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Would you have liked to serve as a private, NCO or low rank officer under Napoleon?

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  • Would you have liked to serve as a private, NCO or low rank officer under Napoleon?

    Would you have liked to serve as a private, NCO or low rank officer under Napoleon? Why?
    My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

  • #2
    Tried that in Stratego's 1812 game, did not like taking the orders as a private. Good idea for a thread Zouave.
    Never Fear the Event

    Admiral Lord Nelson


    • #3
      Not sure that I would like to have served as an enlisted man in any army, let alone during this time frame!

      PC is right, we didn't even get to the cold part of the 1812 campaign and we were already suffering miserably.
      History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. Napoleon Bonaparte
      "I am Arthur, King of the Britons!"


      • #4
        Why not Torien? as long as it was in the Imperial Guard we would
        be treated like kings. minus the 1812 campaign of course.
        Last edited by General Brock; 06 Jun 10, 09:21.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Zouave View Post
          Would you have liked to serve as a private, NCO or low rank officer under Napoleon? Why?
          I refer the right honorable gentleman to the posting I made on a related thread some moments ago.

          ‘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.


          • #6
            Considerable less enthusiam here compared to commanding the Corps in the related thread.
            Napoleon was notoriously careless with the lives of his soldiers...

            You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.


            • #7
              Was there any other oportunities to become marshal, general or made to Napoleon`s guard? It`s obvious that I would have to serve as a private etc. Like it? Hmm, it depends when and where, what commanders I would have etc. For example if I would participate in invasion to Russia I would not like it definately. I also know that I would not return from this campaign. I also would not like to serve in Spain between all this guerilla warfare. But in other campaigns probably I would be entuziastic - in glory days and heroic downfall days.
              Last edited by Ulrih; 07 Jun 10, 04:10.


              • #8
                Nappy was just another sawed off mad man out for fame an glory.

                I would not serve with him at any rank.
                "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.


                • #9
                  I would have preferred to have been a Captain, close to my men and still a good deal of responsibility.
                  I would be able to worship the Emperor without being close to him to see his faults...if there are wrong decisions I could go complain to my colonel and he might agree with me or not. However, our Emperor's principles was "My way or the Highway" and I don't like that...

                  As Captain I would still have the ambition to get higher up and I would give my life and soul to my men and my Emperor.

                  When you are a corpscommander you would become too egoistical and selfish - if things go wrong with the Emperor or your men you don't care ! As Maréchal or General all you care about then, is your considerable wealth, your property and how you can refrain from losing it all if things go bad !!!! Look how quiclky some higher officers started intriguing against the Emperor as early as 1813...

                  The higher you are, the more selfish you become...nothing for me !

                  Captain is good

                  Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

                  It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

                  Aut viam inveniam aut faciam



                  • #10
                    Battery Commander

                    I would have liked to have been an artillery gun company commander in the Grande Armee, preferably in the horse artillery, Guard or line. Service was indeed hard and you had to be able to 'make bricks without straw' but the best job in any army, then or today, is with the artillery as a battery commander.

                    My favorite story of the period, artillery wise, is of Captain Brechtel, a gun company commander in Russia. He had lost a leg on another field and stayed on active service with a wooden one. At the Berezina in November 1812 he was covering the crossing with fire from his company when a Russian round shot took off his wooden leg. He held onto one of the company's vehicles, told one of his cannoneers to fetch a spare from the battery wagon, and continued to give his fire orders without missing a beat.

                    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.


                    • #11
                      Ive been reading the story of Jean Roch Coignet who served in the armies of Napoleon. It seems that life was quite hard for the average infantryman under Napoleon but it was possible to survive all his Battles and he did rise to the rank of captain in the Old Guard. I dont think being a soldier in any wartime in history has been a pleasant experience but you would have seen some spectacular sights in this time, and there was a great comaraderie between the soldiers and officers in the Grand Armee


                      • #12
                        Sure beats working in manufacture or plowing the fields; Service although hard (but life was generaly harded then) was ofering adventure, glory, adoration from women and camaredie you woud not get in any other army of this age where you were either considered as scum by British commanders or animated tool by Russian or Austrian ones. Artilery was nice but I'm cavalery man by spirit and I've posted already the unit I was hoping to be in. Either Polish Lancers or Chasers de Chevals.
                        Kosovo is Serbian.
                        I support United Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
                        Behead those who say Islam is violent!


                        • #13
                          If "low ranking officer" also includes the rank of Captain. As Stratego said before, at the rank of captain you already have some responsibility, but you are still close enough to your men. As a captain, or anything up to Colonel, you also sill actively take part in the action. However, I would prefer to serve in the British or Austrian Armies as an officer (not as a private, far to tiring).


                          • #14
                            None. The conditions were terrible and you'd be on the wrong side!!


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