The Instigator
1dustpelt
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
Braaainz
Con (against)
Losing
11 Points

Napoleon Bonaparte would beat George Washington if they fought a war.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+7
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
1dustpelt
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,361 times Debate No: 21261
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (57)
Votes (7)

 

1dustpelt

Pro

I hope this will be a fun debate.
Rules:
1. Forfeiting is losing
2. No spamming, trolling, etc.
3. No inappropriate content.
4. First round is for acceptance only.

I look forward to this debate.
Braaainz

Con

I accept this argument and will be taking the position that Napolean would not be able to defeat George Washington in a war.

I look forward to the debate and hope that I am able to hold my position in an honest and honorable manner.
Debate Round No. 1
1dustpelt

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate. I will post my arguments.

1. Tactics
Most historians agree that Napoleon was an expert at tactics. This is undeniable. For example, at the Battle of Austerlitz, Napoleon used his many tactics to win the battle. When he faked a retreat and his enemy chased him, he cleverly used his cavalry to charge. He then surrounded his enemy and won.

2. Battles.
Lets look at some of the most important battles Napoleon Bonaparte and George Washington fought.

Napoleon Bonaparte
Austerlitz - Victory and also was outnumbered
Jena - Victory
Waterloo - Defeat, but would have won if his officers cooperated
Logan - Victory and outnumbered
Pyramids - Victory and was outnumbered
Wag ram - Victory

George Washington
Fort Washington - Defeat
Brandying - Outnumbered the British, made poor decisions and lost
Saratoga - Victory
Germantown - Outnumbered the British but lost
Monmouth - Draw
Yorktown - Victory, but only because the French came

As you see, Napoleon is a much better general than George Washington.

3. Troops
Napoleon's men were highly trained, compared to George Washington's inexperienced men.

4. Navy
Napoleon had a large navy. All Washington had were a few frigates and many privateers.

As you see, Napoleon Bonaparte would clearly win if he and Washington fought a war. I look forward to my opponent's arguments.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.onepowerfulword.com...
http://www.historyofwar.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://sc94.ameslab.gov...
http://www.whitehouse.gov...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.pbs.org...
Braaainz

Con

Loyalty
Both leaders received immense loyalty from their troops, Washington's men were strictly volunteers while many in Napolean's ranks were conscripted. Forcing someone to fight for you versus having fight for you via your own freewill does make a difference. Also, Napolean ordered the poisoning of his troops who had contracted plague (McLynn, Frank (1998). Napoleon. Pimlico. ISBN 0712662472. page 193). While possibly a humane order, it is still not exactly the most endearing order leadership has even given. Washington, however, served in the field with his men under dire circumstances like Valley Forge.

The Date
We have to look at when such a war could be fought. The date effects things like resources and technology available, as well as the age and experience of our leaders. For example, George Washington was fighting against the French in the French & Indian War, but Napolean hadn't been born yet. So literally, Washington had been fighting the French military since before Napolean was even born!

I would suggest that the most realistic date would be between 1793 and 1797. Napolean had reached the rank of Brigadier General by this point and Washington was still alive (leaving the Presidency in 1797 and dying in 1799).

During this time period, France was still heavily in debt from helping finance the American Revolution and likely wouldn't have the funding necessary for another large scale conflict. Also, France was dealing with the French Revolution, as well as conflicts with the British during this period which would have made an overseas conflict nearly impossible. Basically, Napolean would not have been to field enough forces during the time alloted to mount an overseas assault against the United States.

Tactics: Size of forces
While Napolean is recognized for his tactical wizardry, Washington was far from inept. Washington had fought in both large scale battles as well as utilizing guerilla style warfare during the fight for independence. He had fought the French during the French & Indian War, learning their tactics, as well as receiving British military training.

It is true that Napolean fought against guerilla style tactics during the Peninsular War and won. However, he also learned that attempting to takeover and occupy a foreign land with an armed populace is not an easy thing.
Although he won that war, he noted "That unfortunate war destroyed me... All... my disasters are bound up in that fatal knot."

