Napoleon Bonaparte is famous for being one of the greatest military strategists, and emperors in history. He won many great victories, and used revolutionary tactics. He was so superior in tactical and strategic ability that he would often annihilate the opposing armies. This is a list of 10 times Napoleon annihilated his enemies.
The Ulm Campaign
The Ulm Campaign, was a series of calculated chess moves, which allowed Napoleon to pull of what could be described as one of the greatest strategic masterpieces in history. By rapid marching his army of 210,000 troops he managed to capture the Austrian army of 23,000 before reinforcements could arrive. In total the campaign caught 60,000 Austrian men, and took them as prisoners. At the battle of Ulm, Napoleon Bonaparte managed to trap the entire Austrian army, leaving them with no way of escaping. Napoleon had split his force into seven corps. They all moved in on the Austrian army like an avalanche, leaving Napoleon with extraordinarily few losses during the battle, under a 1000 of his army died.
The Battle Of Friedland
Bennigsen, a Russia commander, noticed a small number of isolated French troops, and thought he would have an easy time, picking off such a small force with his hulk of an army. What must have seemed like taking candy from a baby at first, turned out to be a blunder of epic proportions, leading to the decimation of much of his army. He ordered his entire army over the Alle River, and attacked the French force, who somehow held their ground. The Russians took so long trying to take out the small force, that Napoleon had time to bring so many reinforcements, that the French now numbered around 80,000. At this point Napoleon launched a major assault, which struck the Russian army like an earthquake, causing them to lose 40% of their men before retreating.
The Battle of Jena-Auerstedt
The battle of Jena and Auerstedt go hand in hand, and were both fought on the same day, 14 October 1806. Napoleon subjugated the Prussian Army, and left them in a state where they couldn’t rise against him again for six years. Napoleon happened upon the Prussian Army and upon seeing them, quickly built up his forces in preparation for an attack. The Prussians however, were so slow they didn’t even realise what was going on at first. By they time they had managed to gain some reinforcements, the 38,000 troops he attacked had already routed. Napoleon was convinced he had defeated the main Prussian force, and asked for Bernadotte to join him. On the way Bernadotte was blocked by the real main Prussian force, who outnumbered him 2 to 1. After continuous attacks, the French simply wouldn’t break, and then counter-attacked, routing the much larger army.
The Battle of Marengo
Napoleon once again squared off against the Austrians, this time near the city of Alessandria, in Piedmont, Italy. General Von Melas launched a surprise attack, which caught Napoleon off guard. It started when Napoleon tried to escape the Austrian’s quick advance by crossing the Alps. He then cut off the Austrian’s communication, and defeated an Austrian army at Montebello. Things were going well for Napoleon Bonaparte, and he began to close in on the Austrian army. However, he had been misled by a spy. When Napoleon marched his forces to the North and South, he was suddenly attacked by the main French force under General Louis Alexandre Berthier. Even though he was the victim of a surprise attack, Napoleon still managed to win the battle, and cause the Austrians to suffer three times as many casualties.
The Battle Of Ligny
This battle is an interesting example of how Napoleon Bonaparte can annihilate his enemies and still lose. At the Battle of Ligny Napoleon won a major tactical victory, forcing the Prussians to retreat and killing thousands of their men. However, the Prussians were able to retreat, and went on to play a key role in defeating Napoleon later on. In fact, if Napoleon had crushed them completely, he may have won the entire Waterloo campaign. This may be the most devastating victory in Napoleon’s career. Tactically, he won, but strategically, he lost everything. His loss of the Waterloo campaign is what led to his downfall.
Siege Of Toulon
This siege happened during the French Revolution, before Napoleon had become a powerful emperor. He fought as an officer, for the Republican forces, against the Royalists, who were backed by Britain. During this battle Napoleon Bonaparte was wounded, but they still managed to defeat the Royalists. Napoleon was only an artillery officer at the time, but became famous after this, because it was his contribution which won them the victory. At first Napoleon was held back by two incompetent generals, but eventually they were replaced with a smarter person, who recognised Napoleon’ skill. Napoleon was stabbed in the knee, but still managed to defeat the Royalists only a day later.
The Battle Of Lubeck
At the Battle of Lubeck, Napoleon once again annihilated his enemies, and drove them from the neutral city of Lubeck. This battle followed the Jena-Auerstedt victory for Napoleon. The coalition force was retreating to the Ober River, and Napoleon furiously marched after them. He slowly cut them down one by one. A portion of them attempted to take refuge in the fortress of Magdeburg, but were surrounded. Another large portion were destroyed in the Battle of Prenzlau. The Prussian’s had no chance of reaching Oder, and so they reached for the city of Lubeck, and impressively managed to take refuge there. However, this wouldn’t protect them for long, and the French eventually stormed through the city’s Northern defenses. Blucher surrendered the next day.
Battle Of The Pyramids
Here Napoleon almost destroyed the entire Mamluk army, with a never before seen military tactic, which was massively effective against cavalry. By organising his army into divisional squares, he was able to repel cavalry charges over, and over again. Although called squares, Napoleon’s men were organized into hollow rectangles, with cavalry in the center, and cannon at the corners. Napoleon only suffered about 300 casualties, but the Mamluk’s lost about 20,000 troops.
The Battle Of Arcole
During The Battle of Arcole, Napoleon managed to outflank the Austrian Army of Italy, The Austrian’s wanted to initiate a two-pronged attack on Napoleon. Napoleon had already trapped Wurmser, and his large garrison. The Austrian’s were aiming to link up with Wurmser, this is something Napoleon simply could not allow. It was during this battle that Napoleon famously led his troops across the bridge of Arcole himself, while carrying his flag, and went on to win the battle.
The Battle Of The Three Emperors
Or more commonly known as the Battle of Austerlitz, it is widely considered to be the most monumental victory Napoleon Bonaparte ever achieved. Emperor Napoleon, fought against Alexander I (Russian Empire), and Francis II (Holy Roman Empire). Napoleon annihilated his enemies in this battle, and it even destroyed the Holy Roman Empire completely, it dissolved soon after the battle. Napoleon led 65-75,000 troops to kill an army thousands larger. While marching he retreated, in order to trick them into thinking he had some sort of weakness. He even purposely weakened his already smaller army, to make himself appear to be an easy target. The allies fell for his trick, and launched a major assault. They were devastated by Napoleon, Austria surrendered, and Prussia ran away.