All Napoleon Military

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  • Created on: 27-12-12 15:20
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Napoleon's Military
Received an excellent education at the expense of the French by attending the Ecole
Militaire in Paris. Here he trained as an artillery officer.
Warfare in the 18th century
This pressure consisted of men of firepower and most importantly , although clearly less
tangible, was superior morale. Men and horses in the battle of the Revolution and Napoleonic
period were frequently broken because of a psychological weakness.
Warfare was a complicated process in an age where communication was difficult. Supply,
transport and communication problems made the assembly of a large army very difficult
before the battle had even begun.
In one instance a group of infantry realising was under attack of cavalry formed a square.
Unfortunately, although the square bristled with bayonets, rain meant that the men were
unable to fire. Lancers were sent in and simply stabbed the infantry who were unable to
The quality of commanders varied considerably with armies being dominated by men who
owed their position to social status rather than competence.
Infantry were masters of the battlefield. They were the only units that could hold and take
Well motivated and trained infantry were a match for cavalry and artillery, however artillery
and cavalry could break them if their morale was broken.
Corps is a self-contained army with infantry, artillery, cavalry etc, 15,000-30,000 men
The Coalitions against France
1st Coalition 1792-97 ­ Austria, Prussia, Britain, Spain, Piedmont. (Revolutionary Wars)
2nd Coalition 1798-1801 ­ Russia, Britain, Austria, Ottoman Empire, Portugal, Naples, Vatican
(Egypt, Marengo)
3rd Coalition 1805 ­ Austria, Britain, Russia, Sweden (Austerlitz)
4th Coalition 1806-07 ­ Prussia, Saxony, Russia (Conquest of Prussia)
5th Coalition 1809 ­ Britain, Austria (War along the Danube, Peninsular campaign)
6th Coalition 1812-14 ­ Britain and Russia, joined by Prussia, Sweden, Austria, German states
(Invasion of Russia, Liberation of Germany 1813, Defence of France)
7th Coalition ­ Britain, Russia, Prussia, Sweden, Austria, German states (the 100 days
How effective were the French armed forces when Napoleon took power?
French army had changed since the onset of the Revolutionary Wars in 1793, Napoleon
would reap the benefit.
The levee on masse (conscription on a large scale) had produced a citizen army of
unprecedented size, by the end of 1793 one million men had been drafted into the army.
The motivation of these patriots, it is argued, also made a real impact.
By 1813 Napoleons army numbered in excess of 300,000.
As a young cadet, Napoleon also learned about changes in tactics dating back to 1791.
The French army rarely marched as one huge body of men, each corps of 15,000-30,000
men moved independently and quickly ­ probably at 15 miles a day.
How effective was Napoleon as a military leader?

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Napoleon apart was the talented application of old ideas and strategies to the problems he
faced, and the bonds of loyalty and genuine admiration that he forged with his men.
Napoleon had the ability to gain the respect , confidence and loyalty of his men.
It was we ­ Napoleon and his men ­ who would overcome the enemy.
One sergeant who marched with him said `Always the genius... with him we were always
sure of the victory in the end.…read more

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Some have criticised Napoleon for not giving him, rather than Ney, command because it is
unlikely that he would have made Ney's mistakes at Quatre Bras.
Lannes 1796-1809
Lannes began his life as an apprentice dyer.
He fought bravely and successfully in the Italian campaign of 1796 and in Egypt.
At Marengo in 1800 he did much to slow the Austrian advance.
He fought bravely at Austerlitz and Jena.…read more

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When facing the firing squad he gave the orders to fire himself.
Davout 1770-1823
Davout was of noble birth, but lacking in charm. He was a supporter of the Revolution.
He joined Napoleon in Egypt.
He corps marched 80 miles in 50 hours to arrive at Austerlitz in time to play a decisive role.
At Auerstadt his 26,000 men defeated 63,000 Prussians which surpassed Napoleon's
achievement a Jena.
At Wagram in 1809 he played a vital role driving back the Austrian left.…read more

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Napoleon placed the cannon at strategic points on the Rue de la Convention, loaded with
grapeshot and extra powder. When then mob was at point blank range he gave the order to
The mob dispersed, no casualties to the army, in Napoleon's report he gave no number but
inferred high mob casualties.
The Directory became the French Government of the Republic.
Napoleon was promoted to major general and head of the Army of the Interior.…read more

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Got 50 million francs in gold and silver coin or bullion:
o With the first installment received he paid his troops (better than the revolutionary
script they had been given previously as money).
o First sign of his practical leadership followed later by medals (colored ribbon) and
10 May 1796 Napoleon advanced on the rear guard of 9,000 Austrian troops under General
Called up his artillery, supervised the emplacement himself. Aimed the artillery too, a
corporal's job. Winnign over his men.…read more

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Crippled Austria but gave them the ability to come back and fight.
Egypt campaign 1798-1799
Napoleon believed himself to be amongst the great leaders of the past. Alexander the
Great, Caesar both had conquered Egypt.
Disrupt trade between Britain and India.
Directory wanted Napoleon away as he was a political threat.
Men wore European clothing in the harsh sun.
Reasons for success in battle:
o Mamelukes were cavalry and didn't use or understand firearms.…read more

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Ordering Desaix forward again, Napoleon supported the attack by having Kellermann's
cavalry assault Lattermann's left flank.
Desaix died. Battle was won.
The Austrians gave ground and retreated into packed ranks.
Melas decided his troops were beyond effectiveness and asked Napoleon for an armistice.
Austrians gave ground.
French troops were exhilarated yet Austrians demoralized and asked for an armistice the
next day.
Napoleon gave a lot of credit to Desaix and Kellermann. Fair to subordinates.…read more

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Napoleons own uniform was that of the Imperial Guard cavalry, on campaign it was the green
coat with the red facings and gold epaulets, he always wore this same faded green coat
infront of the troops.
No new weapons were introduced.
Emphasised on organisation, discipline, morale, training, hardening and better use of
Major innovation was to make the corps the standard unit of all arms, replacing divisions.
Why did war break out in 1805?
Napoleon seemed intent on provoking war on the continent.…read more

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Strongest army man for man in the 1700's.
1 in 25 men we in the army.
Fredrick the Great created Prussia's reputation.
Napoleon needs to beat Prussia to show that his army is better.
Gives Prussians Hannover so they don't ally with Britain.
Prussians didn't wait for the Russians which was naive as they year before at Ulm the
Austrians didn't wait for Russia and got defeated.
French sharpshooters aimed for Prussian generals so the army became unorganised.…read more



Does one really need to know this much detail?

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