I would argue that should a war have occurred between Bonaparte and Washington, many of the battles would have had the American forces using guerilla-style tactics on their home turf which would have led to a long and costly battle, one that Napolean would not have been able to afford.

Resources
Napolean would have to have supply lines that crossed oceans. While Canada could have theoretically aided him, America was already out-producing Canada and a naval blockage could have stopped supply ships from landing there. Washington, however, would be fighting on home-ground and had intimate knowledge of forming and maintaining supply lines thru America's geography as well as the support of locals.

Foreign Aid
America was quickly shaping up to be a valuable trade partner with its abundant natural resouces. i.e. their credit was good. In contract, France was engaged in hostilities with Britain, Austria, etc. and was in huge debt. I would propose that foreign aid would be more easily granted to the United States rather than France at that time period. This is important for funding as well as military assistance.

So, in conclusion, unable to mount a sufficient attack force due to lack of funding from France, difficulty of maintaining ocean-spanning supply lines, the overwhelming numbers already present in America of people having shown the willingness to fight for their freedom/liberty & their experience in fighting with guerilla style tactics, Napolean would not have had a chance.
Debate Round No. 2
1dustpelt

Pro

I will address my opponent's arguments.

Loyalty
Although it is true that forcing someone to fight for you versus having fight for you via your own freewill does make a difference, it will not make too much of a difference. But again, Napoleon's troops were highly trained, thus giving the advantage of troops to Napoleon.

The Date
Let's just say that Napoleon Bonaparte is the Emperor of France and it is after the French Revolution.

Tactics: Size of forces
It is true that Washington did learn some tactics, but Napoleon was much better. As for the guerrilla tactics, Napoleon's army would still have defeated them. During Napoleon's battles in Egypt, the enemy used many guerrilla tactics, but Napoleon still won.

Resources
America was not attacking Canada, they did try to attack Canada in the war of 1812, but failed. Also, you say that a naval blockade would stop Napoleon's ships. But where would America get the navy? America had a small navy, and it would be easy for France's navy to defeat the US navy at that time.

Foreign Aid
It is true that France had many enemies, but was the US any better? Britain would definitely not help the US, and the other European nations thought the US was just a tiny country that would not last long, they would not help the US either. Also remember that this is supposed to be a war between the US and France only.

My arguments:

Battles.
Lets look at some of the most important battles Napoleon Bonaparte and George Washington fought.

Napoleon Bonaparte
Austerlitz - Victory and also was outnumbered
Jena - Victory
Waterloo - Defeat, but would have won if his officers cooperated
Logan - Victory and outnumbered
Pyramids - Victory and was outnumbered
Wag ram - Victory

George Washington
Fort Washington - Defeat
Brandying - Outnumbered the British, made poor decisions and lost
Saratoga - Victory
Germantown - Outnumbered the British but lost
Monmouth - Draw
Yorktown - Victory, but only because the French came

Napoleon had more experience and was a better general than Washington.

Troops
Napoleon's men were highly trained, compared to George Washington's inexperienced men.

Navy
Napoleon had a large navy. All Washington had were a few frigates and many privateers.

Tactics
Most historians agree that Napoleon was an expert at tactics. This is undeniable. For example, at the Battle of Austerlitz, Napoleon used his many tactics to win the battle. When he faked a retreat and his enemy chased him, he cleverly used his cavalry to charge. He then surrounded his enemy and won.

My opponent has not addressed any of my arguments. I will add some more.

Supplies
Napoleon would indeed have to transfer supplies overseas, but that would be easy with his powerful navy. The US would not be able to stop his supply transfer because the US had a weak navy. France had many resources like ships, troops, gunpowder, artillery, etc.

Artillery
Napoleon had many powerful cannons and artillery, while Washington had very little.

