Napoleon Bonaparte would defeat George Washington in a War #3
Debate Rounds (5)
No trolling, semantics, etc. This is a SERIOUS debate.
For this debate, we are assuming that they are both at their height of power(Washington-President, Bonaparte-Emperor).
R1 for acceptance.
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.
Lets look at some of the most important battles Napoleon Bonaparte and George Washington fought.
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
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 tactition than George Washington.
Napoleon's men were highly trained, compared to George Washington's inexperienced men.
Napoleon had a large navy. All Washington had were a few frigates and many privateers.
Wikipedia is an accurate source!
Between the years 1789 and 1797, George Washington was President of the United States. Between 1804 and 1815, Napoleon was the Emperor of France and King of Italy. The question posed is, if these two men met in the field of battle (with Napoleon facing his own domestic and foreign issues and Washington facing his own issues), who would win? Most people would instinctively say, Napoleon, he is the better tactician, etc. etc. I am here to tell you the opposite is true, Napoleon would lose for the following reasons:
Fact 1. Napoleon's failure—Guerilla Warfare
I am not even going to attempt to deny Napoleon's military genius, because he was a military genius. But, he did fail spectacularly on a few occasions. While Napoleon was a great tactician when it came to guerilla warfare, he was clueless. Napoleon's failed Spanish and Russian campaigns speak volumes. Both of these campaigns has a few common features that Napoleon was not prepared for, 1) hit and run tactics, 2) smaller ill-equipped armies opposing him and 3) an inability to defend against these guerilla tactics. Highlighted by the fact Napoleon lost both of these campaigns. The major difference between the Spanish and the Russians is the Russians utilized scorched earth tactics desolating Napoleon's army when the winter time came. The Russian Campaign of 1812 was the biggest reason Napoleon eventual fell from power and the Russian's utilized guerilla warfare. Napoleon also lost in his Spanish campaign, and the Spanish utilized…guerilla warfare. For all his genius, Napoleon was clueless when it came to guerilla war.
Fact 2. Napoleon would not be able to use his entire military against George Washington whereas the reverse was true
At Napoleon's height, he controlled almost all of Europe. All of these countries resented Napoleon's armies being stationed there and if they had the option to, would rebel against him or Britain would invade France. The only reason countries were not breaking away was because sizeable French forces kept them in check. Even then they ran into problems just look at Spain. On the other hand, the USA could use their entire military (or most of it) simply because they did not have to worry about states breaking away. (Or at least it was not as big of a problem).
Contention 1. US guerilla tactics would decimate Napoleon
The United States was skilled in the art of guerilla warfare. You see, that was the biggest reason the USA won the revolutionary war, they did not attack Britain head on instead attacking supply lines or smaller scouting groups, slowly wearing down the British's supplies and morale. It would be the exact same here, just the United States would have a larger army, a smaller army which is not as well equipped would be attacking a better equipped larger army. Napoleon, as highlighted above, could not succeed against guerilla tactics. The United States army's skill in guerilla warfare would absolutely destroy Napoleon turning what Napoleon thought would be an easy campaign into one which was the exact opposite; a defeat. (2, 3)
Contention 2. Everyone hated France
Let's face it. In this time period, really the only country which liked France was…France. If the United States was to engage in a guerilla war with France other countries would "forget" their original hatred for the USA and help them defeat France. We all know the saying "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Just look at Spain, other countries helped the Spanish out, mainly the UK, Portugal, Germany, Naples, and Switzerland. (1, 2) Many of these countries despised each other yet, still worked together. The same would happen if the US went against France.
Contention 3. France would be fighting a multi-front war.
You see, Napoleon was emperor between 1804 and 1815. During this time he invaded almost all of Europe. This would just be one more campaign Napoleon would have to devote considerable resources to. Actually, this would be one more GUERILLA campaign Napoleon would be involved in as he was already involved in Russia, where he lost most of his army, and Spain, where he spent considerable amounts of resources to eventually fail to ill-equipped guerilla fighters. This would just be one more campaign against Napoleon utilizing tactics which Napoleon frankly sucked against.
