Napoleon Fanboys and Hitler Fanboys: Eerily Similar

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,247
#71
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.
But is there not an argument that Napoleon was MORE flawed than other great Generals. As which of them have such a massive blunder on their resume?

Napoleon DID blunder massive in the 1812 campaign and any rational assessment of his ability must make some allowance for that..

Napoleon was a more Flawed General that Wellington ? True of False?
 
Jul 2017
187
Wales
#72
But is there not an argument that Napoleon was MORE flawed than other great Generals. As which of them have such a massive blunder on their resume?

Napoleon DID blunder massive in the 1812 campaign and any rational assessment of his ability must make some allowance for that..

Napoleon was a more Flawed General that Wellington ? True of False?
More flawed than some of the great Generals, for sure, but not all of them. Hannibal stands out as being more flawed than Napoleon. Napoleon was more flawed than Caesar, probably.

Yes, he was more flawed than Wellington, but he was also more talented. Wellington was just a solid, stable General. Only flaw I can see with Wellington is the contempt he had for soldiers of lesser backgrounds.
 
Feb 2016
4,358
Japan
#73
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.
Who were these “best generals” Hitler was surrounded by?
I’m not sure Wellington ... or even Blucher can be considered lesser generals. Blucher beat Napoleon twice, Wellington had a better win record and less mistakes over his career. Both were purely soldiers.
Minor nobility = aristocracy.
And I disagree fan boys by their very nature make endless excuses for the failings of their icon. In the spirit of the thread any fanboy of anything can be compared. It’s easier with fanboys of despotic dictators as they hero orship the same kind of thing but you could easily say a Hitler fanboy is the same as a Gladstone fanboy (if they exist)..... they ignore, refute or make exception for their hero’s failings.

Napoleon fanboys hate having their hero compared to Hitler, despite their many similarities, due to Hitler being an “evil” racist primarily and secondly due to Hitler’s obvious lack of battle command. The comparison hurts them as they don’t want their hero suggested to be like Adolf in any way. Though the parallels between them are many.

Both start small from humble origins.
Both rise quickly at the forefront of extreme political times.
Both had a period of constant triumph and success.
Both blundered into wars with the British Empire.
Both opened a front that would cost them dearly (Spain - Africa)
Both launched catastrophic, career ending invasions of Russia.
Both over see the destruction of armies and leave them to their fate.
Both end up with their empire destroyed and home country occupied by coalitions
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,247
#74
Napoleon fanboys hate having their hero compared to Hitler, despite their many similarities, due to Hitler being an “evil” racist primarily and secondly due to Hitler’s obvious lack of battle command. The comparison hurts them as they don’t want their hero suggested to be like Adolf in any way. Though the parallels between them are many.

Both start small from humble origins.
Both rise quickly at the forefront of extreme political times.
Both had a period of constant triumph and success.
Both blundered into wars with the British Empire.
Both opened a front that would cost them dearly (Spain - Africa)
Both launched catastrophic, career ending invasions of Russia.
Both over see the destruction of armies and leave them to their fate.
Both end up with their empire destroyed and home country occupied by coalitions
Both introduced new forms and use of propaganda the were well ahead for their times.

Both introduced extreme and far reaching censorship.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,247
#75
More flawed than some of the great Generals, for sure, but not all of them. Hannibal stands out as being more flawed than Napoleon. Napoleon was more flawed than Caesar, probably.
Can't see Hannibal shooting himself in the foot for month as savagely as Napoleon. Russia was an Own goal.

Yes, he was more flawed than Wellington, but he was also more talented. Wellington was just a solid, stable General.
Juts really. Why did people have such difficultly saying Wellington was a very good general.

There's a degree of flaw were a Good general without is better than a Great general with. And Napoleon must be close.



Only flaw I can see with Wellington is the contempt he had for soldiers of lesser backgrounds.
I don't think contempt is the right term. Wellington showed great care and concern for his soldiers. He was quite often harsh (of his commanders, men, allies , government) in his language and expression, and certainly had class prejudice and a reactionary conservative in political terms.

But he cared for his men a lot more than Napoleon ever did.
 
Jun 2012
7,382
Malaysia
#77
I understand your point about hero worship but Napoleons ability to feed his army on just 5 loaves and two fish was extraordinary
My weight hv in fact remained reasonably constant for some time, with about two & a half plates of rice & two chicken pieces (thigh, breast or ham) a day. I wud guesstimate that five loaves of bread & two mid-size fishes wud come pretty close to that, if not equal it.
 