Cavalry
Napoleon had a strong cavalry, Washington had a small cavalry.

So in conclusion, Napoleon's tactics, navy, troops, artillery, experience, etc. would be superior to Washington's advantages, leading to Napoleon's victory. He would have no problem with the supply transfer because of his navy.
Braaainz

Con

I will address some of my opponent's arguments while also including points regarding my own.

The Date
My opponent would like us to set the date after the French Revolution and when Napoleon is Emperor of France. Unfortunately for him, Napoleon crowned himself Emperor in 1804, five years after Washington died. Yes, I'm sure Napoleon could easily defeat a corpse, but I feel that such a battle is not worth debating. If we are going to choose an arbitrary date and say our proposed leaders would miraculously be alive, then I would want us to choose shortly after World War 2 with France rebuilding and the United States in possession of nuclear weapons.

My point here is that the only way to fairly debate a topic such as this one is to choose a date where both entities were "alive and kicking". Unfortunately for my opponent, the only time period that suits this is one where Napoleon was not Emperor, but a Brigadier General, and Washington was the Commander of Chief of the United States military with advisors from among the best of America's armed forces.

Tactics: Size of forces
"It is true that Washington did learn some tactics, but Napoleon was much better. As for the guerrilla tactics, Napoleon's army would still have defeated them. During Napoleon's battles in Egypt, the enemy used many guerrilla tactics, but Napoleon still won."
Of course, this is mere conjecture on my opponent's part. A guerilla war in early America would have been extremely costly to the French. The colonies still possessed large amounts of cover along roads, providing concealment for hit & run attacks. Having recently won freedom, I doubt that the new Citizens would willingly embrace French occupiers. Due to their long supply lines, the French would have to rely on locals for food and sustenance... food and water that could be easily poisoned by the citizens. What could the French offer in return for occupation? Not much.

I would also like to further underline one of my points made above. From 1793-1797, Washington was President of the United States. This means that not only was he commander of the military, but that he could also rely on his best admirals and generals for their tactics. So, saying that Napoleon was the superior tactician between the two of them only yields so much ground.

Resources
"Also, you say that a naval blockade would stop Napoleon's ships. But where would America get the navy? America had a small navy, and it would be easy for France's navy to defeat the US navy at that time."
Britain, not France, had the premiere navy in the world at that time. In fact, in 1798, British Admiral Nelson captured or destroyed all but two french naval vessels located at the Battle of the Nile. Any french naval supply line crossing the Atlantic would have to have braved the British Navy. Upon arriving here, they'd still have to deal with any American Vessels.

I would also like to point out that the United States fought an undeclared war with France from 1798 to 1800. While this is outside the dates I established for our debate, it's closeness in time is important. The "Quasi-War" http://en.wikipedia.org... had the result of being a tactical American naval victory (Wells, Tom Henderson; Nash, Howard P. (1969). "Review: The Forgotten Wars: The Role of the U. S. Navy in the Quasi War With France and the Barbary Wars, 1798-1805 by Howard P. Nash, Jr". The Journal of Southern History 35 (1): 87). While many merchant ships were lost, only one American naval vessel was lost.

Foreign Aid
My opponent says that Britain would not help us, yet in the Quasi-war, American ships were allowed to join British conveys (and vice-versa). Also, Britain sold us stores and ammunition. Considering the tensions/battles between France and England, I think England would take advantage of any distraction that the US caused France. For example, any supply lines from France to America would be quickly attacked by the British hoping to capture their goods or sink them.

My opponent wishes to contain the scope of this war between just France and the United States, but this is an unrealistic expectation. Things like diplomacy, allies, safety of supply lines thru neutral or enemy territory are very important in war and would have to be figured into by the leaders of the opposing forces. To say we must exclude these things is to say, "let's have a war, but only arm wrestling is allowed"

Battles.
"Napoleon had more experience and was a better general than Washington."
Unfortunately, the victories my opponent lists takes some things for granted. Did Napoleon personally train his armies? No. France had a system/organization in place well before Napoleon joined the military. They had resources, supplies, and technology. Washington had men with their hunting rifles with no formal military training.

