Napoleonic generals (but less obviously so)


Book Reviewer
Evening all,

The ‘Waterloo 1815’ thread running over in the NAAFI got me thinking (always a bad sign) of those less celebrated Napoleonic era generals. Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, the Prussian loony :D gets more than a few mentions over there and whilst I realise he is well celebrated, the majority of the views on show were very pro-Wellesley or anti-Napoleon.

Which generals of the time to you regard as overlooked by history in the greater scheme of things? I'm thinking along the lines of Sir John Moore or Marshal Suchet.

I’d, obviously from the avatar, go for Archduke Charles of Austria; a fine commander and the first man to hand the Grande Armée a defeat at Asspern-Essling.

Whom else apart from the obvious (Napoleon & Wellington) do you rate or think has been dealt a dodgy hand by history?
Patently, Prince Mikhael Barclay de Tolly. Latterly Russian Field Marshall and Minister for War (2nd generation Scot) whose tactics, military nous and sheer common sense led to the Small French Chap getting a serious cuffing!

'Mon the Jocks

Declared interest: Aut Agere Aut Mori


Book Reviewer
I must say that the thought of your clan member and Prince Bagration also entered my head when I was composing the post ;)
General Sir John Moore...For no other reason than it was he who organised and created what we consider the "Modern Soldier". An individual who could take it upon himself to act with independent thought and became a self reliant unit amongst the whole. This allowed the British army to become the most flexible in the world, and the most adaptable to their surroundings. Enabling them to conquer two thirds of the worlds land mass...He also fed, clothed and Paid him correctly for his services!!

Marsall Soult was one of Napoleons best because he realised that to win a war, you may have to lose a battle. He never sacrificed more troops than was necessary to achieve his aims and always ensured his army was catered for in all respects...Unfortunately, he came up against "The Iron Men Of The Peninsular" who clarified for him his belief that Frances best were not always enough...Especially at Talavera in 1809, where we bested their best for the first time...All may be dead and Nog may have lost a leg , but Sillery's Bty will hold them...Hurrah!! 200 Years on the 27-28 July 2009.

Edited to add...That Sir John Moore was killed at Corunna in 1808 and was buried in the ramparts of the town. Of real interest is the respect that the French had for him as a soldier...When they captured the town Marshall Soult had a monument built over his grave in his honour.

I think that speaks volumes for both men.
Marshal Augereau, Napoleon's street fighter promoted from the ranks who played a significant part in the victory at Jena and proved just as capable as one of the first "generals of logistics".

And from the other side the incomparable "Bear and Ragged Staff", General Picton, a great Brirish eccentric and soldier.
Henry William Paget - Lord Uxbridge. An excellent Cavalry Commander and brilliant elan - I mean FFS he sh@gged and the burggered of with Wellingtons sister in law.

Uxbridge "By God Sir, I've lost my leg"

Wellington "By God Sir, so you have"

I do so hope that conversation was true :D

I always felt that Marshal Ney had style, following Napoleon's defeat, Ney was arrested and tried for treason. He was found guilty and condemned to be executed by firing squad. Apparently he refused a blindfold and took charge of proceedings telling the firing squad:-

"Soldiers, when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It will be my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles for France, and not one against her ... Soldiers, Fire!"

For a cheese-eating surrender monkey the bloke had some style!

Similar threads

Latest Threads