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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Essay on Napoleon Bonaparte's Military Strategy

            In his many victories in Europe, Napoleon had used the same military strategy.  He relied on the use of his numerical superiority by concentrating his forces in one location to destroy his enemy.  This strategy had brought Napoleon so many victories.  However, for this strategy to work, several elements had to be in place. 

First, he has to have the right number of soldiers.  The first element was easy since he had controlled the French army and other armies from the countries he had conquered.  Napoleon had the numbers when he invaded Russia since he had assembled around 600,000 soldiers to conquer Russia. 

The second element was logistics.  This means that there should be a strategic plan by which his armies could be moved as fast as possible to the location where they are needed.  As Napoleon’s army advances, his army may pass along several routes combining them only when necessary.  The faster these soldiers can get to the target location the faster his armies could suffocate the enemies through their superiority in number.

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The third element was supplies.  Because the armies have to march hundreds of miles away from their territory, the ammunition and food supplies should be sufficient to sustain the army for weeks or even months of invasion.  Since the food supply may not be enough to supply the need of his armies Napoleon’s soldiers would often rely on the food they can get along the way.  They would often forage for food so that they could supplement their need for food. 

In this process, the armies who are first to arrive on the target location can get as much food as they can while those who are late to advance will naturally have to rely on the food that was left by the first to arrive.  Because of this reality, the soldiers who were the first to arrive at the target location should be disciplined enough to take only those that they need since the other French soldiers may be interested in also getting what they can from the food supply.  
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