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Deadliest Warrior: Napoleon vs Washington

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/26/2013 Category: TV
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,195 times Debate No: 38055
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)




I recently watched the episode of Deadliest Warrior pitting Napoleon and George Washington against each other in battle. In the show, Washington was able to beat Napoleon in in a pitched battle. I would like to contest this idea.


Washington and Napolean were both really good leaders. However, Washington wins in resourcefulness. I will explain my point later.
We are agreeing that each has an army of 2000.
Debate Round No. 1


roshan9 forfeited this round.


Washington would win because he could fight a battle using extremely small amounts of troops and he valued everyone of them. Washington fought and in part won the revolution using armies of less than two thousand. Napolean was known for massive armies and watching the battle from over a hill and he could care less if his troops fell. This will be bad for him with only two thousand men. Washington paid for the food for his troops at valley forge.
Washington also managed to defeat the british army which strongly outnumbered him. Napolean just squished everyone with overwhelming might. Napolean would not have this overwhelming might in this case.
Washington would win.
Hopefully my opponent will return.
Debate Round No. 2


It is common understanding that tactics are one of the most important parts of war. Napoleon excelled at tactics, while Washington was mediocre at best. My opponent claimed that Washington fought most of his battles outnumbered against the British while Napoleon used force and numbers to his advantage in the Napoleonic Wars. In fact, the opposite is true. In most of the battles Napoleon fought, Napoleon was outnumbered but used his superior knowledge of tactics to win the day. Napoleon is often regarded as one of the top five tacticians in history, while Washington is no where near that. Napoleon's tactical skill is exemplified in the Battle of Austerlitz, which is often regarded as his masterpiece. He pulled back from the Pratzen heights, allowing the Austrians and Russians to attack his right flank. After they spent much too many soldiers in the attack, as Napoleon expected, Napoleon took the center of the battlefield. With many of the Austro-Russian troops out of position, he was able to win the day. He was outnumbered almost two to one. Washington, on the other hand, had many lackluster moments of generalship. Americans often regard the Battle of Trenton as Washington's greatest battle, even though it was merely a surprise attack. His bad understanding of tactics is shown by the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown. In both of these battles, Washington refused to pay attention to his flanks, while getting easily outflanked by superior British generals. In both of these battles, the Americans in fact outnumbered the British; as in most of the battles of the war. Clearly, in this battle, Napoleon's tactics would help him beat Washington.
The only way to win a war is with weapons. What can anyone do without weapons in a war? The weapons that Napoleon used would be better than Washington's. Napoleon used better weapons than Washington, so it would be easier to win. One of Napoleon's muskets was the Charleville, which had a range of 80 yards and could be reloaded once every twenty seconds. Used by the properly trained French infantrymen, it could be bery effective. Many specialized units of the French Army, such as the Tirallerus and Voltigeurs, could use the Charleville at up to a one hundred fifty yard range. The American counterpart, the Pennsylvanian Long Rifle, was much slower to reload than the Charleville. The Long Rifle only had about a fifteen to twenty yard advantage over the Charleville when used by a regular infantrymen. The specialized American units could not get much more range than the French ones, while being able to reload only 1-2 times a minute. Also, Napoleon's artillery was better. He used artillery which weighed half as much as other countries, such as American artillery. This allowed his army to be more mobile than other armies.

THis is a no-brainer. Napoleon's troops are more trained than Washington's by far. His troops were trained in six camps at Boulogne, France. They were trained superbly at reloading, accurate firing, and bayonet techniques. The elite core, the Imperial Guard, were a fearsome force in any battle they went to. They contained the best trained and most experienced troops in all of Europe. In all the battles the Imperial Guard participated in, they were only routed in one. They were an unbeatable force that could take on any other army and win.

Although the popular opinion suggests that morale was high during the American Revolution for the rebels, it in fact was very low. Many soldiers did in fact desert the cause of the war, and George Washington didn't convince them enough to stay. Napoleon's troops were trained not to break in morale, which they didn't. Did Washington's troop go into to battle shouting "Long Live General Washington?" I think not.

Clearly, Napoleon would beat George Washington in any battle.


To conclude my argument, I will simply use everything you just said against you(except for with tactics).
Weapons-Washington won the war despite the lack of good weapons. His entire army was just civilians. He had no formal Army. You assume that his weapons proved to be a weakness, but it actually proves Washington's superiority over Napolean. Both leaders won, Napolean had fancier toys that made it easier.
Training-Washington proves that despite having a military with no training, he could still win. You have to remember, Washington led a rebellion. Rebellions are not organized and are virtually impossible to win. Napolean led an invasion, which gave him time to prepare.
Morale-Again Washington won despite poor morale.

Voters-remember, Washington won DESPITE all the odds. Napolean was always expected to win. In a battle with a low number of troops, Washington would be able to beat him hands down.

As far as tactics go, Napolean invaded Russia during Winter. He got his butt handed to him.
Oh yeah, when he tried to lead a rebellion after being bannished from Russia, he lost.

Washington has more talent as a leader. Napolean just had cooler toys and more people.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by henryajevans 3 years ago
As a general, Washington was mediocre at best. He was a good leader, but Napoleon would shatter his army in both the battle and the campaign. I suspect the people coming to the original conclusion were somewhat blinded by patriotism rather than objective enquiry.
Posted by jeh123 3 years ago
At Austerlitz, one of Napoleon's flanks (I can't remember which) tied down 65,000 enemy troops with just 18,000. Russia was his one big mistake, but everywhere else he kicks a**. He was so good that he trained his f***ing GENERALS to kick a**. George just kept on losing. THAT's greatness?
Posted by Chrysippus 3 years ago
Conduct goes to Pro for Con's R2 forfeit.
Spelling/Grammar is tied; no real issues there.
R2, Pro claims Napoleon relied on weight of numbers to win, and that Washington would have the advantage when working with these smaller, equally-sized armies.
In R3, Con thoroughly contradicts Pro's claim and gives four detailed counter-arguments for Napoleon's superiority. Pro's response is to concede all of Con's arguments, and claim that Washington would somehow win anyway; a very weak response.

Con's arguments are much stronger; he should have cited a source or two to give them weight, but they are still sufficient. Arguments to Con.

Sources tied.
Posted by roshan9 3 years ago
I agree
Posted by jeh123 3 years ago
Napoleon would win 99 times out of 100
Posted by PatriotPerson 3 years ago
Are you arguing for Napoleon or Washington?
Posted by roshan9 3 years ago
We'll give each a standard army of 2000 men.
Posted by Biochemistry92 3 years ago
Is this with or without standing armies?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Beverlee 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:11 
Reasons for voting decision: I couldn't score arguments because I felt like I needed to study outside of the debate to see who was correct in their assertions. I didn't see any fallacies. Con's argument was presented a little clearer, and Pro gets the conduct point for the FF