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"The story of Napoleon - 6 part radio" Topic


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622 hits since 2 Sep 2023
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olicana02 Sep 2023 6:34 a.m. PST

On BBC Sounds (the BBC's listen anytime online service), as part of their "Real Dictators" series, the story of Napoleon in six 50 minute episodes (has no adverts, hence 50 minutes not an hour).

bbc.co.uk/sounds

ConnaughtRanger03 Sep 2023 1:24 p.m. PST

It's Andrew Roberts who, like a couple of people on here, thinks Bonaparte was the greatest person to draw breath in the history of life on Planet Earth.

arthur181504 Sep 2023 6:18 a.m. PST

But has anyone told Brechtel that Napoleon is featured in a series on 'Real Dictators'?

olicana04 Sep 2023 6:22 a.m. PST

I don't know about the greatest person in history but, he's up there in contention.

Gazzola04 Sep 2023 10:58 a.m. PST

Some people just can't accept that Napoleon was great and immortal. He made history while other lesser mortals like Welly relied on him to make a meagre name for themselves. They should try taking their silly Union Jack blinkers off and stop being so biased. After all, Waterloo will always be an allied victory, so need to panic. LOL.

Gazzola04 Sep 2023 11:00 a.m. PST

Good post olicana. Well spotted.

14Bore05 Sep 2023 2:10 a.m. PST

As said of Cromwell
He was a great bad man

Rosenberg05 Sep 2023 11:06 p.m. PST

How is he remembered in France for the battles or the civil reforms?

olicana06 Sep 2023 1:06 a.m. PST

They brought him home (20 years after he died the British had refused until then) and interred his body in the Les Invalides. On his return the streets thronged with 1,000,000 people in celebration.

Today he is said to be the second most popular historical figure in France. The man they love to hate and hate to love. I presume the most popular is De Gaulle who they probably regard in the ambiguous manner. History will tell but, I bet Napoleon gets to number 1 it in the end.

Mostly, I think he is regarded for his ambition especially regarding the Code Napoleon (still the basis of French law) and the organisation of a future Pan-European superpower and his astonishing intellect.

ConnaughtRanger06 Sep 2023 6:45 a.m. PST

Would have been 2,000,000 thronging the streets but the rest were in makeshift graves from Moscow to Cadiz.

olicana07 Sep 2023 4:36 a.m. PST

I would rather have Napoleon as my Emperor than Wellington as my Prime Minister. Wellington was an ar se h o le as a civic figure.

Gazzola26 Sep 2023 4:21 a.m. PST

Quite right olicana. Smelly Welly was loved so much they had to put metal protection over his windows.

Gazzola26 Sep 2023 4:29 a.m. PST

ConnaughtRanger- nothing to do with the good I
old greedy Brits constantly funding other nations to wage war then? LOL.

arthur181526 Sep 2023 7:25 a.m. PST

The other nations could, had they wished, have refused to take British money and not gone to war. Britain could not have forced them to do so. Therefore, if you think the Allies had no valid reason to go to war against Napoleon, you cannot blame Britain alone.

Gazzola15 Oct 2023 5:16 a.m. PST

Can't force them! LOL Try telling that to the Danes at Copenhagen.

arthur181515 Oct 2023 8:50 a.m. PST

Gazzola, your comparison is invalid. Britain attacked Denmark to prevent its fleet being used in alliance with the French, not to force the Danes to take British money and enter into an alliance with Britain against France. There is no way Britain could have taken similar effective military action against Austria or Prussia that would have forced either of those countries to fight against Napoleon if they did not choose to do so.

Gazzola25 Oct 2023 3:25 a.m. PST

arthur1815

Always an excuse for Brits. You need to remove your Union Jack blinkers. Britain attacked a neutral nation and deliberately bombed civilians. The Danes refused their 'offers' but the Brits did not like that, so bombed them instead.

