Napoleon a Bloodthirsty Ogre?
"...it does take two sides to make war. Napoleon’s enemies were far from caring or squeamish and could be equally profligate with their soldiers’ lives. In 1812 the Russians implemented a scorched-earth tactic that condemned many of their own people to suffering and death, while the dogged incompetence of its commanders cost the Russian army somewhere around 300,000 fatal casualties."
The problem is @Immo Frese is we have little contemporary evidence for Napoleon’s revolutionary fervour. Like his inflated 13 Vendémaire role and ‘whiff of grapeshot’ myth, most of it is retrospectively manufactured. We should be generous though, although Napoleon did spin his own achievements, much of the work his has come from later empires. It’s preservation and expansion owes much to the modern era though, where exculpating and hero worshipping have become lucrative pastimes. In any event, we have to be cautious how much we buy into any narcissist who clothes themselves in any philosophy. Deceit and charm are diagnostic, and I can’t imagine that Napoleon was much different from other narcissists. There was probably little room in his heart for any abstract concept, in comparison to his overwhelming and all engaging ego and ambition. At best, the revolution was probably a vehicle for him to practice his opportunism.
I hope we can agree that this statement is out of context and utter useless, Vilnus, did the Russian burn it? What is with Smolensk, deliberately burned by the Russians before Boney arrived or a consequence of the Russians trying to defend it? Reading memoires - there was wide spreat foraging - which was successful, was there any scorched earth in a path of 50 km width in front of the Grande Armée??? What condemned the Russian people to their death was Boney's invasion. It is depressing that full professional historians are proposing such nonsense.
It’s also worth noting that the ‘blood count’ lies with the aggressor for BOTH sides. Otherwise Hitler and Tojo would only be responsible for German or Japanese casualties respectively. None of the Russian casualties would have occurred if the Grande Armée had not hove into view. Both losses belong on Napoleon’s ‘blood chit’. As does the resulting suffering of the civilian population.
Red Herring or Strawman?😁
I'm sure Tasmania, Ra's al-Khaymah, Indonesia, Kandy, Nepal, the various Maratha princedoms, Egypt and the assorted Spanish and Dutch colonies enjoyed their door-to-door biscuit sales visits.
I am loosing my faith in historians reading such comments, even without scorched earth, in case is existed to such extend as hyped - many of the Russian population would suffered death due to the scorched earth the invaders would cause.(what the Russians did, to the chagrin of Boney, they burned their depots) In case the dogged incompetence of its commanders did cost 300,000 casualties - fatal, that means dead, it would mean 1,000,000 non fatal casualties? Wow
I won't speak of the dogged incompetence of the invading commanders who cause even more thann 300,000 fatal casualties for their own.
The Russians had to defend their country as best as they could, and they proofed to be successfull. I don't think that Boney was a bloodthrist ogre, instead he was a monomaniac suffering from narcissist disorder without almost any empathy for others.