The greatest defensive campaign in history?

A clip from our video on Napoleon’s 1814 campaign in France. Watch the full video here:

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Comment (39)

  1. Very surely it has been and is the greatest of all to this day. Napoleon demonstrated his great military and tactical genius in completely unfavorable conditions:

    1) His army was small and consisted of a few veteran units, like the Old Guard or Young Guard, but mostly young conscripts who had never fought or fired a gun. It is incredible that he could lead such a weak army to victory with only hundreds of casualties while he inflicted thousands on the Coalition. It all depended on his tactical genius in every battle and his own charisma to lead recruits against thousands of veteran soldiers.

    2) The Coalition armies were huge compared to what was left of the French army and enjoyed every advantage in every aspect (infantry, cavalry, artillery, supplies, etc). But they erred on too much confidence behind La Rothiere, especially Blucher and the Prussians, so eager to take Paris and avenge past humiliations. That was what hurt them in the short and medium term, but their large armies would end up prevailing.

    In short, Napoleon's campaign, though largely successful, was doomed to failure because of the shortage of troops he had left. If he had more troops it would have made a difference, but France was already tired of war.

  2. The six day campaign is my favorite part of Napoleon's story (close call with Austerlitz). It's really show why Europe really scared with this man and not with France itself.

  3. I'm British and as a Brit our old enemy are those damn Froggies:-) but I get frustrated when ppl, especially Americans, slag off the French and their military. They are a great fighting nation, with a proud military history. So it's nice to see vid's that recognize these facts. Also, to my American cousins, you would never of gotten your independence if it wasn't for the French……Froggy barstewards 🙂

  4. After many victories, Napoleon became increasingly careless, which resulted in a few ugly defeats/battles. Which in turn shaked him up and he showed that he is still Napoleon Bonaparte, and he is a force of nature, a dealer of thunder and death.

  5. A lot of people praise this campaign because Napoleon managed to defeat larger armies but in truth the coalition already knew they were about to win. the key was just to advance forward to Paris so Napoleon was really just causing casualties instead of winning anything.

  6. “Outnumbered almost everywhere, riding from crisis to crisis, fighting everywhere. Could never win, but fighting like hell despite it. Those who wish to see the true state of Napoleon at his best. Should look at the campaign that should have been his last, and by all rights he never should have been able to do as well as he did in. Napoleon seemed to be at his best when his situation was at its worst.
    And don’t forget that the army he did it with was not at all the same army he had when he marched into Russia with.
    He had very little Calvary, his men for the most part were inexperienced, and he was outnumbered almost everywhere. But somehow Napoleon pushed on and I’ll tell you right now. If Napoleon had even a decent number of Calvary and the horses to make it possible. I’d bet my life that we would be discussing a completely different history that favored napoleon today”
    History professor from a lecture I attended. Can’t remember his name though.

  7. "I don't like shorts, they belong on TikTok. Because this is YouTube and I see something vertically filmed, I find this offensive and it clutters my feed."


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