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Adam Zamoyski's Napoleon: A Life

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  • #16
    I don't know why you bother Gooner. Some authors are just sycophants of a long dead, off-shore Italo-French, nepotistic, dictatorial Jacobin soaked with corsican bandit blood, called Napoleone Bounaparte.

    Britain declared war on France many times before the advent of the bloke mentioned above, and for good reasons. Britain also declared war on Germany in WWI and II, again, for good reasons. You notice that these 'cherry-picker' historians try to dance round it with their cherry basket in hand, the blatant invasion or threats of invasion of Portugal, Spain, Russia, Britain etc, and the threats often aimed at countries that decided upon some policies other than those that dictatorial, Bounapartist, France imposed on them.

    Napoleon and his hoards inflicted death and misery in every country they invaded. But Historians again try to ignore this disgrace (Nappy's hoards even had a habit of sacking, raping and pillaging their own people and their allies) only to bleat and whine when 'some' of the allies exacted retribution on a vastly smaller scale in 1814-1815.

    ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
    All human ills he can subdue,
    Or with a bauble or medal
    Can win mans heart for you;
    And many a blessing know to stew
    To make a megloamaniac bright;
    Give honour to the dainty Corse,
    The Pixie is a little shite.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Gooner View Post

      Napoleon can be likened to the swaggering playground bully who provokes and taunts the smaller kids into taking the first swing, then beats them up and steals their lunch money.
      Sometimes of course Napoleon didn't wait for the small kids to take the first swing but beat them up and stole their lunch money anyway!
      That is the Corelli Barnett 'school of thought' which is absolute nonsense.

      We are not now that strength which in old days
      Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
      Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
      To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Gooner View Post
        Prussia expanded post 1815 in the same way that the Soviet Union did post 1945. In the second case it was the fault of Hitler, in the first Napoleon.
        Once again, the old fallback position of comparing Napoleon and Hitler. That, too, is absolute nonsense. Are you familiar with Godwin's Law? You might also take a look at the Introduction of JC Herold's The Mind of Napoleon.

        What about Austrian, Prussian, and Russian aggression as a cause of the wars? Seems that you left that out.

        And Prussia's 'war of liberation' was an exercise is 'liberating' as much of south and western Germany as she could get her hands on.

        Further, Napoleon's fall and the subsequent 'dividing the spoils' among the allies led to further revolutions in Europe in 1830 and 1848 as well as the establishment of Prussia's German Empire. And that led to two world wars. The Congress of Vienna set that up quite convincingly.

        We are not now that strength which in old days
        Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
        Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
        To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
          I don't know why you bother Gooner. Some authors are just sycophants of a long dead, off-shore Italo-French, nepotistic, dictatorial Jacobin soaked with corsican bandit blood, called Napoleone Bounaparte.

          Britain declared war on France many times before the advent of the bloke mentioned above, and for good reasons. Britain also declared war on Germany in WWI and II, again, for good reasons. You notice that these 'cherry-picker' historians try to dance round it with their cherry basket in hand, the blatant invasion or threats of invasion of Portugal, Spain, Russia, Britain etc, and the threats often aimed at countries that decided upon some policies other than those that dictatorial, Bounapartist, France imposed on them.

          Napoleon and his hoards inflicted death and misery in every country they invaded. But Historians again try to ignore this disgrace (Nappy's hoards even had a habit of sacking, raping and pillaging their own people and their allies) only to bleat and whine when 'some' of the allies exacted retribution on a vastly smaller scale in 1814-1815.
          I agree that Britain declared war for "good reasons". It was simply seeking to protect its commercial and political interests.
          Britain was not interested in freeing anyone from any alleged tyranny, it just wanted a more pliable tyranny in place throughout Europe.

          I also agree that the French soldier wasn't kind to the civilian populace, just like every other soldier at the time. Including the British as the Spanish could attest. And the Danes probably didn't think well of the Brits following the attack on Copenhagen. The point being that the French acts you condemn were hardly unique.
          Avatar is General Gerard, courtesy of Zouave.

          Churchill to Chamberlain: you had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.

          Comment


          • #20
            The terror bombing of Copenhagen in 1807 was unprecedented. Further, the death of at least 40,000 Portuguese civilians that were forcible evacuated to Lisbon by the British and Portuguese was equally unprecedented.

