Napoleon's Maxims: Saisir Le Moment

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  • Topic: Army, Military, Austrian Empire
  • Pages : 4 (1284 words )
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  • Published : March 11, 2012
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Saisir Le Moment
Napoleon can contribute much of his military success to his Military Maxims. These Military strategies essentially were a set of ideas implemented by Napoleon to pursue desired strategic goals. Napoleon’s Maxims deal with the planning and conduct of campaigns, the movement and moral of troops, and the deception of the enemy. Although Napoleon lists 115 Maxims, three stand out above all others in directly attributing to Napoleon’s victories against such overwhelming opposing forces. These three Maxims coincided with each other, maximizing Napoleon’s army’s effectiveness. The three Maxims were the fifty-seventh, sixtieth and ninetieth; together the Maxims were the driving force behind the success in the military campaign of 1805 against the Third Coalition.

The fifty-seventh maxim states,"It is very difficult for a nation to create an army when it has not already a body of officers and non-commissioned officers to serve as a nucleus, and a system of military organization". After the French Revolution the French Army was purged of forty percent of their officer’s core. Napoleon being one of the few properly trained officers ascended through the ranks extremely quick. It is during this time Geoffrey Ellis argues in his book, Napoleon: Profile In Power, that Napoleon comes to understand the importance of a strong leadership in the military. Napoleon understands that without a strong central command the rest of the army would be weak, regardless of size. Napoleon made sure to promote individuals on merit to ensure only the best and most capable generals surrounded him. It was this confidence in his generals that allowed the French army to dominate the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. Because Napoleon was significantly aided by his Marshals especially, Davout “The Iron Marshal,” his forces were able to decisively defeat the combined forces of Russia and Austria. He and his men marched for two days straight to arrive almost precisely at 8 a.m. as...
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