Napoleon Series Archive 2015

Napoleon and treason

I cannot share your conclusions there they are based on the usual topic of treason, this is old, Napoleon himself put it up in his two published works after the battle - in the first it was Grouchy and the panic of the French Army - in the second Ney is added and excusions are constructed to cover the fact that

1. Napoleon did not anticipate that Wellington would give battle at the 18th
2. Napoleon was surprised by the Prussian army at 16:00

In the second work Napoleon likes to cover this facts by obstruse argumentation, like seeing an illumination of camp fires instead of the torrential rain (which he admits himself) - implying that he did some sort of reconaissance which he did not.

The day of the 18th becomes cristal clear - and why Grouchy was where he was - when one has to accept that

point 1 and 2 above are vaild - and indeed Coppens as well as Béraud amply demonstrates this in their excellent works.

Your opinion is, that Napoleon was as agile as ever and did foresee a lot of alternatives and was prepared for everything. My conclusion is another, he is to blame entirely on the loss of the campaign due to misreading the manoeuvres of the Allies as well as underestimating totally Wellington and as well as Blücher and the resillience of the Prussian Army, the consequence was utter defeat.

Your construction is that Soult - and other traitors played a heavy hand in the defeat of Napoleon who was as brilliant as ever, I cannot share this.
Neither do I see any motivation of Soult to betray Napoleon, he was now after Napoleon the most important man in the French army, what should he gain by treason?
Napoleon still - in case he would act as well as in his young days - had very good options on the 16th - and on the 18th to win tactical victories, for the campaign itself it would bear no consequences because he Allies would have crushed him later.

So there is a traitor shift from Grouchy to Soult, I understand why this treason is so favourable especailly in French circles because it is another attempt to distract from the incompetence of Napoleon.

Messages In This Thread

The Waterloo Campaign - Waterloo and Grouchy
Napoleon and treason
Re: Napoleon and treason