Napoleon Series Archive 2003

Re: Great men and those who are just timely?

Interesting topic and list. It sometimes seems that this period abounds with "great men", but perhaps that's just because we're looking at it rather closely?

Napoleon was obviously an outstanding figure in history. While he couldn't have done what he did without others, he was a man who was exceptional among his contemporaries - a talented general of exceptional ambition and ruthlessness (yes, I know that some aren't going to like that) - his comebacks from exile and abdication are in themselves exceptional, and were partly possible because of his ability to inspire his men. He was clearly an unusually charismatic personality (not always a good thing).

Wellington seems to me to be consistently underrated in these discussions. I hate to mention it, but the Iron Duke did have rather a conspicuous role to play in the defeat of the great Napoloeonic hero. He, too, had men of considerable ability with him - Moore, Paget, Beresford, etc - but he was a general of outstanding ability, who controlled his armies and battles much more single-handedly than most (whether you think that's a good thing or not). I do think that without Wellington, it would have been very hard to defeat Napoleon. How would they ever have got his armies out of the Peninsula?

I think with the exceptional figures it's usually an unusual combination of fine qualities that make them unique. I've sketched a few of Napoleon's. Here's Paget's (Wellington's Peninsular War) good analysis of some of Wellington's:

a. Mentally and physically extremely tough
b. Self-confident, bold, long-sighted
c. Tremendous grasp of detail, and practical
d. Close personal control, eye for detail. Led from the front.
e. Took great care of his troops.

Debits
Inabilty to delegate, aloof and severe at times.

Won because:
a. Planned ahead and fought on his own terms
b. Close control of battles and effective reactions
c. Read opponents' minds
d. Organised and trained a high-class army.

Cheers
Caroline

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Great men and those who are just timely?
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Re: Great men and those who are just timely?
Robespierre
Re: Robespierre
Re: Robespierre
Re: Robespierre
Re: Robespierre's motives
Talents appear in crisis and radical change
Re: Talents appear in crisis and radical change
Re: Talents appear in crisis and radical change
Re: Some are born great?
Re: Some are born great - but don't realize it
Others have greatness thrust upon them.
Re: Others have greatness thrust upon them.
Re: Others have greatness thrust upon them.
Re: Others have greatness thrust upon them.
Re: Talents appear in crisis and radical change
Re: Talents appear in crisis and radical change
Re: Talents appear in crisis and radical change
Re: Talents appear in crisis and radical change
Re: Talents appear in crisis and radical change
Re: Timing is everything
Re: Timing is everything
Re: Casey at the Bat
Napoleon's I.Q.
Re: My Dad's Smarter Than Your Dad
Correction to Web address!
Re: My Dad's Smarter Than Your Dad
Re: My Dad's Smarter Than Your Dad
Re: My Dad's Smarter Than Your Dad
Re: My Dad's Smarter Than Your Dad
Re: My Dad's Smarter Than Your Dad
Re: Napoleon's I.Q.
Re: Napoleon's I.Q.
I.Q. & military ability