Napoleon's Marshals

Feb 2019
878
Serbia
In what regard? :think:
Depends on what you see as ''too good''. We all know what happened in Spain in the end. In Dalmatia he did well both in 1806 and 1809, nevertheless he was no Suchet or Davout or even Soult. Due to Spain and the fact that there were others who are better I say ''wasn't too good.', not that he wasn't good at all. Before Salamanca he actually demonstrated he was good at maneuvering his army and seems to have had a solid grasp of strategy.
 

Lord Oda Nobunaga

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
5,616
Ontario, Canada
In Spain he was largely keeping up with Wellington. Both of them carried out a series of entertaining maneuvers and counter maneuvers. Save for the engagement at Arapiles where he was taken out by a cannon ball and his Divisions lacked coordination. But certainly he performed no worse than Massena, Junot or Soult. For the type of maneuver war that they were waging in 1812 he did pretty well, as best as we could surmise given that this was basically just a back and forth.
 
Feb 2019
878
Serbia
In Spain he was largely keeping up with Wellington. Both of them carried out a series of entertaining maneuvers and counter maneuvers. Save for the engagement at Arapiles where he was taken out by a cannon ball and his Divisions lacked coordination. But certainly he performed no worse than Massena, Junot or Soult. For the type of maneuver war that they were waging in 1812 he did pretty well, as best as we could surmise given that this was basically just a back and forth.
I agree with most of this, I think he was easily better than Junot in Spain. However on Soult I have to disagree. We also have to take into account that Marmont was in the end defeated. I find Soult's campaign in the closing months of the Peninsular War to be pretty impressive and often overlooked. He managed to slip away from Wellington and slow his invasion of France down considerably. In the end the end he preserved his army and only gave up after Napoleon himself surrendered. Marmont wasn't bad, far from it, however I find that his overall record is mixed in a sense that he certainly was able and was one of the more competent marshals but there were several better, it is also that he lost in the end.

In conclusion I didn't claim he couldn't hold an independent command, he certainly could to a degree, however I find him to be beneath Suchet, Davout and some others and the fact that he suffered a defeat at Salamanca plays into the idea that he wasn't ''too good.''
 
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Lord Oda Nobunaga

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
5,616
Ontario, Canada
I agree that of those who fought Wellington then Soult performed the best. But I don't think that Marmont had a bad performance at all and I don't know that you could blame him for the tactical pounding that he received near Salamanca.
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,693
Cornwall
I agree that of those who fought Wellington then Soult performed the best. But I don't think that Marmont had a bad performance at all and I don't know that you could blame him for the tactical pounding that he received near Salamanca.
Salamanca only came about because Wellington waited hours and hours for Marmont to make a mistake in manouvring - which he obligingly did.

If you are in charge then it's a bit like being a goalkeeper - one little mistake and everybody is lost. Plus his memory isn't exactly noble for changing sides outside Paris. Nil points for Marmont I'm afraid.
 

Lord Oda Nobunaga

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
5,616
Ontario, Canada
Wasn't the battle intentional on Marmont's part so that he could fight Wellington in an engagement? I'm not sure which maneuver you refer to specifically since there were so many. Was it detaching his left wing or assuming that Wellington would retreat? But even if he did make a critical mistake it was hardly grounds for the pounding which he received. The battle could have still been salvaged while Marmont's flank was being hammered and resulted at least in a stalemate.
 
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