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Washington vs. Napoleon fight to the death who wins?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/3/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,628 times Debate No: 25965
Debate Rounds (3)
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Washington wins, hands down. I know you would say, but Napoleon is the God of War, the Master of Artillery, blah, blah, blah. But is he the father of a country? I think not. Washington was able to lead the under-equipped, untrained Continental Army to a victory against the British Empire. Napoleon already had the best soldiers France had to offer, and he may have been better with artillery than Washington. Washington, however used Hybrid Warfare against the British by staging American Indian Style attacks on British caravans. Washington knew how to use the inaccurate muskets with the accurate Pennsylvania Long Rifles to make a devastating combo with the quick reload and fire time of the muskets, and the deadly accuracy of the Long Rifles. This debate is open to anyone and everyone who would like to debate me.


Although in most cases, fight to the death is two men trying to kill each other, I think in this debate it shall be defined as two generals leading their armies, as best as they can, to victory against the other.

The following are conditions for the battle:
  • France is the hosting country
  • It is not at winter
  • Napoleon and Washington are at their prime (whatever this may be) in terms of intellectuality and rank
  • Each have exactly 20,000 men (I don't care if it's sexist but I can't display evidence if we involve women, in fact neither can you)
  • Both men's armies have access to the prime quality artillery and weaponry of the present year (2012) and thus we must predict how they'd alter strategy based on this. Neither has better quality, nor more well-trained soldiers, at the time.
  • The war begins with Washington at North France and Napoleon at South, from there they can literally do whatever they want, even transport entire army to other end of France, but battle must stay in France.
  • For duration of war, no outside allies or enemies are involved.
I shall now explain why Napoleon would most likely win.

Just to make it clear, "General Bonaparte" is Napoleon, there is no difference, it's just his correct title when discussing war.

Arcola: 15-17 November 1796

French Army of Italy under General Bonaparte mainly using the divisions ofMassena and Augereau but with detachments from other formations for a total of about 19,000 men in all.


Austrian main army under General Alvintzy with about 24,000 men total.

Having failed to defeat Alvintzy's army on its approach march Bonaparte was left facing a new more numerous Austrian army before Verona in terrain that favoured Austrian tactics. Morever his troops were tired and their leadership decimated by constant hard campaigning.

Not wishing to force another head long battle in open terrain he resolved upon a daring flank attack across a couple of rivers and through marshland. Leaving small forces to hold Verona and the line of the Adige river near it he marched to Ronco and attacked with the goal of taking the town of Arcola on the far side of the Alpone river, and an area marshland to the east and north of the bigger Adige.

Most importantly Arcola was clearly in the rear of any army before Verona and once Bonaparte had established himself there he'd be a clear threat to the rear and communications of Alvintzy's army.

At dawn on the 15th of November Massena's and Augureau's divisions crossed the Adige at Ronco. Messena deployed north west to
Belifiore di Porcile to defend Augereau's flank while he attacked towards Arcola. Despite Bonaparte's direct participation in the fighting Augureau's attack failed. A smaller French force (Guieu's brigade) did cross in boats and take the town from the south later but Augereau and Massena had both already withdrawn. Guieu elected to do the same.

So on the ground the first day looked like a tactical failure despite heroic efforts and high losses. Strategically however it had succeeded in convincing Alventzy to call off a planned attack on Verona and to withdraw forces to cover the French threat to his flank.

The 16th saw Massena and Augereau repeating their efforts of the 15th. In the process they met Austrian forces advancing on the French bridgehead at Ronco. The Austrians were severely mauled. Once again, however, Augereau failed to take Arcola and Bonaparte withdrew his forces to the bridgehead at Ronco.
During the night of the 16th/17th French engineers built a bridge over the Alpone south of Arcola and just north of where the Alpone joins the Adige.

On the 17th, Massena as well as guarding the bridgehead made a demonstration along the route Augereau had taken the two previous days. While Messena dealt severe blows to the Austrian forces sent against him, Augereau's division was crossing the Alpone over the bridge built the night before.

Their flank turned by Augereau the Austrians withdrew after some hard fighting.

The French admitted losses of about 4,600 men.
The Austrians losses exceeded 6,000 men.

The battles around Arcola left the troops of both sides physically exhausted. Morally and strategically the victory went to Bonaparte and the French. They had stymied the third Austrian attempt to relieve Mantua.

Rivoli: 14 January 1797

French Army of Italy under General Bonaparte using divisions of Joubert, Rey, and Massena totalling approximately 21,000 men.


Austrian army under General (FZM) Alvintzy with about 28,000 men.

