Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic I’m not sure- ‘Battle for Paris’

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  • #200240
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Well, while I do believe a lot of what I read, I become sceptical and somewhat jaded when I see  rhetoric and poisoned commentary cited as hard fact. Will I buy the book?- extremely doubtful based on this.

    Whilst I immersed myself in the 1814 Campaign while visiting France, I am not sure I can take this, as promoted by the writer, as a valid look at events. Seems so critical as to be unable to discern the military from the politics…

    ” Today marks the anniversary of the fall of the last vestiges of Napoleonic France for a generation.

    Marshal Davout, the so called Iron Marshal – but largely an incomeptant jobsworth – had come to an agreement with those two men of self survival, Fouche and Talleyrand as soon as Waterloo was lost.

    Davout and Fouche both believed that for the future of France, preventing Napoleon II ruling and moreover, preventing the victorious Marshal Grouchy at the head of an army 100,00 strong from fighting back against the allies and inflciting a crushing victory was the best way to secure peace.

    For Davout, the Bourbons offered peace, Bonaparte offered war. Davout as Minister for War, had undermined Soult as chief of staff since the start of June, crippling the ability of the Armee du Nord to operate.

    Now as the allies closed on Paris, Davout held back troops and ammunition to enable the army to fight back. On the night of 2 July, Marshal Soult with other army offices led a coup: they ousted Davout from command of the army – a post he had given himself after engineering Grouchy’s imprisonment for carrying out his orders – and named Marshal Massena as the new CinC.

    It was all, too little too late. The final climatic battle came on the morning of 3 July 1815: the Garde Imperiale, bloodied but not destroyed, backed by cuirassiers and the undefeated troops from 3e and 4e Corps marched forward, backed by National Guardsmen and other irregulars. The climatic battle came to a juddering halt.

    Fouche had already signed a peace preliminary. Davout was put back in command. Massena and Soult had commanded their last battle.

    Davout, myth tells us was loyal to Bonaparte unto death: this is not true.

    The worst performing of all Corps commanders in the Grande Armee in 1805, Davout was eclipsed by Bernadotte and Soult. Perhaps Davouts hatred of Soult helps explains his actions in the 100 days.

    Many commentators tell me “oh if only Davout had commanded and not Soult, then Waterloo would have be won.”

    I seriously doubt this. A strong case can be made, that if Davout had not crippled the staff of the Armee du Nord, then the campaign could have been won. Robbed of scouts, messengers and the ability for the staff to function, Soult was fighting a campaign with “an arm tied behind his back” as noted in my book on the Armee du Nord.

    My book, Battle for Paris, exposes the duplicity of Davout and the final conflicts of the Napoleonic wars.”

    Addendum: In a comment posted later, he states again-

    “in terms of training, equipping his men, and keeping them alive, before Austerlitz, Davout performed far worse than Bernadotte, Soult or Lannes.”

    One wonders then what positive attributes Davout had, since he was a slow burner with N. as well! Had it not been for Desaixs promotion of his skills, who knows what…?
    I feel a murmur of the future about reading his ‘Austerlitz’ then, if this is to be repeated!

    There’s a lot in that and a lot I’d argue against. How Bernadotte ever gets positioned as ‘better’ than Davout at any time I cannot understand. But we are dealing with an author who has made many prejudicial comments about so many- his disdain for Napoleon, his career and methods often, yet he wants to make a career off that legacy? Similarly the outrageousness of claims never ceases.

    I did, out of politeness more than specific interest, read both ‘Ney at Quatre Bras’ and his ‘Grouchy’ because I felt I agreed with his premise that Grouchy was a victim of the black-washing of personalities by both Napoleon and his admirers for far too long.

    I am yet to be convinced of the accusations against Davout. No doubt dealing with duplicitous souls as Fouche and Talleyrand, both it would have been better of Napoleon to have incarcerated them for treason (rather easily proven I gather); Davout was in dangerous territory.

    He had no overarching beliefs in a ‘royal’ system despite being the scion of Ancien Regime, and was certainly more loyal to N. than many others.  But the leader had fallen out when many of his ‘brothers in arms’ had argued against such a vast campaign as Russia 1812.

    By then 20 years of almost uninterrupted wars was placing a physical and mental stress on many; men who wanted to enjoy a retirement and future life in peace and harmony with families they hardly knew.

