Jump to content
Soviet.ie | Sóivéid.ie
Sign in to follow this  
Guest Scáthach

Napoleon Bonaparte?

Recommended Posts

Guest Scáthach

Could anyone recommend some good accounts on the life of Napoleon Bonaparte? There are so many I don't know where to start.

 

Also, since when did posts require approval from a moderator?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They shouldnt need approval - maybe this forum is set up wrong.  I'll look into it.

 

As for Napoleon, I'd like to find a good book on him myself - also on Robespierre.  Its even impossible to get a good book on Stalin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could anyone recommend some good accounts on the life of Napoleon Bonaparte? There are so many I don't know where to start.

 

Also, since when did posts require approval from a moderator?

Dreams of Empire: Napoleon and the First World War by Paul Fregosi is pretty good.  My brother got it for me for Christmas 1992.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Scáthach

They shouldnt need approval - maybe this forum is set up wrong.  I'll look into it.

 

As for Napoleon, I'd like to find a good book on him myself - also on Robespierre.  Its even impossible to get a good book on Stalin.

 

Someone else recently recommended me 'Napoleon: A political life' by Steven Englund. I myself looked around and eventually decided on 'Napoleon Bonaparte: An Intimate Biography' by Vincent Cronin. It's said to be the most positive work on him in recent years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a bit of a soft spot for old Boney and feel he gets a bad rap mainly due to British propaganda.  Sure he was an imperialist but so too were his enemies and he was very progressive compared to say Czarist Russia, Spain and Britain.  France at that time, even Imperial France, was seen by many as a progressive force that still maintained the Enlightenment.  Many of those that opposed him did so from a reactionary position only.  After Austerlitz (I think) he was cheered by the masses as he entered Vienna even though he had just crushed the Austrian army.  Commentators at the time believed the enthusiasm of the crowd to be genuine.  The French army promoted to the highest rank due to ability rather than the more common European system of the wealthy being able to buy position.  Another of my favourite generals, Soult, enlisted as a private and rose to the rank of Marshall of The Empire the only rank above that was Emperor.

 

If only Napoleon could have seen what was happening to Marshall Ney on the left flank of Waterloo then all of history would have been changed.  Ney was a genius cavalry commander that Napoleon himself dubbed "Le brave des braves" (the bravest of the brave) but he seems to have had little consideration for infantry.  He led his troops into dozens of fruitless cavalry charges against well formed British squares which even the most novice of military history enthusiasts will tell you is asking for triouble.  But he did lead from the front and he claimed that he had fired the last shot in Russia during the infamous 1812 retreat from Moscow.  A couple of guns and a battalion of the Old Guard being masked by Ney's cavalry on that left flank would probably have won the day and the war for Napoleon at Waterloo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×