A Comparison of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon
Napoleon and Wellington: The Long Duel [Andrew Roberts] on highly revisionist view of the relationship between the two greatest captains of their age. Wellington and Napoleon especially dominated the media. especially dramatised the relationship between Wellington and Napoleon. Start studying Napoleon Quiz- Rise and Fall. Learn vocabulary Establish a new relationship between the church and state. Upgrade to Duke of Wellington.
He privately criticised the emperor's campaigning and lack of caution. As a man who tried to limit his own casualties, Wellington also was not enamoured with Bonaparte's willingness to sacrifice lives for his ambitions. In fact, the Anglo-Irish aristocrat sneered at Bonaparte's early social status and called him Buonaparte, the original Italian spelling of his name, to try to put him in his social place. Wellington never regarded Bonaparte as a gentleman and took great pleasure in pointing out his Corsican nature when the French emperor did what the Englishman thought was vengeful behaviour.
The kidnapping and execution of the Duc d'Enghien gave Wellington ammunition, as did Bonaparte's inclusion in his will a large sum of money for the man charged with trying to assassinate his British opponent.
An Irishman led the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, not that you'd ever hear about it
On his part, Bonaparte refused - until very late in the Peninsular War - to acknowledge Wellington's obvious military abilities. He had, after all, defeated every general and marshal the French could put up against him, and did so with a smaller army. And by tying down so many veteran French troops in Spain, as well as helping to sink the idea of French invincibility, Wellington opened the door for Bonaparte's eventual defeat. Nevertheless, the French leader dismissed Wellington as a "Sepoy General", a derogatory statement meaning that because the Englishman did well against Indian troops, it was another matter against veteran European ones.
Bonaparte did not know, or refused to accept, that some of the Indian princes had European trained armies and were particularly good fighters. Of course the two greatest generals of the age met only once on the battlefield and in that Wellington showed how he could see off the French in the same old way.
Bonaparte's dismissal of the British on the morning of the great battle may have only been to bolster his more cautious commanders - many of whom had fought Wellington - but it did open the way for suggestions that the French emperor approached Waterloo with an unrealistic overconfidence.
In Napoleon and Wellington, Roberts devotes pages to the great military clash and then follows up with some excellent information on the post-Waterloo struggle of rivalry and propaganda between the pair.
Wellington, who had helped protect Bonaparte from the vengeful Prussians, was clearly upset by the offer of money to his would-be assassin, and called the deposed emperor a "shabby fellow". From exile, Bonaparte began his greatest campaign - that of creating the Napoleonic legend - and clearly won the exchange. But this inheritance, along with everything else, was gone soon afterwards. In Napoleon was forced to abdicate and was exiled to Elba. In he returned for his days.
After Waterloo, he was isolated on the island of St Helena and died inaged There is much to be learnt about Napoleon from Hibbert's book. Most disconcerting was his chilling indifference to the lives lost in two decades of campaigns: Born Arthur Wellesley, inthe same year as Napoleon, he made his military career - and a large fortune - in India in the decade after Adding a knighthood and a seat in the House of Commons - purchased, of course - to these prizes, he was given command of the British forces in the Peninsular War between and Wellington's campaigns are the chief focus of the book.
Holmes is one of Britain's foremost military historians and the book was written to accompany his BBC series on Wellington, and the analysis of the various battles and sieges is instructive.
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Napoleon and Wellington
Wellington would have been the first to say that he did not have Napoleon's military genius but he was an excellent tactician and had much fewer in the way of casualties. He said of Napoleon: His opinion of Napoleon as a statesman was less flattering.
The mystery about Napoleon, as Talleyrand noted, is why he could never quit when he was so far ahead. Wellington outlived Napoleon by more than 30 years. He became prime minister on several occasions, although he always found politics frustrating:Napoleon Bonaparte (2002) - The Battle Of Waterloo (1815)