It is unfair to expect Washington, starting with little resources and few trained men to always triumph over the British who fielded an army similar to what the French would have had. So of course, his track record would appear to less than stellar than Napoleon. I think what should be looked at is how Washington managed to eventually triumph given his initial disadvantages. In other words, giving a simple listing of victories and defeats is misleading. You need to look at what each military was working with and how they managed to utilize it.

Supplies
"Napoleon would indeed have to transfer supplies overseas, but that would be easy with his powerful navy. The US would not be able to stop his supply transfer because the US had a weak navy. France had many resources like ships, troops, gunpowder, artillery, etc."
As I mentioned above, America managed a tactical victory a few years later in their quasi-naval war with France. France was also involved with hostilities with England, who would eagerly pounce on any French supply ships.

Artillery
"Napoleon had many powerful cannons and artillery, while Washington had very little."
America had any cannon/artillery forfeited by the British after the Revolution. Also, Napoleon would have to bring such armament to America then transport it to where it was needed. In contrast, the United States already had forts built in strategic locations with their cannon on the high ground. Any french vessel wishing to disembark artillery would have to deal with America already possessing a greater range and strategic location.

When moved to other towns, their artillery would also be vulnerable during transport by hit and run raids. Don't forget that much of early America was still heavily covered in vegetation. This wouldn't be Europe with clear lines of sight everywhere.

Cavalry
"Napoleon had a strong cavalry, Washington had a small cavalry."
Again, the terrain and geography would be a more limiting factor here. Napoleon would have to fight an entirely different kind of war than what he had fought in Europe.

So in conclusion...
the French Navy would still be engaging the superior British Navy and America's navy held it's own a handful of years later in their Quasi-naval war with the French. In order words, the French supply lines would still be a huge weak point for Napoleon, something he would later learn in his Russian campaign.

His artillery and troops would suffer from lack of materiel. There is no reason for any local to support him, his armies would be in hostile territory at all times. At the same time, Americans would be producing more cannon/materiel and only have to transport it a mere fraction of the distance.

Washington, being Commander in Chief at that time, would have the best military advisors in the United States and could more closely coordinate both Navy and Army. It would also be far easier for him to arrange military funding than when he served in the Revolutionary Army. Napoleon was only a Brigadier General during this time period and would have to deal with superior officers, the aristocracy, etc.
Debate Round No. 3
1dustpelt

Pro

I will address my opponent's arguments.

The Date
The date will be between 1793 and 1797.

Tactics
My opponent argues that guerrilla tactics will be extremely costly to the French. The idea that the American colonists used guerrilla tactics and acted as snipers from the forest, while hapless British soldiers lined up in the open and followed the rules of European warfare is part of the myth of the American Revolution, and is often dismissed by modern historians. However, it is based on reality to a certain extent. There were certainly instances of the Americans using guerrilla tactics, particularly following Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. However, most of the time, Washington used guerrilla tactics to weaken the British before actually fighting using the traditional Continental Army.
The real battles would actually be the traditional European warfare, in which Napoleon was a master at.

Resources
The British did indeed have a superior navy, but they would not openly attack French ships. The British would not want to openly cause war with the French. Also, the Quasi War you stated, was a pirate war, or a war with privateers. French ships of the line did not get involved, while the US used their strongest warships.

Foreign Aid
Britain was hostile with the US, and because they kept attacking US ships, the War of 1812 occurred. Even if Britain did aid the US, they would not put much aid.

"Unfortunately, the victories my opponent lists takes some things for granted. Did Napoleon personally train his armies? No. France had a system/organization in place well before Napoleon joined the military. They had resources, supplies, and technology. Washington had men with their hunting rifles with no formal military training."
Exactly. That gives the advantage of troops to Napoleon.

