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Published on September 27, 2007

Author: Florence

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Slide1:  Napoleon I Emperor of France 1769 - 1821 Learning Objectives:  Learning Objectives List the tactics Napoleon generally employed. Be familiar with the Battles of Ulm, Austerlitz, and Waterloo. Be familiar with the Italian, Spanish, and Russian campaigns. Know who Clausewitz and Jomini were. List Napoleon’s contributions to modern military theory. 'As a rule it is easy to find officers, but it is sometimes very hard to find non-commissioned officers.‘ Napoleon French Revolution:  French Revolution Louis XVI executed in 1789 Revolutionaries opposed to monarchy and promise to “liberate” their neighbors. 2/3 of officers removed/departed 67 generals killed in 1794 Commission/promotion based on merit. More soldiers, more unified/greater common purpose. Napoleon:  Napoleon Artilleryman promoted from Captain to Brevet Brigadier General. Won acclaim in Toulon in 1793. Defended the French government by using cannons agianst mobs in 1795. Student of the military art Voracious reader Napoleon’s Tactics:  Napoleon’s Tactics Reconnaissance Find gaps with skirmishers. Concentrate artillery fire on the gaps. Weight “main effort” Pour exploitation force through the gap. Reinforce success, not failure Pursue with mobile forces. Strategic offense and tactical defense. Sought to do more than just attrite the enemy. Corps D’Armee:  Corps D’Armee Main tactical organization Capable of independent maneuver/battle Infantry, artillery, cavalry Make contact, then hold on until reinforced. Heavy cavalry “corps” as Army reserve. Held for commitment at the decisive point. New methods for logistical support enabled army to move more quickly with greater security. Campaigns:  Campaigns Italy Austria Spain Russia Italian Campaign:  Italian Campaign OJT Invaded Italy with 45k in 1796 Secured 12 victories in 12 months Rapid maneuver To and in battle Concentrated his mass against enemy weaknesses Interior lines Flexible maneuver Revolutionary politics appealed to Italians Ulm:  Ulm Emperor Napoleon French have seven corps spread over a 100 mile front. All converge on Ulm. Converge between Russians and Austrians. Austrians surrender 27 thousand troops without a fight. Epitome of maneuver warfare… Austerlitz December 1805:  Austerlitz December 1805 Napoleon realizes he can’t defeat England, so he looks to the East for greater glory. Russia + Austria = 89k France 73k Plans to lure Russians into premature attack by creating appearance of a weak front and exposed flank. Surprise Russians with arrival of Davout. Marched 140km in 48 hours to join the battle. Russians take bait and attack French right Austerlitz (cont):  Austerlitz (cont) Orders his left to hold. With both Allied flanks busy, he launches his main effort (Soult) against their center, splitting the enemy force. Column under Bernadotte pushes through the hole and encircles Allied right; French left drives forward and squeezes. Soult starts behind Russian left and Russians break and retreat. Tactical victory that secured strategic victory. Slide15:  Lake Mtns French Russians Slide16:  Russians Soult Lannes/Murat Legrand Slide17:  Soult Lannes/Murat Bernadotte Legrand Russian Right Russian Left Davout Spanish Campaign:  Spanish Campaign Conquered Portugal in 1807; Spain in 1808. Spanish populace was hostile. Guerilla warfare Locals provide intelligence. Difficult to distinguish guerillas from civilians. French (conventional) tactics vs. Spanish (guerilla) strategy Surfaces and gaps? Entry of British regular forces eventually tipped the scales in favor of the Spaniards. Russia:  Russia Napoleon moves west with army of 500 –600k in June 1812 Several battles (Smolensk, Borodino), but movement inflicts significant casualties as well Russians leave nothing of use in wake of their retreat Weather (rain followed by heat) makes life miserable Moscow:  Moscow "You are afraid of falling back through Moscow, but I consider it the only way of saving the army. Napoleon is a torrent which we are as yet unable to stem. Moscow will be the sponge that will suck him dry." --Russian Commander Kutuzov 1812 Russians torch Moscow as the French enter in Sept 1812. City of 250k has only 25k when French arrive. Napoleon’s army is exhausted and has no means to support itself. Napoleon is anxious about being away from Paris for too long a period. After occupying the city for a month, the decision is made to return to France before winter. The Long Road Home:  The Long Road Home Napoleon chooses to use route of advance as