Rivoli was the culmination of the Austrian's fourth attempt, the second under Alvintzy, to relieve Mantua.
Alvintzy this time attacked straight down the line of the Adige from Trent towards Verona. He did so in several columns which although perhaps close on the map or as the crows flies were not necessarily in easy communication due to the north-south trend of the mountainous terrain. In particular the troops marching in the mountain valleys above and to the west of the river bottom where the road that could take wagons and guns ran were effectively out of supporting range. The place where the river road and the mountain roads connected again was Rivoli. And that's where the defending troops of the 10,000 man strong division under Joubert made their stand on the 13th of January 1797.
This time it had been Bonaparte who'd been caught a bit off guard, but he reacted quickly. He ordered a variety of reinforcements for Joubert including most importantly, Massena's division of almost 10,000 men.
Bonaparte himself was present on the battlefield by 0200 on the 14th. He immediately ordered a counterattack to take key tactical features.
Throughout the morning of the 14th Massena's troop's arrived and were thrown in to save the desperate French defense. By the afternoon the Austrians were defeated and the French ready to begin their pursuit.
An attempt by Alvintzy to counter-attack on the 15th was a dismal failure.

The French casualties were some 5,000 men.
The Austrians lost around 14,000 men; many of them prisoners.

The outcome of Rivoli was not just the defeat of the third and last effort to relieve Mantua, but the destruction of the Austrian Field Army in Italy and the complete demoralization of its remenants. Mantua surrendered several weeks later. In the spring Bonaparte marched on Vienna.

Mount Tabor

The French Army of the Orient with around 4,000 men in the end, an initial 2,000 under General Kleber and another 2,000 in the relief column commanded by General Bonaparte.


The Ottoman Army of Damascus with about 35,000 men, Achmed Bey commanding.

Bonaparte was beseiging Acre, the Ottomans had raised an army at Damascus which was marching to relieve it. Bonaparte sent Kleber with a very small division to intercept and defeat this threat.
Kleber intended a night march to surprise the Ottoman force early in the morning while it was still dark.
He mistimed his movements and ended up encountering the Ottomans after sunrise.
Kleber's heavily outnumbered force spent the day in two small squares sucessfully beating off every attack but unable to move or break ranks even to reach the water they could plainly see close by. It was a temporary stalemate that didn't bode well for the French.
Bonaparte, in the meantime, either hearing the guns or having expected the turn of events, was marching to Kleber's relief.
He arrived in time around four in the afternoon. A few cannon shots through the attacking Ottomans into disarray and Kleber and Bonaparte moved together to inflict heavy losses on their fleeing foes.

The French losses were about 300 men.
The Ottomans lost about 5,000 men.

One of the two main armies the Ottamans had been organizing to retake Eygpt was defeated.
The French seige of Acre continued. In the event, it failed and Bonaparte was forced to retreat to Eygpt with a much diminished and demoralized army. Without the victory at Mount Tabor he might not have been even so lucky.


Debate Round No. 1


Your conditions make no sense, because Washington was not an invader, and he would not invade France. I could envision Napoleon attacking the U.S., because he was much more of the invader. The battle would take place on United States soil. Napoleon was very impulsive sometimes and impatient, and Washington is one of the most rational and patient generals the world has ever seen. Washington would stage guerilla raids on Napoleon's supply lines, making him angry. He would probably launch a premature attack on Washington, and run into staged ambushes with unseen units. Life would be hell for Napoleon, and he would do something stupid in his strategy. Washington also had much better mid-range combat. Napoleon loved volley fire to make up for the inaccurate Charleyville muskets, but the problem was, the thing took thirty seconds to reload. Washington would have used the quick-reloading Brown Bess paired with the Pennsylvania Long Rifle to create a volley of bullets that were accurate and deadly.


Napoleon Bonaparte was the God of guerrilla fighting tactics.

He beat 35,000 mean with only 4,000, he knew how to trick the opponent and read the opponent like a book.

I like your quote: "Napoleon was very impulsive sometimes and impatient, and Washington is one of the most rational and patient generals the world has ever seen." want to know why Napoleon won around 40 different wars? Because he knew most generals would be 'rational' they would act whatever seemed logical and were so predictable. It was Napoleon's somewhat insanity that led him to victory in so many wars. After all, how can one predict a 'rational mad-man's moves'? As my name would suggest, as this debate will show throughout. A mad man, with some intelligence, is a far more dangerous opponent than a rational predictable person.