"It is unfair to expect Washington, starting with little resources and few trained men to always triumph over the British who fielded an army similar to what the French would have had."
The majority of the battles Washington fought with the British were lost. France's army is similar if not better than the British army. Therefore, the majority of the battles Washington fights with Napoleon would be lost. The main reason Washington won battles was because of number, and Napoleon won many battles while outnumbered.

"I think what should be looked at is how Washington managed to eventually triumph given his initial disadvantages. In other words, giving a simple listing of victories and defeats is misleading. You need to look at what each military was working with and how they managed to utilize it."
Very well, lets look at some of the battles Washington did win.

Yorktown- The British were outnumbered 3 to 1. Washington also got French support.
Battle of Eutaw Springs- British were outnumbered and the US lost way more men.
Saratoga- Victory
Trenton- Outnumbered the British. There were 2,400 American troops with 18 guns. 1,400 Hessians with 6 light guns.

As you see, most of the battles Washington won was purely because of number, while Napoleon won many battles while outnumbered.

Supplies
Quoting my opponent, "As I mentioned above, America managed a tactical victory a few years later in their quasi-naval war with France. France was also involved with hostilities with England, who would eagerly pounce on any French supply ships."
The French used pirates, or privateers in the Quasi War. No French ship of the line was directly involved in it, while the US used their strongest ships. If the French really wanted to win that war, they could have. And the US was also involved with hostilities with Britain, because of these hostilities, the war of 1812 was fought.

Artillery
"America had any cannon/artillery forfeited by the British after the Revolution. Also, Napoleon would have to bring such armament to America then transport it to where it was needed. In contrast, the United States already had forts built in strategic locations with their cannon on the high ground. Any French vessel wishing to disembark artillery would have to deal with America already possessing a greater range and strategic location."
That is true, but Napoleon was a master of artillery. One of the things he was the most famous for is his skills at artillery. Most historians would agree.

Cavalry
"Again, the terrain and geography would be a more limiting factor here. Napoleon would have to fight an entirely different kind of war than what he had fought in Europe."
One of the main reasons why the British won the Battle of Camden was because of their cavalry, which proves cavalry to be useful.

"In order words, the French supply lines would still be a huge weak point for Napoleon, something he would later learn in his Russian campaign.'
Napoleon lost the Russian campaign because of the cold, his men were freezing.

Conclusion
Napoleon's superior tactics, artillery skills and troops would defeat Washington.

Sources:
http://www.theamericanrevolution.org...
http://www.wtj.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Braaainz

Con

I thank my opponent for conceding the date.

Tactics
I thank my opponent for conceding that guerilla tactics would play a role. He did not address the fact that between 1793 and 1797 that Washington was President of the United States and would have access to the best generals and admirals in America's military. I would also like to point out that Napoleon was a brigadier general during those years and still had much to learn.

Resources
I thank my opponent for conceding that the British had a superior navy. However he states that they did not openly attach French ships. This is incorrect. The British were involved in open war with the French during the War of the First Coalition which ran from (coincidentally) 1793-1797. In fact, Britain remained at war with France after that which led them to try and conscript american sailors... which increased US/British tensions helping cause the War of 1812.

The Quasi-War was a war of privateers, however, the fact that British privateers were able to take Spanish treasure ships in the past points to their effectiveness. Also, the French would have to blockade nearly ALL of American ports in order to be effective. Considering France was at war with nearly ALL of Europe at the time, I doubt they could spare ships of the line to engage in a blockade of America.

Foreign Aid
Britain was neutral to America during 1793-1797. My opponent points to the War of 1812 as proof of aggression, but he overlooks the fact that Britain attacked US vessels at that time because 1 they were worried that the US would aid France with supplies and 2 they needed sailors to help fight France. The enemy of my enemy is my friend is a cliche because it is so often true. If France engaged in war with America, England would take advantage of France spreading its resources even thinner and attack them mercilessly. I would further like to point out that in America's Quasi-War with France (shortly after our proposed dates), the US and Britain allowed ships to join each other's convoys to protect one another from french privateers.

