Thursday, 8 March 2012

In Praise of the Defeated

I have always been rather sceptical of Napoleon's greatness as a general.

He was the master of Forrest's maxim about getting their fastest with the mostest but if one looks at the Battle of Smolensk, you can't help but wonder at his sanity.

My reason for mentioning this iconoclasm is that I have been in search of suitable scenarios, and generally reading up on the history of the Peninsular war, and the thing that is most noticable is how few battles the French actually won. Whilst it is true that Napoleon was not commanding in many of these encounters, the noticable characteristic of the French victories was that they were generally outnumbering the enemy due to a strategic masterstroke (which is clearly the sign of good generalship) (but... yah no?).

Ok, in part this obseravtion is due to my seeking to understand the nature of the Spanish army I am in the process of building. But it is odd who history has dealt with the French army in the Penisula compared to the Spanish.


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