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Adam Zamoyski's Napoleon: A Life

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  • Gooner
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cambronnne
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dibble201Bty
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Massena
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cambronnne
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Massena
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Massena
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dibble201Bty
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cambronnne
    replied
    Originally posted by Gooner View Post

    The whole period 1792-1815 can be considered a war with peace breaking out from time to time.
    I would agree with that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gooner
    replied
    Originally posted by Cambronnne View Post

    So it would appear that you accept that Napoleon was not the aggressor in all of his wars.
    The whole period 1792-1815 can be considered a war with peace breaking out from time to time.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gooner
    replied
    Originally posted by Cambronnne View Post

    I think Bavaria is a good example of why some of the German states sided with Napoleon.
    Bavaria feared Austrian invasion more than it feared one by France.
    Austria was very interested in absorbing parts of Bavaria, Napoleon was not.
    Bavaria may have ultimately "miscalculated" by siding with the French, but they had some very good reasons for doing so.

    Bavaria was very interested in aborbing parts of Austria however. Austria and Bavaria had history.
    Ultimately Bavaria calculated very well by switching sides opportunely. Its ruler had become a King from a mere Elector and in 1815 gained substantial land from Napoleons more loyal German allies.


    Napoleon was not unique in seeking to establish dominance over other European nations, he was just substantially better at it than the other major powers.
    No one yet had quite his ambition either though. And in the end his dominance extended no further than Longwood House, St. Helena.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cambronnne
    replied
    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!



    You think the minor German states didn't make the (mis)calculation that being an ally of France who 'won all the wars' was a better bet than being an opponent?



    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.
    I think Bavaria is a good example of why some of the German states sided with Napoleon.
    Bavaria feared Austrian invasion more than it feared one by France.
    Austria was very interested in absorbing parts of Bavaria, Napoleon was not.

    Bavaria may have ultimately "miscalculated" by siding with the French, but they had some very good reasons for doing so.

    Napoleon was not unique in seeking to establish dominance over other European nations, he was just substantially better at it than the other major powers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cambronnne
    replied
    Originally posted by Gooner View Post

    Correct, I would not consider the Austrians, Prussian, Russian, British, Swedish, Wurttermburger and Saxon armies that invaded France in 1814 as the aggressors either!
    So it would appear that you accept that Napoleon was not the aggressor in all of his wars.

    Well the Saxons and Wurtemburgers were forcibly incorporated into the coalition armies.
    The Russians certainly were not the aggressors, but everyone else was, save for the Spanish.
    Napoleon wasn't a threat to Sweden or Austria, they joined in to share in the spoils (Norway and Italy)
    So, they would have to be considered the aggressors in that invasion.



    Leave a comment:


  • Gooner
    replied
    Originally posted by Cambronnne View Post



    The US was not the aggressor in WW2 and yet it invaded Germany and Italy and occupied japan. In 1991, the Coalition invaded Iraq and yet it was not the aggressor in that conflict.
    So, it would appear that invasion is not the same thing as being the aggressor.
    Correct, I would not consider the Austrians, Prussian, Russian, British, Swedish, Wurttermburger and Saxon armies that invaded France in 1814 as the aggressors either!

    Leave a comment:


  • Gooner
    replied
    Originally posted by Massena View Post

    Napoleon had the great captain's attribute and getting the first solid hit in during the wars of 1800-1809. He wasn't either slow to take action when war was either coming or he was faced with it and didn't wait for his enemy to hit first and put him at a disadvantage. Austria invaded Bavaria in 1805; Prussia both declared war and attempted to attack first in 1806; Austria invaded Bavaria again in 1809.
    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!

    Napoleon won all of the wars from 1800-1809 and the French Empire expanded because of those victories. Prussia, Austria, and Russia lost repeatedly to France up to and including 1809 And it should be noted that the minor German states in western and southern Germany chose France as an ally ..
    You think the minor German states didn't make the (mis)calculation that being an ally of France who 'won all the wars' was a better bet than being an opponent?

    Prussia more than proved that in 1814 when half of Saxony was taken by her as well as other chunks of German territory.
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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