Napoleon vs Caesar:Who is the greatest general ever?

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Peter, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Napoleon vs Caesar:Who is the greatest general ever?


    Go through the military history of the world and one can find countless number of men who excelled in the art of war and showed great brilliance in the battlefield. People like Alexander,Ashoka,Charles Martel,Hemu,Joan of Arc,Genghis Khan were all known for their military prowess. However when it comes the greatest general the world has ever seen, usually two men come to our minds-------------> Napoleon Bonaparte and Julius Caesar. Their mastery of the battlefield has elevated them from mere generals to immortals. Their military tactics are still studied across the world. So I would humbly and politely ask all my DFI friends to say who is the greatest general ---------- Napoleon or Caesar?


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  3. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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  4. Ashutosh Lokhande

    Ashutosh Lokhande Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ceaser :thumb:
     
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  5. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Apple or pear, which is tastier?

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  6. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    It will be nice if there is poll here.

    Personally I would go for Napoleon Bonaparte. The man who defeated the British repeatedly and who slept only for five minutes on his horseback. Napoleon FTW.

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  7. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Napoleon Bonaparte Biography

    Napoleon Bonaparte, (French: Napoléon Bonaparte ; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) later known as Emperor Napoleon I, was a French military and political leader who is considered one of the most influential figures in European history.


    Born in Corsica and trained as an artillery officer in mainland France, he rose to prominence under the First French Republic. He distinguished himself as a military commander fighting in Italy. In 1799, Bonaparte staged a coup d’état and installed himself as First Consul; five years later he crowned himself Emperor of the French. In the first decade of the Nineteenth Century, he turned the armies of the French Empire against every major European power and dominated continental Europe, through a series of military victories – epitomised in battles such as Austerlitz. He maintained France’s sphere of influence by the formation of extensive alliances and the appointment of friends and family members to rule other European countries as French client states. It appeared that through Napoleon’s tactical genius, nothing could stop the French as they won a series of military victories.

    However, in 1812, the French invasion of Russia, led to a reversal of fortunes. His army succeeded in advancing to the outskirts of Moscow, but it was a hollow victory. The Russians had retreated into the interior, leaving a desolate and empty city. Cold and worn down with illness, his Grande Armée was forced into a long a painful retreat through the deep freeze of the Russian winter.

    In 1813, the Sixth Coalition defeated his forces at Leipzig, and the following year the Coalition invaded France, forcing Napoleon to abdicate and making him an exile in the island of Elba. However, less than a year later, Napoleon escaped Elba and dramatically returned to power. After his escape, an army was sent by Louis XVIII to arrest Napoleon, but, Napoleon was able to sway his former army and they dramatically joined up with Napoleon. On returning to power, Louis XVIII fled and Napoleon regained power. Almost straight away, he set off to try and defeat the coalition forces ranged against him, led by the Duke of Wellington. Napoleon sought to drive a wedge between the British and their Prussian allies and set off in hot pursuit. It was at Waterloo, in June 1815, that the Duke of Wellington, decided to turn and fight Napoleon. The Battle of Waterloo was a close run affair, with the outcome uncertain at one stage. But, the arrival of the Prussian army helped to swing the battle against the French, and Napoleon was eventually decisively beaten and ousted from power.

    Napoleon spent the last six years of his life under British supervision on the island of Saint Helena, where he died. His autopsy concluded he died of stomach cancer, though Sten Forshufvud and other scientists have since conjectured that he had been poisoned with arsenic.

    Despite his military prowess and empire building, he was also conscious of a more spiritual perspective on life.

    Napoleon scored major victories with a modernised French army and drew his tactics from different sources. His campaigns are studied at military academies the world over, and he is regarded as one of history’s great commanders. While considered a tyrant by his opponents, he is also remembered for the establishment of the Napoleonic code, which laid the administrative and judicial foundations for much of Western Europe.

    Napoleon was a colossal figure of nineteenth century Europe. He had an unfettered conviction in his own destiny and that of Europe. He paved the way for a very impressive modern European Empire. In doing so, he swept away much of the old feudal systems and customs of Europe. Napoleon helped to usher in a new era of European politics. He established a Napoleonic code of religious tolerance, rational values and a degree of liberalism. Yet, he was a man of paradoxes, his naked ambition led to costly wars with 6 million dead across Europe. His liberalism and tolerance was imposed with ruthless efficiency and conquest of foreign lands. Sri Aurobindo later summed up the paradox of Napoleon by saying ‘Napoleon was the despotic defender of democracy.’ Eventually, his ambition outreached his ability, leading to his humiliation in the severe Russian winter and later against the British at Waterloo.

    The Duke of Wellington, the British Commander at Waterloo was asked who he thought was the best General of all time. Wellington’s reply was revealing in its unmitigated praise for Napoleon.

    “In this age, in past ages, in any age, Napoleon!”-Duke of Wellington on the greatest general ever

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  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  9. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Julius Caesar Biography

    Julius Caesar, born in 100 B.C. and assassinated March 15, 44 B.C., held almost every position of importance in the Roman government during his lifetime. Among his positions, for example, were: Quaestor in Spain, where he settled both his own and Spain's financial problems (68 B.C.), Aedile (65 B.C.), Pontifex Maximus (63 B.C.), Praetor (62 B.C.), Governor of Further Spain (61 B.C.), member of the Triumvirate with Crassus and Pompey (60 B.C.), Consul and Governor of Cisapline Gaul, Province, and Illyricum (59 B.C.), Dictator (for eleven days, 49 B.C.), Consul, Dictator, and Imperator for life, Consul for the next ten years, then Dictator and Praefectus Morum for life (45 B.C.).

