Were there any people in countries that fought against Napoleon that openly admired him, and/or defended his actions?

Mar 2016
561
Australia
#1
I'm reminded of a scene early in War and Peace where one of the characters, a young university student (that I can't remember his name because I stopped reading shortly afterwards) embarrasses himself at a party in St Petersburg because he's a massive Napoleon fanboy and keeps defending his actions and saying how great he is. But also when you consider that Napoleon was seen as a celebrity-like figure by the British and visited by heaps of MPs for interviews while he was exiled to St Helena. Could the reaction to Napoleon while he ruled France be compared to how people in the West view Putin today, i.e. he is generally disliked and criticised, but some people will still defend and admire him despite their countries' official stance?
 
Likes: Futurist
Dec 2011
4,363
Iowa USA
#2
That seems to be the W&P character Pierre that you are recalling.

The French had good public relations in some of the countries that were either absorbed or became satellites. Overall the morale for Kingdom of Italy formations seemed to be good in Fourth and Fifth Coalition Wars. Just one example.

However since we have so many with strong opinions on Bonaparte among the group I'll not elaborate.
 
Feb 2016
4,175
Japan
#4
In Spain and Portugal they had the Enfrancados ... Spaniards and Portuguese who supported the French, for a variety of motivations. Most of these were exiled but ones caught in French uniform were shot.

In Britain it was confined to mainly political radicals, most were more supporters of the revolution. Whigs were more likely to want peace than prosecute the war.
Supporters of Napoleon in England | Shannon Selin
We had some crackpot but otherwise harmless types that fan boyed him.

Naturally whenever Napoleon conquered he raised regiments... so he had a Prussian Regiment, a Portuguese Legion, Italian and Dutch regiments we’re absorbed into the numbered French regiments.
There WAS an Irish Legion but it never had more than 25-30% actual Irish in its ranks, it served as a dumping ground for British, Spanish and Italian deserters, Germans, Czechs, various Slavs and other Europeans recruited from POW camps.
 
May 2017
656
France
#5
In Boulogne sur Mer,where was prepared by Napoleon in 1805 the debarkment of England,there is each year a big military party parade with people of all Europe (Germany,Austria,Russia,Italia,Belgium,Holland etc …).They all want to carry the uniforms of the army of Napoleon,excepted the Russians.In 1996,i have seen a french regiment of line s infantry,and when i tried to speak with them,i discovered that they were all English students.When i asked to them what did they think about Hudson Lowe,the keeper of Saint Helen,they answered:"he was a bastard ! ".Napoeon had won his ultimate battle,the battle of the memory.
 
Feb 2016
4,175
Japan
#6
P
In Boulogne sur Mer,where was prepared by Napoleon in 1805 the debarkment of England,there is each year a big military party parade with people of all Europe (Germany,Austria,Russia,Italia,Belgium,Holland etc …).They all want to carry the uniforms of the army of Napoleon,excepted the Russians.In 1996,i have seen a french regiment of line s infantry,and when i tried to speak with them,i discovered that they were all English students.When i asked to them what did they think about Hudson Lowe,the keeper of Saint Helen,they answered:"he was a bastard ! ".Napoeon had won his ultimate battle,the battle of the memory.
Probably 21eme.
They were the largest French unit in the UK around that time.
34eme and 54eme also existed but were small. 21eme was by far the largest ... but they were all outnumbered by British re-enactors.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
4,949
#7
At first Napoleon was admired by many intellectuals in the various germanic states. They were hoping for the defeat of royal absolutism. The princes of course were fearful of the results of the french revolution and therefore saw Napoleon as someone who would create insubordination within their own states.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,720
Portugal
#10
In Spain and Portugal they had the Enfrancados ... Spaniards and Portuguese who supported the French, for a variety of motivations. Most of these were exiled but ones caught in French uniform were shot.
The idea is exact, but pardon me to correct you since the word “Enfancados” doesn’t exist and is quite odd.

The “Afrancesados”, literally both in Castilian and Portuguese “the French ones”, was the depreciative name called to the supporters of the ideals of the French Revolution, and later of Napoleon, not for the same motifs. I think that you are correct for their exile for the Spanish, for the Portuguese case it was somewhat different: in the sequence of the first French (and Spanish) Invasion by Junot, in 1807/8, and the departure of the Court to Brazil, the Portuguese army in the continent was almost all disbanded by the French and was formed the Portuguese Legion in service of the French. This Legion soon departed from Portugal and was widely used by the French until 1814. Their officers were quite fond of the ideals of the French Revolution, and some were Masonic, like for instance the general Gomes Freire de Andrade, an officer in the Legion, returned to Portugal after the Napoleonic fall, and that in 1817 was arrested, had a simulation of a trial, and was executed, due an attempt of a Coup D’état in Portugal against Beresford, since the court was still in Brazil, and Beresford was the strong man in the continental Portugal.

The execution of Gomes Freire de Andrade led to a strong anti-British sentiment, and contributed later to Beresford downfall in Portugal in 1820.

Anyway the Afrancesados ideals were relevant in the Civil War that Portugal had between 1832-1834.
 

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