Napoleonic Wars: Which Side Do You Support?

?

  • Coalition

  • France and allies


Results are only viewable after voting.
Feb 2016
4,358
Japan
US might have fought Britain but in no way can they be described as a French ally. They were almost at war with France to 1809-10.

France’s only real allies were Saxony and Bavaria, Spain too before Napoleon knifed them in the back.

Napoleon was an aristocrat and ruled by decree. I’ve no idea how anyone could vote for his side unless French... maybe Poles.

And while no army at this period was particularly well behaved at all times the French, Prussians and Cossacks stand out... for the French looting, rape and murder were hallmarks and par the course. Italy, Vendee, Egypt, Spain, Germany ..... they were unmatched in cruelty until the Spanish paid them back in kind. Though I can only really hold Napoleon responsible for Egypt and Jaffa... everything else was just the French mode of war.

The Prussians were noted in 1815 to be particularly vindictive.... but after Waterloo and the previous occupation they probably felt it was time to teach them a lesson.
Cossacks has their own rules... they were not particularly cruel I believe but pretty much took anything they could find and so became quite feared.
 
May 2018
779
Michigan
US might have fought Britain but in no way can they be described as a French ally. They were almost at war with France to 1809-10.

France’s only real allies were Saxony and Bavaria, Spain too before Napoleon knifed them in the back.

Napoleon was an aristocrat and ruled by decree. I’ve no idea how anyone could vote for his side unless French... maybe Poles.

And while no army at this period was particularly well behaved at all times the French, Prussians and Cossacks stand out... for the French looting, rape and murder were hallmarks and par the course. Italy, Vendee, Egypt, Spain, Germany ..... they were unmatched in cruelty until the Spanish paid them back in kind. Though I can only really hold Napoleon responsible for Egypt and Jaffa... everything else was just the French mode of war.

The Prussians were noted in 1815 to be particularly vindictive.... but after Waterloo and the previous occupation they probably felt it was time to teach them a lesson.
Cossacks has their own rules... they were not particularly cruel I believe but pretty much took anything they could find and so became quite feared.
Good points, and I mostly agree. However, I would say that the conduct of "Napoleonic" French Armies, deplorable as it was, was at least partially attributable to Napoleon, even if he wasn't in direct command. Does anyone really believe that if Napoleon wanted to put a stop to French atrocities in Spain, Russia, and Germany, he couldn't have? His entire regime relied on his personality, and if the Emperor wished something, it was done. Defying or failing the French Emperor had similar consequences to defying/failing Darth Vader in Star Wars.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,577
Good points, and I mostly agree. However, I would say that the conduct of "Napoleonic" French Armies, deplorable as it was, was at least partially attributable to Napoleon, even if he wasn't in direct command. Does anyone really believe that if Napoleon wanted to put a stop to French atrocities in Spain, Russia, and Germany, he couldn't have? His entire regime relied on his personality, and if the Emperor wished something, it was done. Defying or failing the French Emperor had similar consequences to defying/failing Darth Vader in Star Wars.
Spain aside, what French atrocities in Russia and Germany would that be?
 
Nov 2011
4,744
Ohio, USA
You realize that the regimes of the European monarchies were equally as repressive if not more so?
I mean anyone who voted for the Coalition also voted for serfdom and the Russian police state. Prussia wasn't much better and Austria was only a slight improvement over Prussia.
All is fair, but it depends on whether one cares more about the internal nature of any given country/ideology (and even this changed some, as Prussia abolished serfdom in 1808; I would have supported France in 1806 for sure, though would have treated Prussia differently than Napoleon did at Tilsit) or grand strategic/diplomatic concepts, international power politics as well as a number of other economic factors. The Continental System didn't affect all areas but it was very bad in some areas such as north Germany and Holland.
 
Nov 2011
4,744
Ohio, USA
Spain aside, what French atrocities in Russia and Germany would that be?
The execution of a German bookseller critic of the French in 1806. Even Catherine II of Russia would have just imprisoned or exiled him off somewhere. During the French retreat from Moscow, a number of Russian POWs were locked in a church and set it on fire. Luckily for the Russians, a number of Cossacks showed up just in time and released them. There were also numerous examples of incredible heavy-handedness by the French during various phases of their occupation of parts of Prussia, occasionally even some pretty dire examples.

The French Imperial presence exacerbated so many of these problems of foreign military occupation. Admittedly, nowhere close to all of this was completely Napoleon’s fault, but he didn’t really help matters much in these regards.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,577
The execution of a German bookseller critic of the French in 1806. Even Catherine II of Russia would have just imprisoned or exiled him off somewhere. During the French retreat from Moscow, a number of Russian POWs were locked in a church and set it on fire. Luckily for the Russians, a number of Cossacks showed up just in time and released them. There were also numerous examples of incredible heavy-handedness by the French during various phases of their occupation of parts of Prussia, occasionally even some pretty dire examples.

The French Imperial presence exacerbated so many of these problems of foreign military occupation. Admittedly, nowhere close to all of this was completely Napoleon’s fault, but he didn’t really help matters much in these regards.
Yes, that's fair enough. I certainly don't challenge any of that.

However, in light of how the question was raised, in the context of the thread, this is in comparison to Hitler and the Holocaust.
 
However, in light of how the question was raised, in the context of the thread, this is in comparison to Hitler and the Holocaust.
Whenever I see someone compare Napoleon to Hitler I genuinely want to know how can they be compared. They were dictators that led a world war against a coalition formed to stop them, but that is about it for the ''hard'' similarities. If someone can compare the Peninsular War or the atrocities in Egypt to the Holocaust and say they are equal I don't know how to even respond to that. Another claim the other poster made was that Napoleon wanted to conquer the world which is pretty strange to me as well.
 

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,698
Lower Styria, Slovenia
coalition.
Only bad side of it is it contains Prussia.
Saupreißn, huh :rolleyes::upsidedown:


I'm for the Coalition as well. The French improved the standing of the Slovene language in the Illyrian Provinces, but with the exception of certain members of the inteligencia they were universally disliked because of the high taxes. Not to mention they divided our people. The anti-French sentiment was captured in beehive paintings, a Slovene tradition from the 18th and 19th centuries.

This one shows a Slovene peasent in folk costume rocking a French soldier in a cradle. They were considered a nuisance because because of all the money and produce that their presence cost. Like a big baby, an unnecessary mouth to feed that does no good to you.


A common motive of painted beehive panels is the duel between Pegam (after Jan Vitovec, a Bohemian nobleman) and Lambergar (after Gašper Lamberg, a Carniolan knight). In the 19th century you sometimes see the three-headed demonic Pegam dressed in a blue coat, which points in the direction of the Napoleonic French.


Here's a much later one but it shows how the sentiment persisted even long after the Napoleonic Wars. The devil took Napoleon away in a net. The soldier says "give Napoleon back". It's hard to see what the devil is saying, but it looks to me like "you'll never get back that gypsy".



Also, I really like the Austrian, Russian, Dutch and British uniforms of that time. Even though superficial, it's a reason for me to vote for the coalition. Here's some Austrian infantry and grenadiers for you.
 

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