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 3.1%
  • Rivoli (1797)

    Votes: 1 3.1%
  • The Pyramids (1798)

    Votes: 2 6.3%
  • Abukir (1799)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mount Tabor (1799)

    Votes: 1 3.1%
  • Marengo (1800)

    Votes: 1 3.1%
  • Austerlitz (1805)

    Votes: 19 59.4%
  • Jena (1806)

    Votes: 1 3.1%
  • Friedland (1807)

    Votes: 1 3.1%
  • Wagram (1809)

    Votes: 4 12.5%
  • Borodino (1812)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Dresden (1813)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Château-Thierry (1814)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Vauchamps (1814)

    Votes: 1 3.1%
  • Ligny (1815)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    32
Apr 2014
354
Istanbul Turkey
#21
Ulm Maneuver and Battle of Austerlitz. Although I consider French Emperor too overrated in romantic sense , I give his credit when due. In War of Third Coalition after he left from Boulogne with Grande Armee and let loose in middle of Germany , Austria and Bohemia in 1805 , he was masterful , manipulating everything , showing great strategic sense and exploited enemy mistakes very well
 
Jul 2018
496
Hong Kong
#22
In War of Third Coalition after he left from Boulogne with Grande Armee and let loose in middle of Germany , Austria and Bohemia in 1805 , he was masterful , manipulating everything , showing great strategic sense and exploited enemy mistakes very well
With Mack's gross incompetence in Ulm Campaign and the Russian Tsar's "capricious interference" in military decision that ruined Kutuzov's disposition, it certainly gave you the feeling that Napoleon "mastered" the game so much, but in fact, not at all...

First of all, the pursuit of the Russian army commanded by Kutuzov from Tyrol to Ulmutz was unsuccessful, partly attributed to Bagration's ferocious rear-guard action and Murat's foolishness deceived by the enemy ruse of false truce request. During the pursuit, the newly-formed French 8th Army commanded by Mortier suddenly met the tempestuous counter-attack from Kutuzov at Durenstein who turned around in attempt of eliminating that advancing-too-farther-and-vulnerable force with 3:1 numerical advantage ! Mortier was only saved by Dupont Division's timely arrival....prevented a potential disaster possibly comparable with Kulm in AD 1813...

Moreover, the French army advanced so deep into the hostile territory, already leaving substantial amount of garrison to protect his overextending line of communication and depots, meant that all the available troops he could garner was limited. With the failure of smashing Kutuzov's army before he could rendezvous with Buxhowden at Olmutz, Napoleon was actually the one in great disadvantage with finding himself seriously outnumbered (only had 53,000 men at disposal before he concentrated all the nearby force swelling to 73,000 men during the heated battle of Austerlitz) and lack of provision. But luckily, the enemy army's supply situation was no much better and thus offered battle, rendered Napoleon a golden opportunity to exert his tactical genius, thus forged his eternal fame at Austerlitz.

The Austrian chief-of-staff Weyrother devised a plan to "roll up" the entire French army by great flanking manuever. This might work if the French army was heavily outnumbered (in fact, the Allied army seriously underestimated Napoleon army's total number without calculating Davout and Bernadotte's troops rushing for aid) and the Allied army went smoothly for the offensive without the poor co-ordination and operation like what happened for Lichtenstein's troops during Austerlitz. The southern front around Telnitz and Sokolnitz might collapse if Davout's troops hadn't arrived timely or the Allied army performed better in executing their movement and offensive.

At last, Tsar Alexander I's "genuius intervention" for disrupting the 4th Column's deployment ensuring the defenselessness of Pratzan Height, which was then easily stormed and occupied by the French army thanks to such a grave mistake. In AD 9:00, the fog was dispelled as the sun rose, Soult's 4th Army decided the fate of the outcome by that moment.

In general, after the fall of Ulm to prior to Austerlitz, the situation wasn't easy for Napoleon, who really was not in dominant position to master the most part of situation.
 
Feb 2016
4,227
Japan
#25
You’d be right. But you could say that about almost any battle?
How much of Austerlitz was owed to Davout?
Ulm.. Bernadotte.etc.

it’s still Napoleon’s victory, and since it was a bounce back from near defeat it’s very great and heroic..

Not that Austerlitz wasn’t impressive.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,847
Sydney
#26
"Am I the only one who finds Napoleon's operational maneuvers and campaigns more impressive than his battles ? "
he certainly could move armies ,

While bowing to so much expertise ,
Am I the only one who think Napoleon battles post Austerlitz were a bit of a grind


Eylau was an unimaginative bloodbath fought in a blizzard
Borodino , idem , minus the snow
Leipzig saw Nap like a bear baited by dogs , running back and forth to end up in a pit in a static attrition battle .
 
Sep 2016
804
Georgia
#27
You’d be right. But you could say that about almost any battle?
How much of Austerlitz was owed to Davout?
Ulm.. Bernadotte.etc.

it’s still Napoleon’s victory, and since it was a bounce back from near defeat it’s very great and heroic..

Not that Austerlitz wasn’t impressive.
Not really. There is the difference between Austerlitz and Marengo. Desaix came to aid on his own initiative. Desaix moved towards sound of the guns. In Austerlitz Davout received orders from Napoleon before the battle to come and take his positions. Than Davout was fighting from the very beginning of the battle.

Melas was already celebrating a victory. When Desaix arrived, he reported to Bonaparte in person with the news that his force (6,000 men and 9 guns of Boudet's division) was not far behind. The story goes that, asked by Bonaparte what he thought of the situation, Desaix replied: "This battle is completely lost. However, there is time to win another."

Napoleon paid tribute to Desaix by erecting monuments to him, one on the Place Dauphine and the other in the Place des Victoires in Paris.

What Bernadotte had to with Ulm exactly ? Napoleon sent Bernadotte towards Munich.
 
Last edited:
Sep 2016
804
Georgia
#28
Eylau was an unimaginative bloodbath fought in a blizzard
Borodino , idem , minus the snow
Leipzig saw Nap like a bear baited by dogs , running back and forth to end up in a pit in a static attrition battle .
Well, those were not only battle that Napoleon had after Austerlitz.

At Friedland Napoleon showed quick thinking and ability to recognizing various qualities of terrain.

At Wagram Napoleon ingeniously dealt with the problems that occurred during the battle and still managed to retain reserves for possible arrival of Archduke John with 13 000 men.

Napoleon had good ideas at Lutzen and Bautzen, but just couldn't manage to execute them fully. He almost did actually. Especially at Bautzen where Napoleon fooled Allies into reinforcing their left wing by his feint attack.

However, competence and experience of his opponents was increasing. Military reforms took place in Austria, Prussia and Russia as well.

It is also much harder to do flashy maneuvers with more than 130 000 men at your command on the battlefield than with 30 000.
 

Mangekyou

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
7,884
UK
#29
Definitely Arcole. The Italian campaign was Napoleons best, imo.

The French were in trouble leading up Arcole, and Alvinczy had repulsed the French already at Bassano (Napoleon) and Caldiero (forget the French commander here).
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,544
US
#30
While Austerlitz and Jena are well known, I chose a more obscure battle, early in Napoleon's career: Mount Tabor. Being so outnumbered and having to literally ride in and save the day, Napoleon showed his cleverness by using a raid of the Ottomans camp to divert and deceive them.
 

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