In the longest Napoleonicist episode to date, I am joined by Marcus Cribb and Professor Ed Coss to debate Wellington's life and legacy, offering some exacting criticisms, and difficult home truths along side reasoned analysis, and a lot of laughter. Enjoy this great final instalment of Wellington month folks.
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Just listening to those podcast, and as ever, thanks for Zack to produce such a discussion, I had to interrupt it and just like to add right in the middle some points to consider. Unsurprisingly the discussion is very much centered about Wesley - but in case one has to compare him, we need to look at other generals as well, and I ask myself what is so extraordinary about some of his achievements?
Micromanaging and he is better than the rest of the army in anything he takes on? I think this is a dellusion. It could work only at a limited style of the operational art of war - I wounder how micromanagment would lead to command 500,000 soldiers, or even just a mere 300,000? Yes, the same could be said about Frederick, but again his operational art of war was limited and he was 1000 times much better trained than Wesley to understand how an army worked - he would know how to load a musket for example or how to train cavalry to suit his art of war, but then again, also Frederick would be hopeless with such style of command to lead 200,000 soldiers in a campaign.
Then - what is so special about Porto? (maybe I confused this action, but it is about crossing the Duro), I hate to mention Bonaparte, but what is about the bridge of Lodi, or Arcole, or Wagram, or Bautzen? Blücher attacking at Wartenburg, Moreau crossing the Rhine in 1800??? A difficult task, yes, but what is so extrardinary about it? It is average for a competent leader - in typical Anglo centered perspective it is blown out of dimension in my view.