Napoleon Series Archive 2005

Plans and Armies...

Marc,

With the ability to raise a large army for 1813 and having a large one in Spain (175-200,000), the idea that the game was up immediately after Russia is suspect.

The Russians were hurt just as bad as the French in Russia. If not exactly, then close.

I also think that French losses on the way in need to be revisited. Most people tend to overlook two things-the number of troops used on the line of communications as garrisons and the number that were sent back as cadres for the next year (though relatively speaking, that had to be somewhat small). Further, the logistics part of the campaign needs a study of its own.

Napoleon clearly attempted a campaign beyond his means. Space and time were the big enemies, and his failure to trap the Russians inside the frontier in reality meant the campaign was over. However, I have never seen, and I doubt there is one, of a plan to lure the French deeper into Russia. Clausewitz doesn't mention it. After the idea of Drissa failed, the Russians were clearly at a loss at what to do. Kutusov didn't want to fight at Borodino, but there really wasn't much choice. Alexander took a stand because he knew that he might end up like his father if he didn't.

There were two mistakes that decided the 1813 campaign: Napoleon's choice for independent commanders in the theater and his refusal to pull back in Spain and bring at least half of the veterans into Germany. If those two issues had been resolved, Napoleon probably would have won in 1813.

The game wasn't over by any stretch of the imagination, though it is popular with some to think that these days.

Sincerely,
Kevin

Messages In This Thread

The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire
Re: The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire
Re: The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire
Re: The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire
Re: The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire
Re: The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire
Re: The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire
Re: The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire
Re: The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire
Re: The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire
Re: The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire
Re: The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire
A quote from Napoleon
Plans and Armies...
Re: Plans and Armies...
Re: Plans and Armies...
Barclay
Re: Plans and Armies...
Re: Plans and Armies...
Re: Plans and Armies...
Re: Plans and Armies...
Re: Plans and Armies...
Re: Plans and Armies...
Re: Plans and Armies...
Re: Plans and Armies...
Russian myths
Re: Russian myths
Re: Plans and Armies...
Re: Plans and Armies...
Re: The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire
Re: The Decline And Fall Of Napoleon's Empire