When it came solely to classical tactics, Napoleon was a genius. I will not even deny that. But, when it came to guerilla tactics, Napoleon was clueless, highlighted by his failures in Russia and Spain.
2. Win loss success rate
First of all, this is irrelevant. The fact is George Washington losing against the British does not mean he will fail against the French. Second, the fact of the matter is, Washington won in the end. Napoleon lost. Napoleon won tons of battles yet lost the war. Washington lost battles yet, won the war. That speaks volumes. In other words, Washington would be the New York Giants against the undefeated Patriots, lost tons of battles but, won the superbowl. Napoleon would be the New England Patriots. Furthermore, my opponent forgets two of Napoleons major defeats, Russia and Spain, these completely destroyed any chance Napoleon had and plus they used unorthodox tactics.
The Spanish troops arrayed against Napoleon were ill trained they were in fact, partisan troops (an irregular force, look at the French Resistance for a good example) (1). These soldiers were ill-trained and not very well equipped. Yet, still "The many years of fighting in Spain gradually wore down France's famous Grande Arm�e" (1). The training is irrelevant. Guerilla tactics would defeat Napoleon.
One word privateers. During the American Revolution, George Washington utilized thousands of armed private vessels. They disrupted British shipping hurting the British economy, they also attacked British war vessels hurting their war effort as well (4). And guess what? The British have always had a stronger navy than the French which was one major reason Napoleon failed in his attempt to control the English Chanel (5). In fact, Admiral John Jervis once said "I do not say they [the French] cannot come - I only say they cannot come by sea." He was right. The French could not break the English blockade. The English Navy was much more powerful than the French Navy yet, privateers still succeeding in hurting the British. American privateers will 1) hurt France's economy making a war with the United States impossible to keep up and 2) privateers would attack French war vessels damaging their navy.
Here are the major things we know:
1) Napoleon sucked against guerrilla tactics
2) The United States was adept at guerilla tactics
3) The United States would receive outside assistance to defeat France
4) France would have to fight a multi-front war
5) George Washington WON whereas Napoleon LOST
My opponent claims that Napoleon was clueless at guerilla tactics. Yes, I admit that Napoleon did fail the Spanish campaign due to guerilla tactics. However, the Spanish soldiers were better trained than Washington's men. 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. I would also like to point out that the British, which used a similar fighting style Napoleon did, almost won the American Revolution. They would have if France hadn't helped. About the Russian campaign, Napoleon loss was mainly because of the cold winter.
Everyone Hated France
This is a war between Napoleon and Washington, not Napoleon vs Washington, King George III, Fredrick II, etc.
I admit that Napoleon was fighting a multi-front war, 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. Why waste your own troops on some tiny country when you need all the troops you have? Also remember that this is supposed to be a war between the US and France only.
Win loss success rate
This is not irrelevant because the British and France had similar fighting styles. Yes, it is true that Washington won the American Revolution, however it was only because of the French rescuing him. Take Yorktown for example. If the French hadn't arrived, Lord Cornwallis could have used the Navy to his advantage. Also, let's look at 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.
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. Napoleon won many battles while outnumbered.
Unorthodox tactics? What about Napoleon's Egyptian campaign?
Troops are relevant. A better trained army will follow orders better. The main reason Montcalm lost the battle of Quebec was because of his troops were misbehaving. I already refuted the Guerilla Tactics.
Privateer vs Warship. I would think that the Warship would win. The navy is a good advantage because look at Yorktown. The British had Yorktown blockaded. Were privateers able to hurt that? No. It was the French navy that defeated the British.
Napoleon had many powerful cannons and artillery, while Washington had very little.
Here are the major things we know:
Napoleon had a strong cavalry, Washington had a small cavalry.
1. Napoleon defeated guerilla tactics in the battle of the Pyramids.
2. Napoleon had a better navy
3. Napoleon had a better trained army
4. Napoleon is famous for tactics
5. Napoleon has better artillery
6. Napoleon has better cavalry
7. Washington's victories were only because of number, Napoleon won while outnumbered
Napoleon would win with his tactics, navy, troops, artillery, etc.
Most sources continued from last time.
My opponent has made several key concessions.