    With this background it is surprising that 1813 went almost to plan, yet 1814, thence 1815, were rather abstract and ‘pie in the sky’ efforts that were doomed forever.

    -d
    *NB- I have not corrected any of authors obvious mistakes in this output.

    #200265
    Avatar photovtsaogames
    Participant

    This guy, Peter Hofschroer, David Hamilton-Williams, what is about this period that attracts such chaps?

     

    I am aware that saying Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo will cause quite a fuss. Also saying Lee lost Gettysburg, but I digress.

    It's never too late to have a happy childhood

    #200268
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    -what is about this period that attracts such chaps?

    Yes indeed. A very complex question actually- could probably add several more notable ‘voices’ to the list with aberrant characteristics of delusional fervour/ hatred and unwillingness to accept any criticism or even just discuss in a rational manner the possibilities.

    Further, and I was once ‘ignorant’ of many basic facts myself, that we believe what we are taught or shown, not lessened by an incomplete knowledge of the language but also resources, yet we see now how facts and information become manipulations and composites in some alternate reality, for some of those people.

    -d

    #200307

    “This guy, Peter Hofschroer, David Hamilton-Williams, what is about this period that attracts such chaps?”

     

    Money and citations my dear fellow. Which is going to generate more furore, citations, and sales

    “Davout betrayed Napolron in 1814”

    Vs.

    “Hadzianestis had generally a sound understanding of what had to be done in 1922 but procrastinated too long to take action.”

     

    #200313
    Avatar photoNot Connard Sage
    Participant

    Napoleon lost. He’s dead.

    The Code Napoleon wasn’t all that.

    People need to get over it.

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #200314
    Avatar photovtsaogames
    Participant

    …Money and citations my dear fellow. Which is going to generate more furore, citations, and sales “Davout betrayed Napoleon in 1814” Vs. “Hadzianestis had generally a sound understanding of what had to be done in 1922 but procrastinated too long to take action.”

     

    Ah, filthy lucre. Of course. Again.

    It's never too late to have a happy childhood

    #200320
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    …Money and citations my dear fellow. Which is going to generate more furore, citations, and sales “Davout betrayed Napoleon in 1814” Vs. “Hadzianestis had generally a sound understanding of what had to be done in 1922 but procrastinated too long to take action.”

    Ah, filthy lucre. Of course. Again.

    Nah, I’m not so sure.
    The above comments are crass, obtuse constructions and simplisticly incorrect.

    The same accusations could be made against capitalism in general, famous Generals and leaders, big pharma, oil and anti-ecology companies of all kinds.

    However authors very rarely achieve the claimed nirvana, until death, and I don’t see any billionaires amongst them. Hammering a stake into the heart of someone you pseudo-idolise to make money off, makes even less sense…

    #200323
    Avatar photoNot Connard Sage
    Participant

    Speaking of filthy lucre

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/jul/08/napoleon-pistols-planned-kill-himself-sold-auction-fontainebleau-paris

    Note the date of the auction 😀

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #200331
    Avatar photovtsaogames
    Participant

    ….The above comments are crass, obtuse constructions and simplisticly incorrect.…

    So glad to be corrected.

    It's never too late to have a happy childhood

    #200340

    “However authors very rarely achieve the claimed nirvana, until death, and I don’t see any billionaires amongst them. ”

    As an academic author I can assure you that making 1000 USD from a book your wrote, over making 0 USD (which is the case with most academic presses) , and having 120 people read it, vs. 20 people read it (because your academic press has the paperback at 50 USD) is a big deal!

    There is a reason why a lot of these books are out in popular presses and not academic presses. And no popular press is going to publish something it thinks it will lose money on.

    #200358
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    ….The above comments are crass, obtuse constructions and simplisticly incorrect.…

    So glad to be corrected.

    Wasnt meaning you- others… I just couldnt be assed quoting tripe, sorry, eloquence in swine delivery…

    #200363

    I got the sarcasm OotKust :p

    #200454
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    I got the sarcasm OotKust :p

    Happily.
    On the topic- I don’t see a plan that’s constant with these books- haphazard and erratic is unfortunate IMO and has increased (dont know when these texts were ‘written’ as such) but the scaleable malice has caused the crowd to grow impatient and worried, antagonising your audience, a la some so-called comedians.

    I’m merely adding my flexible stance on the latest outpouring.. what are authors aims or desires, vs actually wealth/ income, isn’t in my purview.
    Thanks

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