The Reason Napoleon was Beaten at Waterloo Essay

The Reason Napoleon was Beaten at Waterloo Essay

Length: 2918 words (8.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Reason Napoleon was Beaten at Waterloo

"Recouler pour mieux sauter." (French idiom. A rough translation would
be. "Recoil, the better to strike.")

The campaign of Austerlitz, leading up to the battle of the same name,
can be viewed as Napoleon's greatest victory. However a glaring
blunder is that the Austrian staff failed completely to calculate the
difference between the calendar systems of the two countries. The
Russians used the ancient, Gregorian system, putting their dates ten
days behind those of the Austrians. And this miscalculation was to
ruin the entire campaign. It was, in the proper sense of the word, a
decisive victory. By the end of the day on December 2nd, 1805, the
Austro-Russian army had ceased to be effective as a military unit,
being as it was, reduced to a handful of fleeing fugitives, groups of
mauled units in full retreat.

Napoleon had carefully weighed the options and decided what threats
there were to France. Chandler describes how he went about this:

"The French armies could expect attack from four possible directions.
Two could be discounted as insignificant; an Anglo-Swedish onslaught
against Hanover from Pomerania, or an allied descent on Naples, would
have little effect on the major issues of war, and in the former case
such an attack might even persuade Prussia to throw her lot in with
the French." (Chandler, 1993, p384).

The Grande Armeé, unlike other armies, did not move in column
formation. Instead, the army was divided into corps, each under a
marshal or general, with his own orders and his own methods of
executing them. Thus the manoeuvre at Austerlitz is one of the
greatest piec...

... middle of paper ...

... "Stand fast…we must not be beat - what would they say in England?"


Best, G (1988) The Permanent Revolution. (Glasgow:Fontana)

Furet, F (1997) The French Revolution revisited in Recent Debates and
New Controversies Ed by G Kates (London:Routledge)

Lefebvre, G (1976) The Coming of the French Revolution. (New
Jersey:Princeton University Press)

Lucas, C (1997) Nobles, Bourgeois, and the origins of the French
Revolution in Recent Debates and New Controversies Ed by G Kates

Mc Garr, P (1989) The Great French Revolution. (Socialist Worker)

Mc Garr, P (1998) The French Revolution: Marxism versus revisionism.
(International Socialism)

Soboul, A (1988) Understanding the French Revolution (London:

Tosh, J (1991) The Pursuit of History (London: Longman)

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Napoleon at Waterloo Essay

- The battle of Waterloo is universally associated with the last stand of Napoleon. It is (for all intents and purposes) the most significant blow to Napoleons final attempt at a return to power, Napoleons loss sealed his fate and consequently lost his empire (once and for all). However was it truly Napoleon’s faults that resulted in the loss at Waterloo. Or as many have stated was it more accurately Marshal Ney’s inability to follow Napoleons orders and command his troops in a custom that Napoleon not only expected but had spent years refining....   [tags: World History]

Strong Essays
832 words (2.4 pages)

Napoleon at Waterloo Essay

- On March 20, 1815 Napoleon returned to Paris from his exile on the island of Elba. This day marked the beginning of “Napoleon’s 100 Days”, as many historians have dubbed the brief episode , which ended July 8, 1815 when Louis XVIII was reinstated as the King of France. Within a period of two months Napoleon, capitalizing on France’s enormous population, conscripted an army roughly 280,000 strong . Napoleon Bonaparte’s forces exceeded those of the Anglo-Allied forces, led by the Duke of Wellington, Field Marshall Blucher, and the Prince of Orange, by 50,000 men....   [tags: World History ]

Strong Essays
1448 words (4.1 pages)

The Battle of Waterloo Essay

- ... At approximately eleven in the morning, the first phase of attacks occurred at Hougoumont in an attempt to be a diversion and draw forces from the Duke of Wellington's center near Papelotte. This attack was unsuccessful and turn into a “territorial struggle” for the remainder of the day.3 The second phase consisted of French Commander d'Erlon's infantry attacking an unweakened center. D'Erlon's was initially successful, but eventually driven off by British General Picton's cavalry. The third phase began at approximately four in the afternoon, and was led by French Commander Ney....   [tags: napoleon, france, military history]