1. Napoleon failed versus guerilla tactics
2. Napoleon and Washington both will face their own domestic and foreign issues
3. Napoleon could not use his entire military due to his multi-front war
Contention 1. Guerilla War
My opponent makes the claim that "the Spanish soldiers were better trained than Washington's men" this is completely wrong. I provided a source last round showing that the Spanish soldiers who resisted the French invasion, eventually triumphing were nothing more than an ill-equipped, badly trained Parisian force. This, in fact, makes them less trained than the American soldiers as Washington was president over a country and had an actual army.
My opponent then claims that guerilla warfare being used in the Revolution was a myth. This is completely wrong, just look at Battles such as Saratoga in the north which utilized guerilla tactics. Furthermore, my opponent completely ignores the Southern theatre of the American Revolution where British loyalists and soldiers outnumbered the patriots. According to the National Park Service, in the southern theatre, "guerilla warfare replaced orthodox fighting." This is highlighted by two extremely important battles, King Mountain—British defeat, and Cowpens—British defeat. In both of these battles, irregular patriot soldiers, who were not well equipped, defeated the best trained soldiers in the world. Both of these battles were decisive victories stopping British advances. France played no part in either of these battles. Furthermore, most guerilla fighters were not attacking soldiers; many attacked supply caravans and disrupted supply lines. This meant where the British needed supplied, they did not have supplies.
Finally, my opponent claims Napoleon lost the Russian campaign because of the winter. This is a complete myth. Napoleon lost because of Russian unorthodox tactics such as scorched earth and guerilla war. These tactics caused the massive Grand Arme� to have no supplies and, in fact, the cavalry resorted to eating their horses. Russian guerilla tactics were aimed mostly at Napoleon's supply lines so the Grand Arme� slowly starved to death. The winter played little part in Napoleon's demise, first, Napoleon's retreat began on October 17th, weeks before the brunt of the Russian winter. In fact, Napoleons General of the Cavalry, Denis Davidor wrote "the winters of 1795 and 1807 were colder but failed to prevent French victories" (1). Napoleon lost 380,000 men not because of the Russian winter but, because of unorthodox tactics the Russian's utilized.
2. Hate of French
By making this claim my opponent is limiting himself only to French soldiers, he cannot utilize the men that are from a different country. Thus, he weakens himself greatly. Furthermore, my opponent completely dropped the fact that Napoleon has to face foreign and domestic issues, a foreign issue includes an outside ally of the United States. My opponent goes on saying, the British would no help the USA against France. But, why not? The British helped Spain, they hated the Spanish as well. The British hated the French more then they hated the United States. The French hated the British more then they hated the United States.
3. Multi-front war
My opponent asks if the US was better off, my answer, yes they were better off. They were not actually directly involved in the Napoleonic Wars as 1) there was the Atlantic Ocean and 2) Washington was not invading every surrounding country. I cross-apply my logic under "Hate of the French" here. Napoleon had his own foreign issues.
4. Win-loss ration
The simple fact is, overall, Washington won against a larger, more superior force, he managed through leadership to inspire fighters through the worst times, for example, Valley Forge. Washington had a smaller, not as well trained, less equipped army then the British, even with French assistance. (2) Napoleon had a larger army (the Grand Arme�) and yet, he still lost. My opponent goes on to cite several battles Washington lost, but, then he completely ignores several facts 1) the British were better trained, 2) Washington won, 3) Washington had an overall smaller force and 4) the Southern campaign. The South was crucial to the Revolutionary War, the South was a major Loyalist (loyal to England) center. They outnumbered the Revolutionaries many times over. Yet, the British still lost. Look at battles such as Cowpens, major tactical victories. Even in the North there were major tactical victories, the Battle of Saratoga, it was a major United States win as it accomplished a few things: 1) Completely decimated the British plan to split the United States, 2) Captured over 6,000 British soldiers, 3) destroyed British General John Burgoyne's army, and 4) is considered the turning point in the American Revolution. (3) Even look at one of the first battles, the Battle of Bunker Hill, it is considered a British Pyrrhic Victory, meaning the large number of causalities the British had outweighed the benefit. Another battle like this would have destroyed the British Army. The British had over 1,000 casualties and 226 deaths. Most were ranking British officers, something unheard of in warfare (another example of unorthodox warfare, aiming at officers) (4). My opponent then asks about Egypt, what about it? The Egyptian Army utilized cavalry charges and open field tactics. There is nothing unorthodox about the Egyptian maneuvers. Furthermore, Napoleon actually lost this Campaign having to retreat. (5)
The Spanish Parisian army was not well trained or well equipped yet they defeated France. My opponent cites Quebec (when it was still under French control) for some reason, yet fails to realize Montcalm lost because he tactically put himself in that situation in two ways: 1) The British convinced him they would be attacking from somewhere else and 2) Montcalm did not utilize Quebec's walls fighting open field on the Plain of Abraham. Cross-apply my guerilla point here. The American soldiers would be guerilla warriors like the Spanish.
