Napoleon or Hitler?

Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
#51
whats your source for these numbers?

Goetz gives 74,000 v 81,000
Wikipedia describes the following in the 'Notes' section for the Battle of Austerlitz page:

French numbers at the battle vary depending on the account; 65,000, 67,000, 73,000, or 75,000 are other figures often present in the literature. The discrepancy arises because about 7,000 men of Davout's III Corps were not at the battle right when it started. Including or not including these troops is a matter of preference (in this article, they will be included as separate from the 67,000 French soldiers originally on the field). David G. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon. p. 416 gives 67,000 (without Davout's III Corps)
Allied numbers at the battle vary depending on the account; 73,000, 84,000, or 89,000 are other figures often present in the literature. Andrew Uffindell, Great Generals of the Napoleonic Wars. p. 25 gives 73,000. David G. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon. p. 417 gives 85,000. In Napoleon and Austerlitz (1997), Scott Bowden writes that the traditional number given for the Allies, 85,000, reflects their theoretical strength, and not the true numbers present on the battlefield.
So, really, depending on what someone prefers (i.e. whether they are biased in favour of one side or against the other) the French forces could be as little as 65,000 (the number Andrew Roberts gives) and the Allied forces as large as 89,000, or the French forces as large as 75,000 and the Allied forces as small as 73,000. Either way, the French were at least slightly outnumbered, probably somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000, give or take.

in 1805 Austria faced France with relatively small Russian assistance
You're forgetting that the coalition also included Sweden, Sicily and Naples, each of whom engaged the French in different theatres within a short period of time, and which Napoleon had to send armies to fight each of them (though granted, nowhere near as large as the Grande Armée).
 
Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
#52
Napoleon was a terrible statesman but a brilliant commander with occasional moments of foolishness.

Hitler was a great statesman but a bad commander with occasional moments of brilliance.

That's about as succinctly as I could summarise my overall opinion on a rather complex discussion. Both men's downfalls were their failure to secure valuable alliances, their failure to bring Britain to the peace table, and a disastrous invasion of Russia. If each man had the others' positive qualities, I'm sure both of them would have done a bit better overall.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,855
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#55
I would keep the two personages in their own historical contexts.

From the perspective of history they could not look so far in time, but XIX century and early XX century have changed the world [Hitler, actually kept on behaving like a XIX Emperor, to say all ...].

In other words, Napoleon lived in his time ... Hitler was a kind of survivor of a lost past.

To understand the contexts, we can underline that Napoleon lived in a world where slavery was socially accepted [and widely practiced around the planet]. That was the colonial world, with the great colonial Empires still growing and ideological conceptions which justified in some way some "right" of the Christian Whites to dominate the globe.

There wasn't great concern regarding the destiny of the Natives in Northern America, just to make an other example, while the United States were enlarging their territories.

To summarize:

Napoleon was a personage of the arising colonial / imperial world, Hitler got the power, in the 30's, while that world was disappearing [and he gave a great hand to make it disappear with WWII ...].
 
May 2017
1,116
France
#56
In the military archives of the castle of Vincennes, there are a lot of documents ( I had studied the campaign of the first legion of Saint Domingue,because 130 of its men were desertors of the armies of Moreau and Bonaparte in 1800, liberated from the jails) about the short campaign of the general Leclerc (february-may 1802) the brother in law of Napoleon.He had 30 000 men,and Toussaint-Louverture an irregular army of volunteers without real organizacion.It is impossible in three months to kill 100 000 people,except if you have the guns of Verdun or Stalingrad.
And for the slaughters of the prisoners there are the details of:
-The day where the french officers gave to their hungry dogs a small band of prisoners,height or nine men,all killed.
-The day where the navy received the order to drown a regiment at the large.The nine hundred prisoners had the legs fastened at a cannon ball.And,later there was an investigation of the gendarmerie,because people found on the beaches,hundreds of white cadavers without legs.....
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,689
Portugal
#57
Hitler was a great statesman but a bad commander with occasional moments of brilliance.
How can a statesman that destroys a nation in less than 12 years be considered a great statesman?

In a balance sheet of those 12 years we see that Germany lost population, lost territory, was completely overrun and occupied, split in four. German communities in all east of Europe were destroyed or displaced. Germany lost the respect of almost all of the world. Great statesman?

But making a comparison with Napoleon, we must say that he had a much more interesting moustache.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,357
#58
So, really, depending on what someone prefers (i.e. whether they are biased in favour of one side or against the other) the French forces could be as little as 65,000 (the number Andrew Roberts gives) and the Allied forces as large as 89,000, or the French forces as large as 75,000 and the Allied forces as small as 73,000. Either way, the French were at least slightly outnumbered, probably somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000, give or take.
.
Sightly Outnumbered, I think 5-7,000 most likely. The Allied army is estimates. The French were at least 73,000 not counting Devout corps is just plain dishonesty (it's like not countring Blucher at Waterloo) . The Allies maybe 78-80,000 .

I don't care fro Roberts.

You're forgetting that the coalition also included Sweden, Sicily and Naples, each of whom engaged the French in different theatres within a short period of time, and which Napoleon had to send armies to fight each of them (though granted, nowhere near as large as the Grande Armée).
Sicily *is* Naples. Same political entity. Be like listing Hungary and Austria. It was covered by St Cyr's corps.
The Swedes didn't deploty many mean the combined Birtish, Russian and Swedish force in Poweria ws 12,000 men and near as I can tell not opposed by Napoloen.

In the Central European front Napoleon out numbered the colaiton, and after Ulm had a pretty handy advnatge in numbers, that Napoleon failed to have an advanatge at Austerlitz in numbers is down to Napoloen. However the quality of the French amry in 1805 was extrmely high and even given the slight advnatge in numbers by the coliation., Napoleon had enough superoioty in quality to make up the shortfall in numbers. Much Better Troops, Better Commander, Better tacical doctrine Napoleon had enoughto say the with even gneralship teh French shoud sart favourites. But the result was pretty darn stuning fairly complete victory (the pursuit failed , going the wrong way, like Dresden and Ligny) One of the more complete results in period that saw few actual decisive battles.

in 1806 Napoleon had a small advatnage in Numbers in Prussian Campaign, a large advantage in 1807 in Poland. That Napoleon was outnumbered all teh time is mostly a myth.
 
Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
#59
Sightly Outnumbered, I think 5-7,000 most likely. The Allied army is estimates. The French were at least 73,000 not counting Devout corps is just plain dishonesty (it's like not countring Blucher at Waterloo) . The Allies maybe 78-80,000 .
What sources are you basing your claims on?

I don't care fro Roberts.
Yes, since he takes a positive view of Napoleon, I'm sure you wouldn't. But when it comes down to the author of what many consider to be the most definitive single-volume biography of Napoleon, and you, I think I'm gonna take his opinions more seriously.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,357
#60
What sources are you basing your claims on?
Goetz, Kagan, Nafziger,

Yes, since he takes a positive view of Napoleon, I'm sure you wouldn't. But when it comes down to the author of what many consider to be the most definitive single-volume biography of Napoleon, and you, I think I'm gonna take his opinions more seriously.
Ah the appeal to vague authority. "what many consider:" really whats the factusal basis of such a claim? Does popularity make a Historian any more accuate?

Roberts is clrealy worng in cllaiming 65,000. The French amry we have pretty accurate returns. The only real doubts are the eact sice of the Allied army.
 

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