Napoleon Series Archive 2015

Re: Gueniffey, Bonaparte
In Response To: Re: Gueniffey, Bonaparte ()

Well, you've 'violated' Godwin's Law, equating the actions in the Napoleonic period with the slaughter of innocents and prisoners of war during War II in Europe. And in doing that you have shown your argument to be historically bankrupt.

I suggest that you have missed the point of the posting as well as the intent. What is usually the viewpoint when bringing up such events as the executions of parolees in Jaffa is to denigrate Napoleon, pure and simple. And whether or not the accusation is accurate. Seems to me what people don't know they either exaggerate or make up.

What people don't seem to understand sometimes is that combat is organized (sort of) chaos and those doing the marching and killing (who are usually ignored) can get out of hand or really angry and then get out of hand unless being firmly commanded. And when your own people are murdered or abused, revenge is a common occurrence.

If you've never been shot at and/or commanded troops you may not understand those facts. And applying early 21st century political correctness along the shock of the dilettante that people actually get killed during war, many times in large numbers, tends to distort the view of the period. Historical events should be viewed, or at least attempted to be viewed by the norms of the period. Executing parole violators was perfectly acceptable in ca 1800, just as other 'events' that are now outlawed were accepted. The murder of innocents in 1939-1945, as well as prisoners of war, were not. That is a very large moral difference.

Napoleon had no policy of murder, any more than Wellington did, but atrocities did occur under both of their watches. That is completely different from what occurred under the Germans in War II, or under Stalin in Russia against his own people and later against the Germans and eastern Europeans. The same goes for the Japanese in the Pacific.

If you wish to talk about period atrocities, I would suggest the Spanish and Turkish treatment of prisoners and the use of prison hulks for prisoners of war. And then we can discuss the 40,000 or so Portuguese who died of disease and starvation because of their forced evacuation into the Lines of Torres Vedras.

Messages In This Thread

Egypt and Jaffa ...
Re: Egypt and Jaffa ...
Roberts' view ...
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Dwyer's view ...
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The stocks of food etc ...
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Yes, let's stick to the substantive issue
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Re: The stocks of food etc ...
Gueniffey, Bonaparte
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Perhaps but the prostitutes Bonaparte
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To the best of my knowledge the Prussians
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Ceylon and Britain
Britain's emissary and governor ...
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Glass Houses...
I beg to differ ...
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I beg to differ too ...
Some references ...
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Thank you ...
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Invasions of Portugal
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Primary Source Material
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Grass Houses....
Spot On.
Napoleon's Egypt proclamation