Troop Training
I will concede that Napoleon's troops were better trained and that Napoleon won battles when outnumbered. However, in this case, we are talking about him having to take a war to another continent, with French resources spread out against numerous European fronts rather than against America.

Artillery
Napoleon might have been a master of artillery, but he would not be in charge while on board ship. A brigadier general would hold command on land, while a commodore would be in charge on water. Before Napoleon could land his troops and artillery, he would have to undergo a barrage from artillery on high ground placed in defensive forts. i.e. he would suffer HUGE losses before even landing. I would also like to point out that any artillery France would have, would be used in their European theaters... not in a futile attack on America.

Cavalry
Napoleon lost Russia because of Russia's scorched earth campaign. There were no local food sources and his supply lines were too long. Something similar could easily happen in America to invading troops needing to rely on hostile locals.

Cavalry is susceptible to attack by massed infantry (and as my opponent pointed out, Washington also used massed infantry tactics in addition to guerilla tactics). Usually massed infantry is an easy target for artillery, but as stated earlier, Napoleon wouldn't have much access to artillery. I would also like to point out that any cavalry Napoleon had would have to be brought over the Atlantic. Seasick horses kept confined for weeks would not be in the best of shape for several days after landing... days in which Washington could take advantage.

Conclusion
During the years of our proposed skirmish, France was involved in numerous wars with the other European powers. Napoleon, a brigadier general at that time would still lack some of his later experience and be hamstrung by lack of supplies, men and artillery (things needed in France's fight for survival against traditional monarchies).

Britain was one of the countries at war with France and as my opponent has acknowledged, they had a superior navy to France. France would not be able to mount or maintain a blockade of America and Napoleon would be hard-pressed to keep his ocean-spanning supply lines intact.

Napoleon might be a better tactician, but without decent numbers of troops, artillery, and having to deal with harried supply lines means that no matter how good... he would be unable to beat George Washington in a war.
Debate Round No. 4
1dustpelt

Pro

Tactics
Guerrilla tactics would play a very little role. During the American Revolution, Washington used guerrilla tactics to weaken the enemy before actually fighting the real battle, in which he usually lost.

Resources
My opponent argues that the British fought an open war with the French during the War of the First Coalition. However, who won the War of the First Coalition? France, even when France had many enemies and were outnumbered.

Foreign Aid
Both Britain and the US was involved in the Panic of 1796-1797, which caused both countries' economies to fall. Britain would not help the US when they are already trying to save their own economy.

Troops
I thank my opponent for conceding that Napoleon had better troops.

Artillery
Napoleon's artillery would however do plenty of damage while on land.

Cavalry
My opponent still has not addressed my point that the main reason why the British won the Battle of Camden was because of their cavalry, which proves cavalry to be useful. Also, my opponent argues that, "Cavalry is susceptible to attack by massed infantry." But again, Napoleon, the tactician, would not randomly send the Cavalry to attack without infantry support.

Also, my opponent has not rebutted these arguments:

The majority of the battles Washington fought with the British were lost. France's army is similar if not better than the British army. Therefore, the majority of the battles Washington fights with Napoleon would be lost. The main reason Washington won battles was because of number and French support, and Napoleon won many battles while outnumbered.

Again, look at the statistics.

Napoleon Bonaparte
Austerlitz - Victory and also was outnumbered
Jena - Victory
Waterloo - Defeat, but would have won if his officers cooperated
Logan - Victory and outnumbered
Pyramids - Victory and was outnumbered
Wag ram - Victory

George Washington
Fort Washington - Defeat
Brandying - Outnumbered the British, made poor decisions and lost
Saratoga - Victory
Germantown - Outnumbered the British but lost
Monmouth - Draw
Yorktown - Victory, but only because the French came

And now, look at the battles George Washington did win.

