with Napoleon.


It compared FANS of Hitler with FANS of Napoleon.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,801
#68
I

The fact is, those of us who are deemed "fanboys" of Napoleon do admit to his mistakes. Personally, I feel he should have never have made himself Emperor (Beethoven was right) - a colossal mistake. His treatment of rebelling Muslims in Egypt - whom were executed by being fed to crocodiles - was inhumane and indefensible. Neo-Nazis defend Hitler and make excuses for his actions; we do not.
This isn't true from my experience on this Fourm. The excuses put forward fro Napoleon are seemingly endless.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,801
#69
ut Napoleon was the greatest general of his day (and possibly ever).
Surely Not. Napoleon was a Great general but a deeply flawed one.

Do you not agree he oversaw the worst Military Disaster of the period (by a mammoth margin) in the 1812 Russian campaign?

How you judge a General strengths V flaws is a pretty subjective thing. IF you are inclined to mark hard on flaws, can not a reasonable argument be made that Napoleon was NOT the greastest General of all time, and even not of his period,

IS a Very Good General without major flaws better than a Great General with Massive flaws?
 
Jul 2017
187
Wales
#70
Surely Not. Napoleon was a Great general but a deeply flawed one.

Do you not agree he oversaw the worst Military Disaster of the period (by a mammoth margin) in the 1812 Russian campaign?

How you judge a General strengths V flaws is a pretty subjective thing. IF you are inclined to mark hard on flaws, can not a reasonable argument be made that Napoleon was NOT the greastest General of all time, and even not of his period,

IS a Very Good General without major flaws better than a Great General with Massive flaws?
Every great General has flaws and Napoleon is clearly no exception. The closest thing to a flawless general there has ever been is Alexander the Great and he's only considered so because he died before he could lose. Yes, the 1812 Russian Campaign is - in my view - the biggest military disaster of the period. But for every Russian Campaign, he had an Austerlitz. If not the greatest of all time, he is the greatest of the period.
 

Similar History Discussions