Napoleon's Marshals and Generals

Choose 5.

  • Berthier

    Votes: 15 31.9%
  • Murat

    Votes: 8 17.0%
  • Moncey

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jourdan

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Masséna

    Votes: 21 44.7%
  • Augereau

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Bernadotte

    Votes: 7 14.9%
  • Brune

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Soult

    Votes: 13 27.7%
  • Lannes

    Votes: 23 48.9%
  • Mortier

    Votes: 1 2.1%
  • Ney

    Votes: 10 21.3%
  • Davout

    Votes: 38 80.9%
  • Bessières

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Kellerman

    Votes: 1 2.1%
  • Lefebvre

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • Pérignon

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sérurier

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Victor

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • Macdonald

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • Oudinot

    Votes: 1 2.1%
  • Marmont

    Votes: 1 2.1%
  • Suchet

    Votes: 16 34.0%
  • Gouvion Saint-Cyr

    Votes: 4 8.5%
  • Poniatowski

    Votes: 9 19.1%
  • Grouchy

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Duroc

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    47
Apr 2015
190
Corsica
Whom would you consider to be the best of Napoleon's marshals and generals during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars? Rank as many as you want and explain your reasoning; if you want to you can also write whom he liked best himself, even though they necessarily weren't his best military commanders.

Also vote in the poll for the top five you think stand out the most!
 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,520
Japan
Went with Bernadotte.
Others may have been more talented but he became a king and outlasted them all.
 

Pyrrhos The Eagle

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
3,075
New Jersey
Went with Bernadotte.
Others may have been more talented but he became a king and outlasted them all.
He did become a king, but in terms of skill he wasn't close to being the best. Even when he switched sides he was a poor commander. He had the good fortune of being on the winning side in the end, but I wouldn't credit him much for this.
 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,520
Japan
Hardly poor. Clever kept his Swedes safe and used Prussian for the bloody work.
His reputation gets tarnished because he had the guts to do what's best for his Country and not Napoleon. If he HAD joined with Napoleon almost none of the bad things said about him by his contempories would have been written.
 

nuclearguy165

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
4,821
Ohio, USA
Hardly poor. Clever kept his Swedes safe and used Prussian for the bloody work.
His reputation gets tarnished because he had the guts to do what's best for his Country and not Napoleon. If he HAD joined with Napoleon almost none of the bad things said about him by his contempories would have been written.
Well, he'll never be able to live down the incident surrounding his poor performance at Jena-Auerstedt. In fact, he had a history of letting others (Davout, every other allied commander at Leipzig besides him) do the bloody work when he was supposed to support them with the large forces under his command. His failure to support Davout at Auerstedt could have (and should have, if not for the miserable failures of the Prussian command here, and Davout's tactical skill) spelled doom for Davout's corps. His failure to arrive at Leipzig at the time when others counted on him doing so is possibly the main reason Napoleon and his army got away at all. No matter whose side he was on, his often showed a quite recalcitrant commitment to the campaigning, and pretty much unnecessarily so.

He did, however, show himself good in 1805 and 1807, so he does get that.

He was a better politician and grand strategist than military commander, and he hardly compares with the likes of Davout, Lannes, and Massena in that regard. I don't blame him at all for turning against Napoleon, but he is blame-worthy for failures at Auerstedt and Leipzig.
 
Last edited:

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,650
Best by standard, what criteria are you judging them by?

If as independent command of a large force, at least corps size.

Davout the best,
Soult, Massena, Sorrier, goto corps commanders,
Berndotte and Lannes hard to judge
(Lannes never really given senior command, Bernadotte political questions perhaps had him put in some sort steps perhaps his ability was higher than he choose to show.)

Berthier - 3/10 glorified secretary extremely poor general
Murat - 2/10 poser should never have risen above captain incapable of strategic or tactical thinking.
Money 6/10 hardly used refused to serve in Russia by competent and did ok in what use he had,
Jourdan 5/10
Masséna 7/10
Auger eau 4/10
Bernadotte 6/10 unreliable rather than bad.
Brune 4/10
Sault 7/10
Lanes 6.5/10 great division commander, untested at higher levels
Mortier 4/10 limited chances by no known strategic skill.
Ney 4/10 incapable of strategic focus. goto divisor commander, bad higher.
Devout 8/10 the best. could be rated higher but not used as he should./
Bessières 4/10 Divsion commander unsuited to higher command,
Kellerman 4/10 limited exposure.
Lefebvre 4.5/10 solid divine commander nothing to suggest higher.
Pérignon 4/10 nothing to suggest real talent
Sorrier 6/10 good record, not used after 1800.
Victor 4.5/10
MacDonald 4.5/10
Oudinot 4.5/10
Marmot 4/10
Suchet 5/10 good division commander, solid administartor
Poniatowski 4/10
Grouchy 3/10
 

Pyrrhos The Eagle

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
3,075
New Jersey
Hardly poor. Clever kept his Swedes safe and used Prussian for the bloody work.
His reputation gets tarnished because he had the guts to do what's best for his Country and not Napoleon. If he HAD joined with Napoleon almost none of the bad things said about him by his contempories would have been written.
I cited his military record as reason for considering him poor. I did not discredit him here for siding against Napoleon. He had very real flaws as a general regardless of which side he was on.
 

Space Shark

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
3,474
Redneck Country, AKA Texas
I'm not too familiar with all of Napoleon's marshals, but I do know that Massena and Soult were among the better of them. Bernadotte, though his descendants being Kings of Sweden, probably has the biggest legacy of them all.