            Both actions were deliberate and planned.
            We are not now that strength which in old days
            Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
            Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
            To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Massena View Post
              The terror bombing of Copenhagen in 1807 was unprecedented. Further, the death of at least 40,000 Portuguese civilians that were forcible evacuated to Lisbon by the British and Portuguese was equally unprecedented.

              Both actions were deliberate and planned.
              You just can't get it into your head that if the French hadn't invaded Portugal 'yet again' (whilst at the same time raping, murdering and destroying their way on the stepping-stones of southern France, and Spain) then such measures would not have happened. Though people suffered, they suffered as a consequence of French aggression and barbarism. Copenhagen was as nothing compared to the deaths, misery and destruction Nappy's hoards inflicted on the continent, from Moscow to Lisbon, from the Baltic coast to the Red Sea.

              There was nothing 'deliberate' in the deaths of the 'alleged' 40,000 civilians. Deliberate murder, rape, theft and destruction was the free, no consequence diet of Nappy's '1796-1815' hoards.

              Of course, there were cases of atrocities inflicted by the Allies. But in the British army at least, such offences by officers and men were and could be, punishable by military law when caught. Which included execution.

              For the times, if a nation had to have a warring army marching through its country, The British would be the preferred over the rest, as shown in stark contrast to the French themselves in 1814-15 and occupation(s).

              Cambronnne:
              I agree that Britain declared war for "good reasons". It was simply seeking to protect its commercial and political interests.
              Britain was not interested in freeing anyone from any alleged tyranny, it just wanted a more pliable tyranny in place throughout Europe.
              Protecting her interests which is what all countries do. But, Britain still liberated the rest of Europe/western Europe from dictatorial, tyrannical despots. she never imposed her will on Europe but did try and impose peace on many occasions. It's just that countries like France and Germany have always wanted to dominate and impose their will to this day.

              I also agree that the French soldier wasn't kind to the civilian populace, just like every other soldier at the time. Including the British as the Spanish could attest. And the Danes probably didn't think well of the Brits following the attack on Copenhagen. The point being that the French acts you condemn were hardly unique.
              The French acted terrible throughout the revolutionary and Nappy wars. Pick any year in the callendar of the conflict apart from the brief year and a bit of peace, and you can find many, many Copenhagens perpetrated by the hoards of Frenchmen and their allies. It was routine and ruthless for those who were on the end of it. It's as a Brit' picking a scab of a knee to a Frenchie cutting the leg off at the hip.
              ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
              All human ills he can subdue,
              Or with a bauble or medal
              Can win mans heart for you;
              And many a blessing know to stew
              To make a megloamaniac bright;
              Give honour to the dainty Corse,
              The Pixie is a little shite.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post

                You just can't get it into your head that if the French hadn't invaded Portugal 'yet again' (whilst at the same time raping, murdering and destroying their way on the stepping-stones of southern France, and Spain) then such measures would not have happened. Though people suffered, they suffered as a consequence of French aggression and barbarism. Copenhagen was as nothing compared to the deaths, misery and destruction Nappy's hoards inflicted on the continent, from Moscow to Lisbon, from the Baltic coast to the Red Sea.

                There was nothing 'deliberate' in the deaths of the 'alleged' 40,000 civilians. Deliberate murder, rape, theft and destruction was the free, no consequence diet of Nappy's '1796-1815' hoards.

                Of course, there were cases of atrocities inflicted by the Allies. But in the British army at least, such offences by officers and men were and could be, punishable by military law when caught. Which included execution.

                For the times, if a nation had to have a warring army marching through its country, The British would be the preferred over the rest, as shown in stark contrast to the French themselves in 1814-15 and occupation(s).



                Protecting her interests which is what all countries do. But, Britain still liberated the rest of Europe/western Europe from dictatorial, tyrannical despots. she never imposed her will on Europe but did try and impose peace on many occasions. It's just that countries like France and Germany have always wanted to dominate and impose their will to this day.



                The French acted terrible throughout the revolutionary and Nappy wars. Pick any year in the callendar of the conflict apart from the brief year and a bit of peace, and you can find many, many Copenhagens perpetrated by the hoards of Frenchmen and their allies. It was routine and ruthless for those who were on the end of it. It's as a Brit' picking a scab of a knee to a Frenchie cutting the leg off at the hip.


                I’m sorry, but the Brits “liberated” exactly no one.
                They replaced one form of (alleged) tyranny with another one. One that they could control.
                That behavior is understandable because it was in Britain’s best interests, but it had nothing to do with “liberation”.