Yorktown- The British were outnumbered 3 to 1. Washington also got French support.
Battle of Eutaw Springs- British were outnumbered and the US lost way more men.
Saratoga- Victory
Trenton- Outnumbered the British. There were 2,400 American troops with 18 guns. 1,400 Hessians with 6 light guns.

Washington's victories were purely because of number, and Napoleon won many battles with low supplies and numbers.

My opponent's main argument is that Napoleon had many enemies and low supplies. But this argument can be easily rebutted because during his Austrian Campaign, Italian Campaign, and many other wars he had many enemies and low supplies, and yet he still won.

Conclusion
Napoleon's superior tactics, artillery skills and troops would defeat Washington. The fact that he had low supplies and many enemies would not matter very much because he won many wars while facing many enemies and had low supplies. Clearly, Napoleon would win against George Washington.
Braaainz

Con

My opponent added some points in his last round that I feel must be addressed.
It is true that the US and Great Britain were involved Panic of 1796-1797. However, he provides no sources for his followup statements. The economies of those countries DID NOT FALL. There was an economic downturn - true, but their economies continued. In fact, it was Great Britain's warfare with France which caused their involvement in the Panic. (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Also, "The fact that the United States had already declared neutrality in the conflict between Great Britain and (now revolutionary) France, and that American legislation was being passed for a trade deal with their British enemy, led to French outrage. The French government was also furious over the U.S. refusal to continue repaying its debt to France on the grounds that the debt had been owed to the French Crown, not to Republican France" (http://en.wikipedia.org...).
If GB was having an economic downturn due to their war with France, wouldn't they seek allies with France's enemies, especially ones with abundant natural resources? Again, I'd like to remind my opponent that GB and the US did ally their merchant forces during Quasi-War years of France vs US and that the Quasi-War came about because France was worried about US providing too much aid to GB. In other words, my opponent is wrong about the Panic and about Great Britain. I think there is clear evidence that GB would support the US as an ally against France.

I have also responded to my opponent's argument about the war records of the two leaders. Napoleon started with well-trained men & equipment. Washington had to build up his own. It is unfair to expect Washington to win all of his battles during his Revolutionary War under those conditions.

To conclude.

I am NOT arguing that Washington was a better General/military leader than Napoleon. I am arguing that Napoleon would not be able to beat Washington in a war. This is a very important distinction.

Furthermore, our hypothetical war would occur between 1793-1797. During those years, Napoleon was a Brigadier General while Washington was President of the United States. France was involved in open warfare with most of Europe and Great Britain at that time and their supplies, navies, soldiers, cavalry, artillery, etc... would all have been needed to fight the more imminent threat of Europe invading their country.

Napoleon would not have had access to equipment, troops, and materiel needed to mount an invasion force over the Atlantic. His supply lines would have been enormous, and as my opponent already agreed, Great Britain (who France was already at war with) had a superior navy. Basically, Napoleon could not make lemonaid if he lacked lemons, water, and sugar.

Furthermore, Napoleon would not have been in charge of the French navies due to his rank during those years. His expertise at artillery would be moot if he could not land his forces in America. America meanwhile had fortified positions with cannon in the major ports they had won/built since their Revoutionary War. Also, Napoleon would have to ship his cavalry overseas and this would severely hamper their effectiveness for several days after landing.

So, lacking rank, needed equipment, supplies and men... with supply lines that involved crossing the Atlantic while fighting off a superior British Navy, Napoleon would not have the things he would need to fight a successful campaign.
Debate Round No. 5
57 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by thigner 2 years ago
thigner
Critically those arguments are very ambiguous and I exactly understand the difficulty of competence for persons who even never ever met and not living contemporary times.

I think the criteria for decision who's better must be about 'how much superiority he showed off to his opponents in same period'

and also before think of this question, you guys must know how much troops and the economical status of country before they get entitled to the general.