route of return. Nothing left to forage. Pursued by Russians. Morale continues to fall. 30k unburied bodies from Battle of Bordino six weeks prior. Temps = 20 below zero. Arrives in Poland mid-December with an army less than 10% the size of the one that departed. The End of the Emperor:  The End of the Emperor Exiled to Elba, but escapes Not well, mentally or physically. Reforms army (70-74k) Wants to press attack before allies can mass. British and allies withdraw to Brussels/Waterloo British, German, Dutch, Belgian, Prussian (58-67k) Battle of Waterloo:  Battle of Waterloo 16-18 June 1815 Fog and Friction are the order of the day(s). Confusing terrain Prussians delayed by weather, but French forces sent to attack them never make contact. Allied cav counterattacks a disintegrating unit, but gets carried away and is decimated when it ends up in a solid part of the French lines. Allied cav unable to charge because another allied unit is retreating and spreading word that French had “won”. “Apparently towards the end everyone was so tired, the cavalry and the men in the squares merely stood and stared impotently at each other.” Waterloo (cont):  Waterloo (cont) Wellington chose easily defended ground to fight on. Battle see-saws back and forth, with both sides on the verge of victory at various points. Shortly before nightfall, Allies finally press through and route French. One of bloodiest battles of history. Estimated over 60k killed. 45k dead and wounded in 3 square mile area. Wounded left on battlefield for days. Napoleon exiled (again). Napoleon and the Principles of War:  Napoleon and the Principles of War Maneuver Strategic and tactical “…aptitude for war is aptitude for movement…victory is to the armies which maneuver.” “He (Napoleon) makes us use our legs instead of our bayonets.” French troops at Ulm Particularly favored flanking attacks and envelopment. Masterful use of interior lines to defeat the enemy in detail. Objective Always sought the main body of his enemy Napoleon and the Principles of War:  Napoleon and the Principles of War Offensive “…one should always be the first to attack.” “Make war offensively.” Surprise Sought to exploit its morale effects. Economy of Force Counted on small numbers of of troops in defensive posture to stop or delay larger numbers of enemies, while he concentrated maximum combat power against the most critical or most vulnerable portion of the enemy’s forces. Napoleon and the Principles of War:  Napoleon and the Principles of War Mass "When you have resolved to fight a battle, collect your whole force. Dispense with nothing. A single battalion sometimes decides the day." “God is on the side of the heaviest battalions” Relative mass: sought to gather greater force at the decisive point. Unity of Command “First necessity in war.” Govt should “…only provide him with the aim he should attain.” Foundation of his greatest successes and his downfall Clausewitz and Jomini :  Clausewitz and Jomini Clausewitz Prussian officer during Napoleonic period. Wrote On War Philosophical analysis of war. Discusses impact of politics, chance, and human nature on warfare. Covered all levels of war. Jomini French officer during Napoleonic period. Staff officer to Napoleon. Wrote Summary of the Art of War Scientific analysis of war. Focused on strategic level of war. Promoted methods practiced by Napoleon. “Textbook” for US Civil War. Success or Failure?:  Success or Failure? Won many victories at the tactical AND strategic level, but was ultimately defeated. Was never able to defeat or reach compromise with England Changed focus from enemy forces to geography. Over-centralization of command His army grew, but his staff didn’t Staff he did have was not involved in planning. Victim of his own success. Enemy adapted; Napoleon didn’t. Army too big to manage. Ego? "I should have conquered the world." Napoleon’s Contributions :  Napoleon’s Contributions Implementor vs. creator/innovator Corps Increased ability to maneuver; esprit Planning Studied his opponents and options and developed contingencies. Proper prior planning prevents…. Esprit/Morale “All men who value life more than the glory of the nation and the esteem of their comrades should not be members of the French army.” “It is not the number of the troops that gives strength to an army, it is their loyalty and good humor.” For Further Study:  For Further Study Napoleon as a Military Commander http://www.napoleonseries.org/research/napoleon/c_genius.html Napoleon and Military Innovation http://www.napoleonseries.org/military/organization/c_rma.html

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