                The French had the Bourbons reimposed on them after they had made it clear the Bourbons were unacceptable. That is emphatically not “liberation”. This “imposition” of peace led to 2 more revolutions in France before the kings were finally disposed of.
                The Italians, Poles, Saxons, etc., were not “liberated”.
                Replacing Napoleonic rule with Kings who were not wanted by the populace is not “liberation”.

                Britain wanted to dominate Europe every bit as much as the French at the time, but wanted to do it commercially.

                So British crimes are acceptable because they were fewer in number?
                My point is that the Brits behaved exactly as every other invading army. The fact that they may have done it less often due to having fewer troops doesn’t disprove my point. It actually supports it.
                Avatar is General Gerard, courtesy of Zouave.

                Churchill to Chamberlain: you had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Cambronnne View Post

                  I agree that Britain declared war for "good reasons". It was simply seeking to protect its commercial and political interests.
                  Britain was not interested in freeing anyone from any alleged tyranny, it just wanted a more pliable tyranny in place throughout Europe.

                  I also agree that the French soldier wasn't kind to the civilian populace, just like every other soldier at the time. Including the British as the Spanish could attest. And the Danes probably didn't think well of the Brits following the attack on Copenhagen. The point being that the French acts you condemn were hardly unique.
                  Sorry, for Britain the war(s) were a lot more than simply seeking to protect its commercial and political interests.

                  " In late 1797 Bonaparte declared to the Directory Government that France 'must destroy the English monarchy, or expect itself to be destroyed by these intriguing and enterprising islanders... Let us concentrate all our efforts on the navy and annihilate England. That done, Europe is at our feet.'"

                  It was a war for national survival.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Gooner View Post

                    Sorry, for Britain the war(s) were a lot more than simply seeking to protect its commercial and political interests.

                    " In late 1797 Bonaparte declared to the Directory Government that France 'must destroy the English monarchy, or expect itself to be destroyed by these intriguing and enterprising islanders... Let us concentrate all our efforts on the navy and annihilate England. That done, Europe is at our feet.'"

                    It was a war for national survival.
                    I have no problem with Britain opposing Napoleon or France. I think it was quite reasonable under the circumstances.
                    However, Napoleon's words came before he was in charge and long after the war had started.

                    Britain had every right to protect what it saw as its national interests and sovereignty. But so did France. And after 1805 Napoleon was no longer a threat to English survival.

                    Napoleon didn't create a new threat to Britain, he was just a greater threat because he was so successful.
                    England and France had been at war more than not in the 50 years before Napoleon came to power in 1799. France and England were going to fight until one conquered the other regardless of who was in charge of France.
                    Avatar is General Gerard, courtesy of Zouave.

                    Churchill to Chamberlain: you had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Cambronnne View Post



                      I’m sorry, but the Brits “liberated” exactly no one.


                      Britain wanted to dominate Europe every bit as much as the French at the time, but wanted to do it commercially.

                      So British crimes are acceptable because they were fewer in number?
                      My point is that the Brits behaved exactly as every other invading army.

                      After 1805 Napoleon was no longer a threat to English survival.
                      Couple of points. Well, four.


                      1)I believe the British army was instrumental in expellling the French from Portugal and Spain. The fact that the Borbons and Bourbons were a worthless lot was the problem of those nations. Britain was not exporting social revolution. That was some other guys.

                      2) Britain did not want to dominate Europe; a fair amount of the world outside Europe- commercially- yes; but in Europe Britain wanted a balance of .power; precisely because she could not sustain a large army. After the Great French War, Britiain was heavily in debt.

                      3) Which invasions do you have in mind?

                      4) Even if the invasion threat diminished after 1805, the Continental System was aimed squarely at Britain's well being.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Cambronnne View Post

                        I have no problem with Britain opposing Napoleon or France. I think it was quite reasonable under the circumstances.
                        However, Napoleon's words came before he was in charge and long after the war had started.
                        The intent to destroy Britain was clearly there and in the event Napoleons statement proved prescient.

                        Britain had every right to protect what it saw as its national interests and sovereignty. But so did France. And after 1805 Napoleon was no longer a threat to English survival.