It's very interesting theme and I promise I would have more deep interests in this subject
Posted by PeacefulChaos 2 years ago
PeacefulChaos
Allow me to rephrase that, I meant that it isn't JUST about a better military strategist, it is ALSO about who can beat who using their current resources, their territory, allies, etc.
Posted by PeacefulChaos 2 years ago
PeacefulChaos
But that would defeat the purpose of this debate. This debate isn't who is a better military strategist, it is who can beat who by using their current resources, their territory, allies, etc.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 2 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
Exactly.
Posted by PeacefulChaos 2 years ago
PeacefulChaos
But using that logic, you should also give Washington the same navy as Napoleon, the same weapons, the same troops, the same allies, etc.

No side would have any advantage whatsoever, it would only come down to who can use their resources better, and if that's the case, then the debate should be changed to, "Napoleon was a better military strategist than Washington was."
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 2 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
Before anyone jumps down my throat,

I don't think it's far to argue within the same time period of both, because it is not an accurate representation. I think there should always be constants when debating who would win, this vs. that -- because if we argued Alexander the Great vs. Washington, Washington would destroy Alexander because he has much, much, much better weapons. You should always keep constants, so to argue that in a certain time Washington would have beaten Napoléon, because France didn't have the resources etc, at a certain absolute time on Earth when they were both alive, I think is unfair. And I do not mean any offense to Braaainz, as I think twisting it to make it about the time period was ingenious.
Posted by 1dustpelt 2 years ago
1dustpelt
Because Llamaman had a bad RFD!
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
Pro told me to change my other vote!
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
Llama man WAS VBing!!!!!!
Posted by Braaainz 2 years ago
Braaainz
Dustpelt,
I refuted the statistics as best as I was able. If you have ideas on how I could have done better, please let me know. Personally, I didn't think I could win by comparing Washington's and Napoleon's war records, which is why I focused on resources and how much France could commit to action overseas.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 2 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
1dustpeltBraaainzTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Both did great. Although Con's idea behind his argument was ingenious, to use the time period rather than the actual statistics, I do not think that was the point of the debate. What if it were Alexander the Great vs. Washington, as they never overlap in time period? When debating who would win if they fought a war, you must keep constants -- they have the same weapons, at about the same age, etc., and considering this, Pro wins, but I applaud Con's effort completely.
Vote Placed by jimtimmy 2 years ago
jimtimmy
1dustpeltBraaainzTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter ike
Vote Placed by 000ike 2 years ago
000ike
1dustpeltBraaainzTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:02 
Reasons for voting decision: Neutralizing 16kadams vote. I've had it with him screwing up people's hard work under the veneer of "counter-votebombing." If he will not read this debate and vote properly, then he will not vote at all. That said, I concede that Llamaman's vote was illegitimate, but llamaman voted against Pro by 3 and 16k voted by 5, giving 2 unwarranted points to Pro. I will thus counterbalance his voting by adding 2 points for Con.
Vote Placed by imabench 2 years ago
imabench
1dustpeltBraaainzTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: making the timeline for the war was vital to the con's success since the time he picked was when France was almost at war with everyone. The site of the battle (On american shores) also swings the arguments in favor of the con, so arguments go to him, pro did use better sources though even if you eliminate the wikipedia ones. Very cool debate :)
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
1dustpeltBraaainzTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter the last vote. Sources as they where accurate.
Vote Placed by LlamaMan 2 years ago
LlamaMan
1dustpeltBraaainzTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Should've had the presumed the date to be when they were both at the heights of their power.
Vote Placed by THEBOMB 2 years ago
THEBOMB
1dustpeltBraaainzTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: The timeline was in Con's favor. It was completely true that France was involved in European Wars during that time period. Pro cannot refute that fact. Continental War is more important than fruitless effort overseas. This gave Con the victory.