    After the formation of the Triumvirate, Caesar spent seven years, from 58 to 51 B.C. fighting in Gaul, Germany, and Britain. During that time, however, the Triumvirate disintegrated. Pompey bad married Caesar's daughter, Julia, and after her death (53 B.C.), Caesar's relation-ship with Pompey was weakened considerably. Also, Crassus was killed while fighting the Parthians (53 B.C.), and there remained only the violent rivalry between Caesar and Pompey. Pompey was leader of the senatorial party, but Caesar was immensely popular with the populace. And, to complicate the feud further, the Senate was afraid of Caesar; it so feared Caesar, in fact, that it tried to persuade him to disband his army. Caesar agreed to do so, but only if Pompey would also give up his. The Senate then responded with an order (illegal) that Caesar must disband his army. But the wily general defied the order and marched across the Rubicon (49 B.C.), and began a civil war that ended when he defeated Pompey on the plains of Parsalus (48 B.C.). After that battle, Caesar warred in Egypt, consorted with Cleopatra, and finally returned to Rome as dictator.

    Concerning his Commentaries, in all probability Caesar wrote the accounts on the Gallic War in 52 and 51 B.C., meaning of course that they were published at a particularly opportune time. After Crassus' death (53 B.C.), Caesar was enmeshed in the political struggles that ended in his absolute power, and the image of him revealed by the Commentaries — soldier, statesman, ruler — surely did much to insure the popularity he needed to win. But, though this text may have been prepared for popular consumption, it is still a historical document of major importance, for it was based on Caesar's own notes and battle reports and, in addition, it has been studied for centuries by students of literature and students of war. Both groups have profited by that study.

    The secrets of Caesar's great success — speed, supply lines, shrewd military tactics as opposed to brute strength and slaughter — are obvious to anyone who reads the Commentaries. And at the core of his success, probably, is celeritas. Caesar always traveled with amazing rapidity and his store of time saved frequently saved the battle. However, there is another kind of speed that is equally important: often he would make his decisions, act quickly, and gain the advantage of any opportunity that presented itself. An army does not accelerate by simply having its soldiers in good physical condition — there are other matters just as important. One of the themes regularly repeated in the Gallic Wars is the precaution Caesar took to maintain his food supply (and the precautions he took to restrict the enemy's), for he knew that unless supply lines were maintained, his soldiers' bravery and skill would mean nothing.

    Caesar's brilliance as a tactician also made a large contribution to his military successes. Notice while reading the Gallic Wars that he usually keeps units in reserve to assist Romans in difficulty or to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity. When he is faced by larger forces, common in most of the major battles, he deliberately maneuvers his troops into a dominating field so that the enemy's larger numbers are less efficient. Also, he often moves his army so that he has to fight only one group of the enemy forces at a time; besides this shrewd maneuvering, Caesar never attacks foolishly and always protects his rear.

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  10. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    French empire

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    Roman Empire
     
  11. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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  12. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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  13. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    I must say Caesar, Napoleon admired him. Greatest modern era European General ( in a broader sense ) is Hitler. He was an "adventurer-ruler" in the spirit of Napoleon and Caesar, last of that kind. Invention of atom bomb brought "adventurer-rulers" era to an end. Hitler is even bigger than Napoleon, he changed the world permanently. Current peace and prosperity is because of changes in the European power structures that were made after the WWII.

    ( bring on those nazi-accusations!;) ).
     
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  14. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Napoleon`s Greatest Moment: Battle of Austerlitz

     
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  15. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Caesar`s greatest moment: Battle of Alesia

     
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  16. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    Both of them cannot be compared, Europe during Ceasar is a mostly Barbaric and is easy to conquer, But for Napoleon there are British, Prussia, Russians, Austria and other major powers of Europe who can match the military might of French Army and battle tactics

    If we see the achievements of the two men, Julius Caesar wins over Nepolean.

    Since Julius Caesar established himself as the Emperor and Made Rome a strong Empire in the West.

    Where as Napolean even though won the hearts of many in France and other regions with his civil rights and astonishing victories could not reach his target of dominating Europe.

    On the individual level Napoleon gets the respect and admiration greater than Julius Caesar.

    Napolean grew from the ranks of artillary commander to the emperor of France, He has no royal blood line like Caesar. Napoleon dressed like normal soldier, lived the life of normal soldiers and on top of that he knew every soldiers names.


    People whether they are normal or Military men loved Napolean and fought for him, such is the karisma of this guy from Corsica, a small Island not even in France.

    There are lot of stories about him, how he galvanized French people.

    Even today French show lot of admiration and respect to this man.
     
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  17. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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  18. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    This battle is the testimony for the Brilliance of Napoleon !!
     
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  19. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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  20. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    this is the reason why I side with Napoleon. He defeated a mixed army of 4,00,000 Austrians,Prussians,Russians and British in the war of 3rd coalition. This battle was the most important battle of that war.

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  21. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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    dont know how to compare them they both are from different era, but Cesare was more shrewd and clever than Napoleon, Cesare was assassinated and Napoleon escaped an assassination attempt by his own trusted general. but napolean did make the mistake attacking a country at wrong time.
     
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