Aug 2010
16,202
Welsh Marches
#78
Wellington was a snob, he certainly looked down on the lower classes but I don’t think contempt is the right word.
No indeed, he was a clear-minded realist who didn't indulge in cant. His army was not made up of conscripts, and much of it consisted of men of pretty dubious chracter and background, but that did not mean that he did not think that something could be made of them. Everyone knows his 'scum of the earth' remark, but few know the whole passage from which it comes:

"A French army is composed very differently from ours. The conscription calls out a share of every class — no matter whether your son or my son — all must march; but our friends — I may say it in this room — are the very scum of the earth. People talk of their enlisting from their fine military feeling — all stuff — no such thing. Some of our men enlist from having got bastard children — some for minor offences — many more for drink; but you can hardly conceive such a set brought together, and it really is wonderful that we should have made them the fine fellows they are."

That seems to me to be a simple statement of truth. It would be wholly different if he had simply described his soldiers as scum of the earth in a public context out of contempt for them.
 
Feb 2016
4,358
Japan
#79
No indeed, he was a clear-minded realist who didn't indulge in cant. His army was not made up of conscripts, and much of it consisted of men of pretty dubious chracter and background, but that did not mean that he did not think that something could be made of them. Everyone knows his 'scum of the earth' remark, but few know the whole passage from which it comes:

"A French army is composed very differently from ours. The conscription calls out a share of every class — no matter whether your son or my son — all must march; but our friends — I may say it in this room — are the very scum of the earth. People talk of their enlisting from their fine military feeling — all stuff — no such thing. Some of our men enlist from having got bastard children — some for minor offences — many more for drink; but you can hardly conceive such a set brought together, and it really is wonderful that we should have made them the fine fellows they are."

That seems to me to be a simple statement of truth. It would be wholly different if he had simply described his soldiers as scum of the earth in a public context out of contempt for them.
It is a huge generalisation of recruits. Reasons for recruitment were not just “fathered a bastard” or “drink”. Though those were causes....
most joined up out of desperation, poverty or their work being destroyed.
Others joined up out of boredom, stuck in abusive apprenticeships, to spite a parent, adventure, patriotism, a bid to impress someone or to stay close to some one... so he was being truthful for only a small part of his army. Not the whole.
 
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Oct 2017
186
United States
#80
Because the men themselves were eerily similar?


The fact is that when Germany was attacked at the end of WW2, there was a gradual surfacing of what some might call the "Pitch black and white morality" whereby extreme punishments and other things are meted out in response to various things.



That's the change of a single century, in the previous century, France simply lost some of the border territories, and of course Napoleon was sent into exile.



But nothing like what happened in 1945.. the change was very palpable even though they were very similar.



The effect of that has been for basically no one to attempt anything of any kind, since any change could expose you to the violence of the pitch black and white rhetoric.



However, it's also true, that the pitch black and white morality (which was clearly born in America, probably around Hollywood) was therefore an American invention and can at least be pinpointed more directly.. with it located and discussed in the open, we can at least talk about things in this topic I suppose a bit more and hence the obvious paralells that plenty of people would of mentioned at a different date.


It's also apparent in the kind of "Corporatism" which involves New York City, etc, big major/media/conglomerates etc employ pitch black and white morality in many instances.


The survival of pitch black and whitism is linked to the financial survival of these groups... as they transmigrated over other groups to fuel them (mostly in America), they used the money to sustain their moralistic empire.



However, financial fitness is one thing, spiritual fitness, is another... and they were incredibly vulnerable to spiritual criticism because they had all more or less mutated into blackholes of emotion and thought, vacant and incapable of fulfilling even the most basic requirements of their relevant legal systems.


That's also why no one really cares about Nazism today as much, or many things, because the new ideology the "Pitch black and whitism" as it is, was the real story of the 20th century, people want a referendum on that before there is a referendum on Nazism.


Although there is one final subtlety, which is in my opinion how more probable you would attribute France's issues in the French revolution to the monarchy and not properly to Napoleon himself, as he was often surrounded by generals who made decisions for him.



The French monarchy, being Germanic in origin, obviously had a lot in common with the goths some miles away.


I would argue in many ways that we've simply had the "Germanic age" with World Wars I II and whatever this present situation is being the Three Germanic wars, because in reality very little of it ever seemed to concern non Germanics.


I'm not saying that to slight Russia or other groups, I meant in spirit, obviously, the human toll for various groups, was immense. But the purpose of, the ideologies surrounding, the everything in terms of the ignition and action, was motivated by German issues, that's why Russians as well as many other groups are deliberately considered as unimportant in the ideology.
 
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