Russia or Spain, which was a bigger mistake for Napoleon?

Jun 2010
131
Fallingwater
So I'm just wondering between Russia and Spain, which was a bigger mistake for Napoleon and had the greater contribution to his demise?
 

gaius valerius

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,740
Belgium
So I'm just wondering between Russia and Spain, which was a bigger mistake for Napoleon and had the greater contribution to his demise?
Depends. Both were of equal importance in a way and certainly amounted to one another. The Russian campaign made sure that all over Europe, people would no longer rally to the cause of Bonaparte, on the other hand, the ulcer in Spain had made sure that after that debacle in 1812, Napoleon had nothing left but fresh recruits to fall back upon, and even so he still did remarkably well. The question you can ask hence is: what if he did not have to waste troops on that Spanish ulcer and have these as a backup after the disaster of Russia?
 
Dec 2009
19,933
The question you can ask hence is: what if he did not have to waste troops on that Spanish ulcer and have these as a backup after the disaster of Russia?
IMHO, instead of some 500,000 to 600,000 soldiers utterly wasted in Russia as it happened, there would have been like 800,000 or a bit more soldiers wasted in the same Russia ...

Given the immense series of evident strategic blunders of Monsieur Bonaparte all along the Russian campaign of 1812, in all likelihood any more soldiers would only have meant proportionally more casualties.
 

gaius valerius

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,740
Belgium
Given the immense series of evident strategic blunders of Monsieur Bonaparte all along the Russian campaign of 1812, in all likelihood any more soldiers would only have meant proportionally more casualties.
So you presume that he would have made even more troops tag along had they been at his disposal? I doubt that though.
 

Chookie

Ad Honorem
Nov 2007
7,628
Alba
Even though Spain was bleeding ulcer for many years, his invasion of Russia to all intents and purposes destroyed la Grande Armée. Therefore I feel Russia was the bigger mistake.
 
Dec 2009
19,933
So you presume that he would have made even more troops tag along had they been at his disposal? I doubt that though.
I simply can't imagine any alternative.

Once Monsieur Bonaparte had made up his mind, he was notoriously stubborn.
 

xander.XVII

Ad Honorem
Nov 2009
3,888
Outer world
Both were big mistakes.
Russian campaign destroyed publicly power and prestige of Grand Armée , showing that Napoleon wasn't invincible.Spain was, as the same Napoleon defines it, an "ulcer" that had killed something else like 200-250.000 french soldiers and gave many problems to the logistic french system.
 

Cicero

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,829
Tennessee
Failwhale, welcome to Historum a great place to learn, express your opinions, hang out and make friends.

Russia was a brain tumor; Spain was a migraine.