The Battle of Austerlitz Essay

630 WordsApr 28, 20133 Pages
Everyone knows that Napoleon was a great leader and commander but it is not as cut and dry as popular history makes it out to be. His great victory at Austerlitz cemented him as one of the greatest commanders in history. This battle is was a tactical masterpiece up there with Gaugamela and Cannae. However, there is more to analyze here than just the battle itself. Many aspects of war include mobilization, supply, training, moral, army structure etc. and all play a part in Napoleon’s victories and the creation of the French Empire. Another variable to consider is the quality of the armies led by Tsar Alexander I of Russia and the Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II of Austria. The focus here is to look at how these aspects played a role in…show more content…
Napoleon truly believed in keeping his soldiers healthy and happy. There are more things to compare and analyze here and with the help of countless memoirs from soldiers on the field and commanders, it is possible to delve deeper into the variables of the battle. This also includes a background of how the state of the armies and their countries were before the battle took place. Primary sources include the memoirs of Napoleon, Memoirs from the Courts of Europe regarding the French, and memoirs from Russian commanders regarding the battle. Another good primary source is that of D.J. Larrey, a medical doctor and surgeon who was the first surgeon of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard. Being a surgeon, he had to deal many health issues that came up during campaign. It is no secret that disease could kill an army much more effectively than a musket. Secondary sources include texts by biographers and historians. One includes that of Alan Schom who saw much controversy on his portrayel of Napoleon but in response he said that he wanted to give Napoleon his “just due.” A book by Frederick W. Kagan also illustrates the battle of Austerlitz in vivid detail and includes maps and troop layouts and formations. Alan Forrest wrote a consolidated account of the French soldier under Napoleon by using the writings of the soldiers. This will be good to give an idea of the type of psychological state that Napoleon’s men were in. Rory Muir also wrote a
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