Help support TMP

"Elite Units and Shock Tactics: How Napoleon (Almost)" Topic

8 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Napoleonic Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Book Review

470 hits since 14 Feb 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2020 9:21 p.m. PST

….Conquered Europe

"Most historians agree that Napoleon was not a great military innovator. Instead, he won his battles by brilliantly combining the innovations of others, such as Marshal de Broglie's system of military divisions, Jean de Gribeauval's standardized artillery, and the effective French infantry drill regulations of 1791. In this respect, Napoleon's military ideas were in line with the general direction of European military thought in the early nineteenth century. However, Napoleon did innovate in one significant way: while during the eighteenth century most European cavalry had cast off their armor, Napoleon was a fanatic for heavy cavalry, and re-established a massive corps of armored men on horseback, his elite cuirassiers and carabiniers. This seemingly anachronistic development was a key part of his military legacy, and should be remembered as one of his lasting contributions to military science…"
Main page


Murvihill15 Feb 2020 3:44 a.m. PST

Didn't even spell cavalry right.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2020 10:37 a.m. PST



SHaT198416 Feb 2020 1:58 p.m. PST

Well, just look at the comical source, when such 'authorative articles' based on snippets, whimsy and half-truths start with a base error "However, this would be the end of the age for such forces."

Try telling that to Crimean War, Franco-Prussian War, ACW and other combats in 'developing world' areas to historians and gamers, the house comes tumbling down…

Pass me a beer beer

Sparta17 Feb 2020 1:54 a.m. PST

Shat1984 – one up :-)

It is also ridiculous how tactical innovations are put as a reason for Napoleonic success, which was almost invariably achieved at the operational level.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2020 4:09 a.m. PST

Oversimplification is seldom helpful. And one aspect of the French tactical system is not the most important. It was the combination of the three combat arms that led to French tactical success.

And most of that evolved during the French reform period post-Seven Years' War. A new field artillery system, new infantry tactics, infantry/artillery cooperation, the development of the division and later the corps d'armee (which was Napoleon's development), the formation of the Cavalry Reserve (again Napoleon's development), and probably most importantly the development of the general staff and that was Berthier's accomplishment refined by Napoleon.

In short, it was a new system which allowed the operational flexibility, purpose, and functioning. The system development is key-not merely one of its components. The French institutionalized excellence which made them very difficult to defeat.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2020 10:17 a.m. PST



SHaT198417 Feb 2020 2:13 p.m. PST

+ his mantra- purpose, speed and logistical backup.
It didn't always pay off, but 'his' armies knew he'd have their back (ie support and sustenance) to make great advances and threaten the enemy status quo [thinking].

I believe ahem, 'other' armies have adopted such considerations much later in warfare… ;-)

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.