Strong Essays
1749 words (5 pages)

The French Defeat at the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Lack of Judgment

- The French Defeat at the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Lack of Judgment After abdicating to the island of Elba Napoleon Bonaparte returned to France to rule the country once again. However after just 100 days ruling he had suffered the final defeat and was aboard a British ship returning to exile once more. He gambled everything on a battle which if he had won would've have left in an extremely strong position in Europe and would've changed the face of Europe as we know it today....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
2717 words (7.8 pages)

Battle of Waterloo: The Wounded Eagle Essay

- The rise and fall of Napoleon can almost be compared to the rise and fall of Rome. There are many parallels between the two: they both overthrew a king to become a republic and then an empire, they both reformed their armies and became successful militarily, and they both would be replaced by a king. The only difference is that Rome did not have a final battle that would forever be linked with its name. Even though Napoleon would go into the Battle of Waterloo with many advantages, in the end he would fail to achieve success in his pursuit to protect his throne....   [tags: Napoleon, Wellington, history]

Strong Essays
1879 words (5.4 pages)

Napoleon's Return to France Essay

- ... Both of those battles where lost so they could draw Napoleon to where they wanted him. Unfortunately, for Napoleon there was two days of rain that mad this particular area very muddy. Napoleons forces where divided since Grouchy was keeping a close eye on Blucher. If only they would have known that he should have stayed with Napoleon they would have won Waterloo instead it was a drawn out battle that caused a lot of bloodshed on La Belle Alliance Ridge. Waterloo didn’t get started till 11:35 am because the ground was too muddy to get his cannons into place....   [tags: marhsal ney, waterloo, british]

Strong Essays
1027 words (2.9 pages)

Napoleon's Lack of Leadership Skills Essay

- During his life, Napoleon Bonaparte was a fantastic strategist and military leader. However, he made quite a few mistakes that led him to his fall from power. Through his catastrophic blunders, Napoleon brought about his own downfall. These mistakes included ostracizing France from the rest of Europe through his foreign policies, war mistakes, and oversights that occurred in his final years in power. Because of Napoleon’s errors, he exhausted France’s resources and reduced his allies. Because his political views destroyed France’s relationship with Europe, Napoleon had to over expand his forces to maintain control of Europe....   [tags: Napoleon's Failures]

Strong Essays
1124 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on The Battle of Waterloo

- The Battle of Waterloo was fought thirteen kilometers south of Brussels between the French, under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Allied armies commanded by the Duke of Wellington from Britain and General Blücher from Prussia. Napoleon Bonaparte had always been driven by his desire to make France an European empire and was an experienced warlord and leader. The European powers were meeting in Vienna to re-establish the territorial balance in Europe when news came of Napoleon's escape from Elba on March 1, 1815, and his re-entry into Paris on March 20, 1815....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
950 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Waterloo

- BATTLE OF WATERLOO The Battle of Waterloo was the final and decisive action of the Napoleonic Wars, the wars that effectively ended French domination of the European continent and brought about drastic changes in the political boundaries and the power balance of Europe. Fought on June 18, 1815, near Waterloo, in modern Belgium, the battle ranks as a great turning point in European history. After raising France to a position of preeminence in Europe , Napoleon met defeat in 1814 by a coalition of major powers, notably Prussia, Russia, Britain, and Austria....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1512 words (4.3 pages)

Napoleon Essay

- The Napoleonic wars did have a large impact on industrialization in Europe as a result of realizations and actions taken to better their countries after the Napoleonic wars. Although the Industrial Revolution began in Britain during the 1700’s it was boosted in the early 1800’s after the Napoleonic wars because of reform that was needed. Industrialization then started spreading throughout Europe and into North America in the early 1800’s. By the mid-1800’s industrialization was widespread. This was all a result, somewhat indirectly of the Napoleonic wars....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
787 words (2.2 pages)