Napoleon fought 60 battles and lost only 7. He is the man who laid the foundations of modern France.
What gives a sovereign the nickname “The Great”? Alexander, Alfred, Charles, Peter, Frederick and Catherine were all great historical figures of their time.
Still, it’s not hard to think of others with similar influence or importance, and in fact they are often people who are a bit better (at least by modern standards) but lack this. that we call.
Frederick Barbarossa, Henry II and Elizabeth I of England, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (who ruled more European territories than anyone between Charlemagne and Napoleon), “Sun King Louis XIV, and more.
So why does this Napoleon deserve this nickname?
Napoleon Bonaparte is the man who laid the foundations of modern France and his name is associated with an era called Napoleon.
After only six years as a penniless political refugee in France, he came to power in a military coup, and for the rest of his life his character was primarily that of an army officer.
Much has been written about the Corsican substance in him, his petty aristocratic origins, the Enlightenment thought he absorbed, as well as his inspiration from the ancient world, but it was his growing years at the military school of Brienne and the Military Academy who really influenced him the most, and from the peculiarities of the military environment, he established his beliefs and assumptions. .
The military instilled in him a strong belief in the importance of applied intelligence, ability-based hierarchies, law and order, hard work, mental strength and physical courage, as well as contempt for interested lawyers and politicians.
Despite his theoretical status as an aristocrat, the Revolution saw him enthusiastically adopt his initial principles of equality before the law, rational government, meritocracy and powerful nationalism, all of which fit very well with his assumptions about what would benefit the nation. ‘French army.
On the other hand, income equality, social disorder, representativeness and freedom of the press (which he saw as a license to promote rebellion) all seemed to him to contradict military morality. .
Even during his brief Jacobin period, he never embraced egalitarianism. And as a French officer imbued with military ethos, he rises, proves his usefulness to the Revolution, takes power and then maintains his hold.
Any general – the rank Napoleon attained at the age of 24 – must ultimately be judged by the result of his battles.
Although his conquests ended in defeat and humiliating imprisonment, during his brief but active military career Napoleon fought 60 battles and sieges and lost only seven times – Acre, Aspern-Essling, Leipzig, La Rothière, Lân, Arcis and Waterloo.
Napoleon’s fighting skills as well as his ability to make decisions on the battlefield were extraordinary. Walking on the field in 53 of his 60 battlefields, I have often been amazed by his intuitive sense of the terrain, his finesse in the evaluation of distances and the choice of positions, his sense of time.
“There is a point in battle when the smallest movement is decisive and gives the advantage,” he once wrote. “It was the drop that started the overflow.”
He certainly never lacked confidence in his abilities as a military commander. In Saint Helena, when asked why he had not taken the sword of Frederick the Great during his visit to the palace of Sanssouci (Innocent), he replied: “Because I have mine” . (In fact, he brought Frederic’s sword back to the Invalides.)