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The Genius Of Napoleon Essay

936 words - 4 pages

Napoleon Bonaparte once stated that “History is written by the winners”. History now remembers Napoleon as one of the greatest war generals of all time. From his early life, until his death, Napoleon displayed commendable military might on the battlefield. Having ever only lost two battles, Napoleon managed to bring Europe to its knees through his innovative military tactics and talent on the battlefield. Although Napoleon had many great victories, some historians argue that Napoleon was not a military genius, but rather he won his battles by luck. This viewpoint is invalid because Napoleon won over 50 battles in his lifetime, and most of his battles were against armies with superior numbers armies. Even Napoleon’s greatest rival, The Duke of Wellington, considered “Napoleon's presence in the field equal to forty thousand men”. Therefore, luck is a superficial factor, and we should accept that Napoleon was a military genius. The battles of Austerlitz, Marengo, and Pyramids were among the greatest displays of Napoleon’s military prowess. To fully understand the extent of Napoleon’s genius, analysis of the battles is required.

Firstly, the battle of Austerlitz is considered Napoleon’s masterpiece by many people, including him. This battle is significant because it was a great demonstration of Napoleon’s intelligence. Napoleon’s incredibly risky tactics and excessive cruelty during the battle, show just how far Napoleon was willing to go in order to achieve victory. Napoleon’s main tactic was extremely risky; it involved weakening his right flank and thus causing the enemy to concentrate their troops on the newly weakened side. Since the enemy moved their forces to the right, their center was exposed. Napoleon took full advantage of this, and concentrated the attack on the enemies’ exposed middle. Weakening the right flank was a very dangerous move, because it meant that the fate of the French army was completely dependent on the timing of his attack. If Napoleon launched his attack too early, the allies would have enough men in their center to defend the attack. If he launched his too late, his right side would be compromised and the Allies would be encircle the French. Napoleon ordered his army to attack when the time was perfect, and with “one sharp blow”, the war came to an end. Napoleon’s army devastated the Allies and caused them to fall back into full retreat. However, Napoleon did not show them any mercy, and in a cruel display of his desire to win, ordered his artillery to fire at the frozen lake that the Allies were retreating over, causing them to fall into their watery graves. After the battle, Napoleon gained so much respect from his enemies, that Tsar Alexander stated that the Allies were "babies in the hands of a giant." Napoleon’s ability predicted the Allies’ reaction to his complex plan, and...

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