What do you think was Napoleon's most impressive battlefield victory?

What do you think was Napoleon's most impressive battlefield victory?

  • Arcole (1796)

    Votes: 1 3.2%
  • Rivoli (1797)

    Votes: 1 3.2%
  • The Pyramids (1798)

    Votes: 2 6.5%
  • Abukir (1799)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mount Tabor (1799)

    Votes: 1 3.2%
  • Marengo (1800)

    Votes: 1 3.2%
  • Austerlitz (1805)

    Votes: 18 58.1%
  • Jena (1806)

    Votes: 1 3.2%
  • Friedland (1807)

    Votes: 1 3.2%
  • Wagram (1809)

    Votes: 4 12.9%
  • Borodino (1812)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Dresden (1813)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Ch√Ęteau-Thierry (1814)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Vauchamps (1814)

    Votes: 1 3.2%
  • Ligny (1815)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    31
Mar 2016
457
Australia
#12
Am I the only one who finds Napoleon's operational maneuvers and campaigns more impressive than his battles ?
No, I would agree with that. The Italian campaign of 1796-7, and the Six Days campaign in 1814 are two of the most impressive and brilliantly executed campaigns of the Early Modern Era. Interestingly both involved Napoleon having a relatively small army (roughly 20,000-25,000 men) and being outnumbered in the larger theatre of war. Maybe that's just when he did his best.
 
Likes: Gvelion
Jan 2015
5,235
Ontario, Canada
#15
Wagram to be contrarian while still technically being a true statement. Now this is where I make a lecture about the need to focus on operations and campaigns rather than battles... just kidding. :D

Wow two other people voted for Wagram.
 
Jul 2018
249
London
#18
I am not surprised. I remember you having an essay on 1809 campaign.
1809 is impressive because it was fought against an enemy that was improving, with the necessity to coordinate a very large army and with the ability to overturn partial defeats. Austerlitz was a breeze in comparison; as soon as the Austro Russian started to move according to their plane, they were doomed.
 
Likes: Kotromanic
Jul 2018
427
Hong Kong
#19
I choose Rivoli. Despite of much smaller scope, it also meant that Napoleon had greater control over the battlefield with the enemy troops' movement largely perceivable on relatively smaller battlefield.

Napoleon perfectly grasped the sense of timing in the Battle of Rivoli. Sensing the urgency of Joubert's outnumbered troops, he acted without hesitance, rushed Massena's reinforcement forward to secure San Marco and drove Ocksay column down the Mt. Magnone, saving the dangerous right flank. Noticing Lusignan's Austrian division made a large detour in attempt of outflanking Napoleon from the far left, Napoleon quickly dispatched the 18th demi-brigade to "contain" those Austrian until he could finish the Austrian army at other fronts.

Then the left flank of Joubert was under heavy assault, Napoleon immediately turned his eyes westward and pushed more of Massena's reinforcement there and once again repelled the Austrian ferocious attack by swift concentration of large troops and thus neutralized the threat.

Afterward, Quasdanovich attempted to outflank Napoleon from the right side by marching alone the Adige bank towards Canale around the gouge, but Napoleon who already repelled the Austrian main attack at the front was able to concentrate the firepower on this "flanking troops", even deploying 15 pieces of cannons unleashing devastating canister shots upon the Austrians from the vantage point ; meanwhile, Joubert's division "counter-outflanked" Quasdanovich from the high ground at San Marco, soundly shattered that direction's Austrian army which was routed in panic !

Now both Austrian army's center and left flank were defeated and no longer a threat, Napoleon just leisurely took his time to deal with Lusignan's "flanking troops" which now finally reached the rear of Napoleon's army but extremely vulnerable as an isolated unit without other column's support....found himself "trapped" between the newly-arrived Rey Division and the Massena's Brune Brigade which had been curbing him before. Unquestionably, this isolated Austrian army was routed and even surrender en masse !!

Crushing the Austrian army's attempt of pincer envelopment by tactically focusing superior force at the critical point in the critical moment. Somehow I found that Napoleon's command in Rivoli even more dramatical and compact than Austerlitz, though which was a far more resplendent victory known by every single Napoleonic history learner on the earth.

In Rivoli, Napoleon showed the perfect talent in control of tempo and timing for the field battle by defeating the Austrian columns coming from three directions one after another.

Accordingly Napoleon mocked the Austrian after Lusignan's failed flanking manuever : "They really have no sense of timing."

With only 23,000 men, Napoleon scored a crushing and decisive victory over the 28,000-strong Austrian army with a series of brilliant tactical manuever, inflicted heavy losses of 14,000 men over the battered Austrian army while losing only 5,000 in total. It was no less impressive than Austerlitz.
 
Last edited:
Likes: Tuthmosis III
Oct 2011
3,738
the middle ground
#20
Now that is one excellent piece of reporting, Lord Tokugawa.

The only battles on this list I know in any detail would be Austerlitz and Borodino. Borodino was a rather unimaginative slugfest tactically speaking, certainly in comparison to Austerlitz, which as you said everyone knows: "We'll let them celebrate on the Pratzen Heights before we crush them..." If I felt confident enough to vote, it would be Austerlitz, but Rivoli as described is a clear example of grandmaster "chess" on a battlefield.
 

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