It is an example of what the Brits WOULD do if they didn't get their way. I can't imagine the Napoleonic Brits just accepting peace had the allies refused their mercenary money and refused to fight and cause more deaths. But as the saying goes, money talks! In 1815 the allies refused to march against Napoleon unless Britain paid them up front. I can imagine what certain people would say had Napoleon paid countries to go to war with Britain! LOL

arthur181526 Oct 2023 12:36 p.m. PST

Gazzola, you seem to suggest that the Allies did not want to go to war with Napoleon but only did so because they were offered money. There is nothing wrong in supporting an ally with war material or money to prosecute a war – or do you believe the UK should not support Ukraine? that the USA should not have given the UK Lend Lease in WWII?
I would have no problem with Napoleon giving money to any country that had willingly entered into an alliance with France to help its war effort. But, his 'allies' were mostly countries he had defeated and then compelled to join his Continental System; when they had the opportunity to accept British money and fight him, they took it – even his own father in law. Surely that tells you something?
As for the Allies refusing to march unless Britain paid up front, that was just common sense and mobilising would cost money.

Gazzola01 Nov 2023 11:45 a.m. PST

'Common sense' LOL So if Napoleon goes to war he's a baddy who causes death but if the Brits and the allies go to war it's common sense! And they so wanted to go to war they refused to er, actually do so, unless, er, Britain agreed to pay them to do so. I think that proves my point. Thanks for that.

arthur181502 Nov 2023 4:43 a.m. PST

Gazzola, you are – deliberately? – taking my words out of context. I simply stated that demanding payment before mobilising troops was common sense.

Gazzola10 Nov 2023 5:01 a.m. PST

arthur1815

'Demanding payment' means they were acting as mercenaries. No payment no action, no action no fighting, no fighting – no deaths! Yep, Brits are to blame. LOL

arthur181510 Nov 2023 7:32 a.m. PST

If someone offers you money to do something bad, you are also to blame if you take the money and carry out the act.

Do you really believe that the Allies' ONLY motive for going to war with Napoleon was British money?

Au pas de Charge11 Nov 2023 6:17 a.m. PST

Connaught Ranger: It's Andrew Roberts who, like a couple of people on here, thinks Bonaparte was the greatest person to draw breath in the history of life on Planet Earth.

It could be based partly on the fact that there are some 300,000 books on Napoleon and he is the second most written about personage in history.

Thus, it really isnt a "couple of people on here" who think it but an actual multi-generational fact that Napoleon is pursued as an object of fascination.

It might be more accurate to say that there is a small group on persons on here who live in a state of denial.

Au pas de Charge11 Nov 2023 6:32 a.m. PST

Gazzola, you seem to suggest that the Allies did not want to go to war with Napoleon but only did so because they were offered money.

At various times, some of the allies were only induced into the final step of war by British gold.

There is nothing wrong in supporting an ally with war material or money to prosecute a war

The USA/NATO funded Ukraine after they were attacked. Britain manufactured allies with subsidies. It looks like eventually, some of the allied powers became addicted to the British subsidies and thus it is sometimes hard to tell how much they needed the money vs an understanding that the British government was a cash cow.

or do you believe the UK should not support Ukraine?

Ukraine was already attacked.

that the USA should not have given the UK Lend Lease in WWII?

I believe Britain paid it back. Having said that, Lend Lease was a necessary but very different approach than that used by the British government during the Napoleonic Wars.

If anyone wants to discuss who is living in a perpetual state of historical delusion, it's the idea that Britain's government wasnt predatory and bent on Empire building. This notion that Britian was just innocently sitting around, minding its own business when Napoleon started threatening them is like the sort of comic brainwashing skits you see from the past with Soviets claiming that everyone is really Russian, thus Custer wouldve won if he had had Cossacks or the "inwentir" of the automobile was Genri Fordov.

arthur181512 Nov 2023 11:03 a.m. PST

Yes, Lend Lease was far less generous than British subsidies to its allies against Napoleon.

