NAPOLEON S INFLUENCE ON WARFARE

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1 NAPOLEON INFLUENCE ON WARFARE NEW METHOD OF WARFARE 1. THE NATION IN ARM: Wars were no longer fought by small armies of mercenaries but by large armies of drafted soldiers inspired by nationalism. Conscription made all men subject to military service. 2. TRATEGY: Instead of acquiring a few pieces of territory, the objective of war became the destruction the enemy s army in quick war with one or two decisive battles. 3. UPPLY: The French army reduced the problem of supplies by living off the land. oldiers were issued bread and meat for several days. They foraged (took it from local farmers or cities) for everything else. 4. ORGANIZATION: a. Armies were organized into permanent brigades and divisions. b. The Corps ystem was introduced. Armies were divided into several corps. Each corps was a miniature army of all arms capable of fighting alone for at least one day. It was composed of 3 or more infantry divisions, a light cavalry division, and 5 batteries of artillery. Napoleon also created special corps of heavy cavalry. 5. FLEXIBILITY: The corps system allowed the Grande Armee to react quickly to any situation or mistake. The corps' moved along parallel roads within a day s march of each other. Light cavalry moved ahead of the army and on its flanks to screen the advance. Their job was to locate the enemy and prevent enemy scouts from finding the French Army. LONG TERM EFFECT ON WARFARE 1. PROFEIONALIM: The need for a trained officer corps became obvious. Professional training was required for all officers. Most countries abolished the practice of purchasing commissions. 2. LITERATURE: Two key military thinkers emerged from the Napoleonic Wars. They wrote extensively about warfare and how it should be conducted based on their experiences. Both would have a profound influence on future military leaders. a. Jomini: In "The Art of War" he established basic principles of warfare. His book was more of a practical, "how to," guide to war. b. Clausewitz: Wrote about the overall conduct of war and strategy in "On War." It is still studied extensively today. 3. COMMAND AND CONTROL: The General taff ystem was created in Prussia as a result of their humiliating defeat in It was a highly trained staff of senior officers used to prepare war plans and supervise operations. 39

2 FLEXIBILITY OF THE CORP YTEM The Army Moves Forward. 1. Light cavalry is deployed across the front and along the flanks of the army to search for the enemy. 2. The Corps' move parallel to each other along different roads but, not more than a days march apart. 3. The leading Corps acts as an advance guard. When the enemy is found its job is to attack and hold them in place. The other Corps can be used to reinforce the battle or move on the enemy's flank. 4. Napoleon, the Imperial Guard, and the Reserve Cavalry usually moved in the center. The Enemy Position is Reported. 1. The light cavalry shifts position to screen the new direction of advance. 1. Each Corps changes direction and moves in the direction of the enemy. 2. The II Corps now becomes the leading Corps and consequently the advance guard. 3. The I and IV Corps' become the flank guards. 4. The III Corps becomes the reserve. The Enemy Position is Confirmed 1. Once again the light cavalry shifts position to screen the army's front and flanks. 2. The Corps' change direction to face the enemy and each assumes their new role. 40

3 BATTLE UING THE CORP YTEM ENEMY PHAE ONE CONTACT AND PINNING ATTACK 1. The cavalry screen reports contact with the enemy. 2. Acting as the advance guard, the leading Corps immediately engages the enemy to hold them in place. 3. The nearest Corps moves up to support the Advance Guard and extend the battlefront thus attracting more enemy troops. FRENCH PHAE TWO ADVANCE GUARD COVER MAIN MOVE 1. Frontal attack develops, drawing more enemy troops into the battle. 2. The cavalry screens the flank concealing the approaching corps. 3. Enveloping force moves up to attack the enemy flank adjacent to his line of communications. 4. Reinforcement of the frontal attack draws in the last enemy reserve forces. 5. The final assault force masses behind the right flank. PHAE THREE BREAKTHROUGH AND PURUIT 1. Renewed frontal attack pins the enemy. 2. Revealed flank attack induces foe to weaken his left to form a new line A-B. 3. Reserve force, preceded by massed artillery bombardment smashes through weakened enemy sector. 4. Light cavalry passes through the gap and begins pursuit of fleeing enemy. 41

4 THE WAR OF NAPOLEON 20 April October 1797: The War of the First Coalition. Opponents: France vs. England, Austria, Prussia, pain, Holland. 26 March October 1797: Napoleon's 1 st Italian Campaign. Most important battles: Napoleon defeats the Austrians at Lodi, Castiglione, Arcole, & Rivoli 19 May Aug. 1801: Expedition to Egypt and yria. Opponents: France vs. Ottoman Empire and England. Most important battles: The Pyramids - Napoleon defeats the Mamelucks. The Nile - Admiral Nelson destroys the French fleet. 12 March March 1802: The War of the econd Coalition. Opponents: France vs. England, Russia, Austria, Ottoman Empire, Portugal. 6 April - 15 June 1800: Napoleon's 2 nd Italian Campaign. Most important battles: Marengo - Napoleon defeats the Austrians in Italy 8 eptember - 26 December 1805: The War of the Third Coalition. Opponents: France vs. England, Austria, and Russia. Most important battles: Ulm - Napoleon defeats the Austrians. Trafalgar - Admiral Nelson destroys the Franco/panish fleet. Austerlitz - Napoleon defeats the Russo/Austrian Army. 7 October July 1807: The War of the Fourth Coalition. Opponents: France vs. England, Prussia, and Russia. Most important battles: Jena & Auerstadt - The Prussian Army is crushed. Eylau Napoleon and the Russian Army fight to a bloody draw. Friedland - Napoleon destroys the Russian Army. 18 October April 1814: The Peninsular War. Opponents: France vs. England, pain, Portugal. Most important battles: Too many to list but the British beat the French most of the time. 10 April October 1809: The War Against Austria. Opponents: France vs. Austria, England. Most important battles: Aspern-Essling Napoleon was defeated by Austrian Archduke Charles. Wagram - Napoleon defeats the Austrians April March 1813: The War Against Russia. Opponents: France vs. Russia, England. Most important battle: Borodino - Napoleon defeats the Russian Army. The Retreat Napoleon s retreat from Russia is a total disaster. 30 April October 1813: Wars of Liberation of Germany. Opponents: France vs. Prussia, Austria, Russia, England, and weden. Most important battles: Lutzen, Bautzen, & Dresden Napoleon defeats the Russians/Prussians. Leipzig The Battle of the Nations Allies defeat Napoleon. The largest battle in history, until the 1860s. 21 December March 1814: Wars of Liberation of France. Opponents: France vs. Prussia, Austria, Russia, England, and weden. Most important battles: The 6 Days Campaign Napoleon defeats the Prussians at Champaubet, Montmirail, Chateau Thierry, and Vauchamps. Laon, and Acris sur Aube The Allies defeat Napoleon. 11 June 4 July 1815: The 100 Days: Oponents: France vs. Prussia, Austira, Russia, and England. Most important battle: Waterloo Allied Army under Wellington and Prussian Army under Blucher defeat Napoleon. 42

5 43

6 The Battle of Austerlitz or the Battle of Three Emperors - 2 December 1805 F R E N C H A U T R I A N & R U I A N Napoleon fools the Austro-Russian Army into attacking his weak right flank. In reality he has an infantry Corps hidden in the fog along a low lying stream. Once the Allies have moved the majority of their force to the flank Napoleon uncorks his hidden units and seizes the central heights in the middle of the allied line. 44

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