                        Napoleon didn't create a new threat to Britain, he was just a greater threat because he was so successful.
                        England and France had been at war more than not in the 50 years before Napoleon came to power in 1799. France and England were going to fight until one conquered the other regardless of who was in charge of France.
                        I disagree that France ceased to be a threat to Britain's survival from 1805 - Napoleon endeavoured to rebuild his fleet and by basing it in Antwerp he had better positioning for invasion. Also he had the potential and ambition of adding other continental fleets to his own. It was only an unceasing and a hugely expensive commitment to the navy and to the war that allowed the British to maintain their naval dominance.

                        Prior wars between Britain and France had never been about annihilation and usually at the end of them just a few colonies ended up being exchanged.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by jf42 View Post

                          Couple of points. Well, four.


                          1)I believe the British army was instrumental in expellling the French from Portugal and Spain. The fact that the Borbons and Bourbons were a worthless lot was the problem of those nations. Britain was not exporting social revolution. That was some other guys.

                          2) Britain did not want to dominate Europe; a fair amount of the world outside Europe- commercially- yes; but in Europe Britain wanted a balance of .power; precisely because she could not sustain a large army. After the Great French War, Britiain was heavily in debt.

                          3) Which invasions do you have in mind?

                          4) Even if the invasion threat diminished after 1805, the Continental System was aimed squarely at Britain's well being.


                          England wanted to dominate Europe commercially, I believe their efforts to do so, in part, led to the formation of the Second League of armed neutrality.
                          I am not critical of British efforts to dominate commercially. It is a simple fact and clearly was in their best interests.

                          The Bourbons were placed on their thrones in Spain and France via foreign bayonets. No one in either nation was "liberated" in the sense of the word we use now. The Congress of Vienna saddled numerous small European nations with kings they did not want.
                          The spoils were divided up. (see Norway for instance)

                          Britain invaded Spain and later France as well as any the overseas possessions of the nations it was at war with.
                          (Not just France)

                          Britain wanted a military balance of power (which was reasonable) but not a commercial or political balance of power.

                          I agree that the Continental system was aimed at Britain's well being and was a threat, but it wasn't a threat to its existence.
                          Avatar is General Gerard, courtesy of Zouave.

                          Churchill to Chamberlain: you had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Gooner View Post

                            The intent to destroy Britain was clearly there and in the event Napoleons statement proved prescient.



                            I disagree that France ceased to be a threat to Britain's survival from 1805 - Napoleon endeavoured to rebuild his fleet and by basing it in Antwerp he had better positioning for invasion. Also he had the potential and ambition of adding other continental fleets to his own. It was only an unceasing and a hugely expensive commitment to the navy and to the war that allowed the British to maintain their naval dominance.

                            Prior wars between Britain and France had never been about annihilation and usually at the end of them just a few colonies ended up being exchanged.


                            I agree that France remained a potential threat after 1805. But I don't believe it was an actual threat any longer.
                            I completely agree with the second point.
                            Avatar is General Gerard, courtesy of Zouave.

                            Churchill to Chamberlain: you had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Massena View Post
                              This volume arrived this week and while I haven't finished it yet there is some interesting comments and positions by the author in the book so far.

                              First, it is an easy read and is over 700 pages in length.

                              Second, the following comments are worthy of note:

                              'Until very recently, Anglo-Saxon historians have shown reluctance to allow an understanding of the spirit of the times to help them see Napoleon as anything other than an alien monster. Rival national mythologies have added layers of prejudice which many find hard to overcome.'-xiv.

                              'Napoleon did not start the war that broke out in 1792 when he was a mere lieutenant and continued, with one brief interruption, until 1814. Which side was responsible for the outbreak and for the continuing hostilities is fruitlessly debatable, since responsibility cannot be laid squarely on one side or the other. The fighting cost lives, for which responsibility is often heaped on Napoleon, which is absurd, as all the belligerents must share the blame. And he was not as profligate with the lives of his own soldiers as some.'-xv.

                              'In the half-century before Napoleon came to power, a titanic struggle for dominion saw the British acquire Canada, large swaths of India, and a string of colonies and aspire to lay down the law at sea; Austria grab provinces in Italy and Poland; Prussia increase in size by two-thirds; and Russia push her frontier 600 kilometers into Europe and occupy large areas of Central Asia, Siberia, and Alaska, laying claims as far afield as California. Yet George III, Maria-Theresa, Frederick William III, and Catherine II are not generally accused of being megalomaniac monsters and compulsive warmongers.'