I don't believe I have ever claimed that Britain was not motivated by self-interest, or that its Allies were not.

Wasn't the little Corsican also 'bent on Empire building'?

Personally, I see the reaction of the other European monarchies to Napoleon as not completely dissimilar to that of the USA towards Communism in the 1950s.

Understandable, after the French Revolution, for them to rear that such revolutionary ideas, if not suppressed, might threaten their own power, but perhaps, with hindsight, mistaken in that having seized power, Napoleon tried to become a European monarch himself and establish a hereditary dynasty of his own. To quote an English parody of The Red Flag:

The working class can kiss my arse -
I've got the foreman's job at last!

Au pas de Charge13 Nov 2023 11:14 a.m. PST

I don't believe I have ever claimed that Britain was not motivated by self-interest, or that its Allies were not.

Wasn't the little Corsican also 'bent on Empire building'?

Yes. I dont have a problem with past empire building per se, it's the fantasy that some countries were empire building while others were acting selflessly to save the world which is a little rich; and only then because the fantasists think they get to detonate every conversation on here. I realize that you dont think their name calling is a big deal and wonder why anyone would react to it but I have a lifelong intolerance for the foolishly self righteous.

Personally, I see the reaction of the other European monarchies to Napoleon as not completely dissimilar to that of the USA towards Communism in the 1950s.

I dont fault their reactions to Napoleon, I just cant say that they were the "good guys"

Understandable, after the French Revolution, for them to rear that such revolutionary ideas, if not suppressed, might threaten their own power, but perhaps, with hindsight, mistaken in that having seized power, Napoleon tried to become a European monarch himself and establish a hereditary dynasty of his own.

Yes he did. I suppose he thought if he cant beat 'em, join 'em? He did abdicate twice. How many of the other heads of state did this?

The point really isnt whether Napoleon had shortcomings, the point is why his are so very much more important than all the other contemporary people who also had shortcomings?

Also, what is this viewpoint that a man whom the whole world is interested in is somehow the minority viewpoint. Connaught Ranger has lost the battle to stop the conversation about Napoleon 300,000 times over. Im just asking him to not be such a sore loser.

Gazzola18 Nov 2023 5:13 a.m. PST

arthur1815

Did you ever consider that the allies may not have wanted war against Napoleon as much as England did? Or, if they did not go to war against Napoleon under British pay, they may end up being attacked by Britain? And why would they refuse to move, especially in 1815, if they were not paid by Britain first, if Napoleon was supposed to have been such a threat? Or I suppose the allies, especially those who actually received the blood money cash, were taking the mickey out of England. 'Hey, let's get some cash off the Brits, you now how scared they are of us all going over to the French. We can make a mint our of them.' LOL

But I suppose some people really want to believe that Britain always did the right thing for everyone's benefit! Bless em!

arthur181518 Nov 2023 11:02 a.m. PST

I would not deny that Britain (Acts of Union in 1707 and 1801, not England alone) may have had a stronger motivation to fight Napoleon than the Allies, as part of its long-term strategy to prevent France dominating western Europe. After all, we called it The Great War with France, not the Napoleonic War, at the time.

Russia, Austria and Prussia went to war with Napoleon because they were afraid that if they did not, Britain would attack them? LOL as you would put it.

Your idea that they may have exploited Britain's fear of France/Bonaparte may have validity – but that hardly redounds to Britain's discredit.

I don't think I have ever claimed that Britain acted other than out of self-interest.

But as a Briton, I naturally have little sympathy for a man who tried to invade my country, am glad the British Army defeated his troops in Portugal and Spain, and, together with our Prussian, Dutch, Belgian, Brunswick and Hanoverian allies (profuse apologies if I've missed anyone out), defeated him again in 1815.

Gazzola01 Dec 2023 11:08 a.m. PST

So I guess you have no 'sympathy' for the Romans, Vikings, Normans etc. LOL

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