The Battle of Austerlitz

Topics: Alexander I of Russia, Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, Battle of Austerlitz Pages: 2 (622 words) Published: April 12, 2013
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 Napoleon’s great victory at Austerlitz thus cementing the creation of the French Empire.

This battle was considered to be the Third Coalition’s (Alliance Against France) last hope of stopping the advance of the French into Eastern Europe. It was a “winner takes all” scenario with no room for error. Alexander and Francis knew that if they could not stop Napoleon at Austerlitz, Eastern Europe could come under French control. The army of the French numbered between 65,000-75,000 men and the Coalition mounted around 73,000-85,000 men. Even though Napoleon was outnumbered, the quality of his army far surpassed the quality of the Coalition’s army. One key aspect that shall be a focus of this battle was the psychological and physical health of both French and Coalition soldiers. One example of this was while Napoleon used nationalistic ideals to inspire his troops, the Russians used brute force to instill discipline. Napoleon knew that if his army ever even considered routing, it would spell disaster for all of his campaigns. The quality of officers is also another thing to consider. French officers were competent and could lead their companies relatively well without much insubordination. Russia and Austria did not have competent...
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