My opponent says 1 warship could defeat 1 privateer but, what about 100 privateers against one warship? I say the privateers win simply because of the sheer number. Furthermore, privateers do not have to attack warships they can attack French shipping lanes accomplishing two major things: 1) diverting French warships to protect their merchant ships and 2) hurting the French economically. Furthermore, the French would still have to deal with the British navy (which was more powerful than the French Navy) even if the British did not directly aid the United States. You cannot simply ignore a country.
What use is artillery if you do not know where your enemy is? It is useless. Smaller groups of hidden artillery are more useful than large groups of artillery that do not know where to aim. If you cannot see your enemy you cannot kill them.
Cavalry does not do well against guerilla tactics. Look what happened to Cavalry units in Russia and Spain. They lost. In Russia, especially, Cavalry men were reduced to eating their horses. (1)
To sum up, I have shown that any advantage Napoleon may have is completely mitigated by the tactics utilized by George Washington. Napoleon would lose against George Washington.
My opponent claims I conceded the guerilla tactics. I did not. All I conceded was the Spanish campaign.
Contention 1. Guerilla War
I concede that Guerilla Tactics would play a role, but 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. Without the French helping Washington, the British would have won the Revolution. If Napoleon could defeat the British, he would defeat Washington.
I did not claim that Guerilla Warfare in the Revolution was a myth. If you had read, it said, "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."
Battle of King's Mountain- Washington was not involved.
Cowpens- British outnumbered.
Napoleon won many battles while outnumbered.
My opponent claims that Napoleon losing because of the winter in the Russian Campaign is false. Well after Napoleon conquered Moscow, he waited for Czar Alexander I to offer peace. However, the Czar remained silent. With low supplies and his troops lacking winter clothing, Napoleon was forced to retreat.
2. Hate of the French
The French had a special drafting system to fill their army.
3. Multi-Front War
Remember that this is supposed to be between Napoleon and Washington, not Napoleon vs Washington, George III, Fredrick II, etc.
4. Win-loss ration
Yes, Washington did win, but it was because of French support.
Saratoga- Washington was not involved.
Valley Forge (Trenton)- Outnumbered the British 1 to 2. They had 18 guns, the British had 6 light guns.
The Egyptians did use unorthodox tactics. As someone in the comments said, "Campaigning against an Oriental enemy largely unknown in Europe at the time is certainly more daring than fighting against American guerrilla warfare."
My opponent basically drops the statistics.
Yes, the Spanish Parisian army were not well trained. What I am saying is that troops that can follow orders would help. Montcalm's men during the Battle of Quebec were disorganized. Someone ordered a fire that was too early, disorganizing his men. By their second time to fire, their men were so disorganized, when the British charged they were scattered.
My opponent drops the argument that the British had their navy blockading many ports during the American revolution. Could privateers do anything about it?
My opponent keeps claiming that the only way the Americans fight is with guerilla tactics. No, they fought in an open field too!
Uses of artillery:
1. Open field battles
2. Naval bombardment
3. Fort sieges
Extend from artillery. Besides, what about the Battle of Camden? Calvary charges, Americans retreat.