Napoleon lost his cool at times, yes. But when he did he used his anger to fuel huge offences. Even on US soil, Napoleon always studied the soil on which he fought in depth with severe observation. He learnt it inside out and often knew the land better than the general who lived on it. This is the God of War, metaphorically, going against a commendable but relatively standard general; Washington.
Debate Round No. 2


You say Napoleon lost his cool at times? He entered Russia with over 600,000 men, and left with under 25,000. His advance into Russia is one of the top five dumbest military maneuvers the world has ever seen. You say Napoleon was the best at guerilla warfare? There is no way that Napoleon would have been able to beat the British with the Continental Army, because he was used to the best of everything. He went to the best military academy. He had the most well drilled army in the world to start with, and Washington had a few farmers and militia. On the show Deadliest Warrior, they tested Napoleon vs. Washington with a computer program, and Washington won. His short range weapon, the Colechmarde, was built to fight the cavalry sabres that Napoleon's lot used. If you want to bring up Napoleon's victories, lets bring up Waterloo.
The French army consisted around 69,000 soldiers with 250 guns, 7,000 artilleries, 14,000 cavalries, and 48,000 infantries. To fill in the ranks of the French army throughout the rule, Napoleon had used conscription but he did not conscript men for the campaign in 1815. All of the troops in the French army were veterans and had been already involved in one or more campaign already. The cavalries of the French army were both formidable and numerous. It also include 7 highly versatile lancers and 14 regiments of heavy and armored cavalry. Meanwhile the armies under the Coalition only had armored troops and Wellington only had a handful of lancers.

Wellington admitted that he had inexperienced, ill-equipped, very weak, and infamous staffs in his army. His troops only consisted of 67,000 soldiers with 150 guns, 6,000 artilleries, 11,000 cavalries, and 50,000 infantries. 24,000 of the soldiers in the troop were British and another 6,000 were from the King"s German Legion. All of the British soldiers in the troops were regular soldiers wherein 7,000 of there where veterans of the Peninsular War. In addition to Wellington"s army there were 3,000 soldiers from Nassau, 6,000 from Brunswick, 11,000 from Hanover and 17,000 Dutch troops.

The Battle of Waterloo took place near the Waterloo, Belgium on June 18, 1815. In this battle, the forces of the French Empire under the leadership of Michael Ney and Napoleon Bonaparte were defeated by the Seventh Coalition and a Prussian Army, which was commanded by Gebhard Von Blucher. The forces were also defeated by an Anglo-Allied Army commanded by the Duke of Wellington.

The Battle of Waterloo puts an end to the tyrant rule of Napoleon as the emperor of France. It had also marked the end of the hundred days of Napoleon from exile return. The battle was regarded as an influential battle of all time marking the Bonaparte"s last and Waterloo Campaign.

When Napoleon was returned to power in 1815, plenty of states had opposed his comeback. Since then, the Seventh Coalition was formed and armies began to mobilize. There are two huge forces assembled near the northeast border of France. These forces were under the command of Blucher and Wellington. Napoleon had planned to attack the said forces before they can unite with the other members of the Coalition in coordination of France invasion. The three-day engagement of the Waterloo Campaign happened in the Battle of Waterloo on June 16-19, 1815. The Battle of Waterloo was quoted by Wellingtons as the "nearest run thing you ever saw in your life".

Until noon of June 18, 1815, Napoleon delayed granting of the battle to let the ground get dry. The army of Wellington had positioned across the Brussels Road along the Mont St Jean escarpment. Repeated attacks by French take place along the road until evening but the army remained standing. The army of Prussians arrived in full force and eventually broke through the right border of Napoleon. During the breakage of the Prussians army towards Napoleon"s border, the British made a counter-attacked, which drove the French army in chaos from the field. The forces of the Seventh Coalition have successfully entered France and reinstate Louis XVIII to the French throne. Napoleon resigned from the throne and surrender to the British government. In 1821, he was exiled to die at Saint Helena.


Yes, Napoleon lost wars. so did Washington.

Yes, Napoleon made mistakes, so did Washington.

However, after both made mistakes who became the God of war as so many people term him?
Napoleon Bonaparte.

Who shaped Europe from the barbaric system to the organised and democratic fashion it is now FROM SCRATCH?
Napoleon Bonaparte.

In fact you said nothing about Washington.

All you bothered to do was state how and when napoleon has lost wars, which all were very early in his career.

To defeat 35,000 men with 4,000 is insanely skilled. Washington did nothing of the sort.

That is all.

For failing to even once introduce any of Washington's achievements and for no sourcing whatsoever I believe I should win this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
Base your vote on debate. Not a show.
Posted by achmed242 4 years ago
havent you ever seen dealiest warrior, they did this exact thing, washington won
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