                              'Napoleon is frequently condemned for his invasion of Egypt, while the British occupation which followed, designed to guarantee colonial monopoly over India, is not. He is regularly blamed for re-establishing slavery in Martinique, while Britain applied it in its colonies for a further thirty years, and every other colonial power for several decades after that. His use of police surveillance and censorship is also regularly reproved, even though every other state in Europe emulated him, with varying degrees of discretion or hypocrisy.

                              Interesting comments and conclusions regarding Napoleon and the period in general, don't you think?
                              Ill have to take a look at that. 700 pages might take some time.

                              A few notes.

                              There was a # of Englishmen whom respected Bonaparte in the 19th century. We must keep in mind the times of Romantisicm, arguably one of the greatest periods in human history....when the humanities and different cultures gained a huge interest all across Europe. Especially in the 19th century which in part saw Christian Europeans both Catholic and Protestant work to end slavery worldwide. While the French Catholics and English protestants were freeing slaves , here in the United States black Christians and even Muslims were enslaved by fellow Christians whom were white people hailing from European backgrounds.

                              It is clear that English support of Bonaparte harks back to Englands greatest days that of course being during the times of King Arthur and Richard I... When love and respect played a commanding role in society. We have to remember also that Queen Victoria of course admired the Catholic history of England, so in 19th Century England we would have other Englishmen whom admired their own history. We can never let those English Protestant supremacists or for that matter English Catholic supremacists dictate the historic discussions.

                              Often the anti Bonaparte folks are anti Catholic and such thinking gets away from a civilized mindset.


                              Bonaparte like some of Englands great figures such as Richard I and Francis Drake have their detractors, but history records Bonaparte, like that of Richard I and Sir Francis as heroes of history that stood for liberal causes. Bonaparte was not perfect, but Bonaparte was admired by Egyptian Muslims, Drake(one time slaver that saw the light) was admired by Africans whom had escaped from the clutches of the Spanish Empire..These were the Cimarron people Drake encountered in Panama in the 16th century. Richard I was a fighter, but in the end forgave even his own killer. Bonaparte no doubt was influenced by that English spirit of the Round table, its clear as a sunny day because after all Bonaparte was about liberty and equality. While Bonaparte did have his controversies, in the end Bonaparte was for freedom one merely need to look at the self writings and Diary of Bonaparte.


                              https://shannonselin.com/2018/09/sup...oleon-england/

                              https://www.questia.com/library/4379...ife-in-his-own

                              https://www.britannica.com/topic/Dec...of-the-Citizen

                              https://www.britannica.com/topic/Napoleonic-Code

                              In short, both the British and French fought to end slavery in the 19th century. And the modern day rivalry between some Brits and French or between pro and Anti Bonaparte folks of today does not negate the accomplishments of the French and English people of the 19th century. Those whom are so vehemently critical of Napoleon should stop and realize that in fact Bonaparte reminds us of some of Englands great figures of history.
                              Last edited by Stonewall_Jack; 23 Oct 18, 12:41. Reason: added a link
                              Long live the Lionheart! Please watch this video
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=jRDwlR4zbEM

                              Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.

                              George S Patton

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Cambronnne View Post





                                The Bourbons were placed on their thrones in Spain and France via foreign bayonets. No one in either nation was "liberated" in the sense of the word we use now.

                                Britain invaded Spain and later France

                                Britain wanted a military balance of power (which was reasonable) but not a commercial or political balance of power.
                                The Bourbons were on their thrones at the start of the war; in France as a matter of succession in the C16th and in Spain as a result of Louis XIV machinations. in the early C18th. Napoleon's deposition of the Spanish kings did not negate the Borbons being the legitimate Kings of Spain. The case of the Bourbons of France is obviously more problematic but in 1814 Napoleon abdicated, he had presided over France continuing as a monarchy and, for better or worse, the legitimate line was restored; 'via foreign bayonets,' I would say, is a misleading oversimplification.

                                Saying Britain invaded Spain is simply not correct. From 1808, Britain fought as an ally of Spain to expel the French. This successfuly achieved, Wellington pursued the retreating French army onto its home ground to ensure victory. To describe that as 'invasion,' again would be misleading. The war aim was to defeat the French and expel them from Spain, not to occupy French territory for its own sake.

                                A balance of power is just that. One can't have balance in one area and not another. That would not be a balance.


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