My opponent keeps claiming that the only way the Americans fight is with guerilla tactics. No, they fought in an open field too! If the British can defeat the Americans without French help, then Napoleon can also defeat the Americans. I have shown that Napoleon has much more advantages than Washington. 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. The British had a similar fighting style Napoleon had. If the French hadn't helped the Americans, the British would have won. If the British could defeat Washington, then Napoleon can too.
By conceding the Spanish campaign my opponent concedes that Napoleon sucked against guerilla tactics.
C1. Guerilla War
"Washington used guerrilla tactics to weaken the enemy before actually fighting the real battle, in which he usually lost."
My opponent ignores the Southern campaign completely.
"If Napoleon could defeat the British, he would defeat Washington."
My opponent obviously knows nothing about the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon lost to the British. Several times, in fact. Look at the final outcome.
"Battle of King's Mountain- Washington was not involved.
Cowpens- British outnumbered."
Washington was commander in chief of the northern and southern armies therefore, he was involved in the north and the south for all battles. In the entire southern campaign, British loyalists and British regulars outnumbered the revolutionaries.
"My opponent claims that Napoleon losing because of the winter in the Russian Campaign is false. Well after Napoleon conquered Moscow, he waited for Czar Alexander I to offer peace. However, the Czar remained silent. With low supplies and his troops lacking winter clothing, Napoleon was forced to retreat."
None of this refutes my point. I simply showed Napoleon losing because of the winter was false. Napoleon lost because of Russian unorthodox tactics.
C2. Hate of French
"The French had a special drafting system to fill their army."
Why is this relevant? If Washington cannot use soldiers from another country why should Napoleon be able to?
C3. Multi-Front war
Napoleon is facing his own Foreign and Domestic issues aka the Napoleonic Wars.
C4. Win-loss ratio
"Saratoga- Washington was not involved."
As commander in chief, Washington was involved.
"Valley Forge (Trenton)- Outnumbered the British 1 to 2. They had 18 guns, the British had 6 light guns."
So? All this means is Washington tactically outmaneuvered the British and brought more force than needed. How is this bad? It just means Washington wants to win.
"The Egyptians did use unorthodox tactics."
My opponent does not know what an unorthodox tactic is obviously. Unorthodox means something like guerilla war or scorched earth policies. My opponent completely drops my sourced arguments. My opponent, instead relies upon an unverifiable claim made by someone in the comments. I provided a source.
My opponent concedes many of my points under my fourth contention. My opponent fails to touch my point that even with French assistance, Washington still had a smaller ill-equipped force when compared to the British and yet, triumphed. Napoleon had a larger well-equipped force and lost. Second, my opponent fails to touch my Bunker Hill analysis.
My opponent drops the heart of this contention. The Spanish soldiers were less trained than the American fighters and still triumphed. Napoleon's well trained soldiers failed against the Spanish Parisian army utilizing guerilla tactics. The second half of my opponent's argument is unsourced versus my sourced argument.
"My opponent drops the argument that the British had their navy blockading many ports during the American revolution."
My opponent never claims this, they simply say the British were blockading Yorktown. Not any other ports. Furthermore, my opponent drops my analysis of the importance of privateers. And that the French would still have to deal with the British.
"My opponent keeps claiming that the only way the Americans fight is with guerilla tactics."
No, I am simply claiming the American fighters utilized guerilla tactics to defeat the British and will do the same to the French. American tactics would be the same as say Spanish tactics. Artillery has no use against hidden enemies.
Opponent dropped my analysis of how Napoleon's Cavalry lost big time in Spain and Russia. And what about Camden? There was one cavalry charge after they were basically defeated. Then the cavalry was basically used to chase down fleeing revolutionaries. (1)
My opponent continues making the same statements over and over again. They completely drop many of my points. Napoleon with all his resources lost. Washington with less resources (even with European assistance) won. Napoleon had a better trained army and yet still lost against forces which were not as well trained as Washington's forces. While a brilliant strategist, Napoleon thought in 2 dimensions. He never imagined that guerilla tactics would be used against him. As such, Napoleon paid dearly with his defeat in Spain which, as Napoleon states "destroyed me... All... my disasters are bound up in that fatal knot." (2) Napoleon was destroyed by guerilla tactics.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
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