Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Napolean's End

This is an excellent item because it truly refects european military history since Napolean. understand that for a generation, Napolean rampaged back and forth across europe making every one else an enemy and thus inducing full national mobalization everywhere else.

compared to Napolean, Hitler was a mere flash in the pan.  

as this points out, the america military was never serious until the Civil War and a lot of this is also about poulation.  The rise of professional arnies is a direct consequence of Napolean and a direct consequence of professional armies is political consolidation to form the modern states of Germany and Italy to say nothing about the British empire which calved off modern India and others.

Napolean lost long before Waterloo and he faced in the end several Natioanl Grande Armees all mobalized and marching to destroy him and he could not stand.  And then at Waterloo, it was truly over and he had no seat at the table and Louie whoever took it from there.

The hard reality for national chauvanists to understand is that population matters most in terms of military potential and it is then multiplied by economic output.  Actual potential turns out to be equal to ten percent of population achieved by Germany and several others in WWII.

Napolean's End

What would happen if the United States Army was landed in Europe during the Hundred Days and became allied with Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo against the British lead by the Duke of Wellington and the Prussians under Field Marshal Blucher?

Amateur military historian and fiction writer
Excuse me… what US Army?

The regular ‘US Army’ by the start of 1815 comprised 36.000 men: the size of a decently sized corps by European standards. As a whole, neither its training, nor its commanders measured up to Prussian, French, or British standards. Their experience was limited to semi-regular warfare against native tribes and three years’ conflict against the second-line British units in Canada.

While state militias existed in far greater numbers, their use was even more limited. They simply could not be deployed outside the United States: many states did not even permit their militias being deployed outside the state they belonged. Even if they could be, those were troops with low morale, insufficient equipment, and completely lackluster training that any European army would blow to the winds like a pile of dry leaves.

The British handed the Americans the iron proof of just how insufficient state militias were at Bladensburg, when a lone British brigade backed by a battalion of marines routed an American force largely consisting of militias which outnumbered the British five to one.

British Colonial Marine in field uniform. ‘Colonial Marine’ was an euphemism referring to black personnel raised from former slaves, usually soon after being freed. Nearly two hundred members of the Corps of Colonial Marines were present at Bladensburg.

But even though a single large corps is a rather small number for the scope of European armies, at Waterloo 36.000 men is a lot. It would be a significant boost to Napoleon’s numbers, and may very well have turned the tide of the battle.

What then? No, that is a genuine question: what then?

Winning Waterloo doesn’t gain anything to Napoleon. Bl├╝cher’s Prussians and Wellington’s Anglo-German-Dutch army represents only a fraction of the force he faced. There was von Nollendorf’s North German Corps, a Swiss army, and three separate Austrian armies lying on the borders of France, two Russian armies on the march towards France, a Prussian reserve army that could be mobilized rapidly if needed, two Spanish armies assembled to invade across the Pyrenees, an Anglo-Sicilian army slated to land in Southern France, and a Dutch and a Danish corps prepared to join Wellington. This doesn’t even include the troops that weren’t slated for use against Napoleon, but could be.

The Seventh Coalition had more than one million men on the march to France, and if the situation ever necessitated such an extreme commitment, they could expand their forces, bring in more anti-Napoleon allies, and throw close to another million at France. For all his desperate struggle to mobilize for a colossal war, Napoleon did not manage to muster more than 300.000 troops, which had to defend all of France from this overwhelming onslaught.

Austrian general Karl Philip, Prince of Schwarzenberg. Schwarzenberg commanded the Austrian Army of Upper Rhine totaling 264.000 troops: this force alone outnumbered the entirety of the forces Napoleon could allocate to the defense of France’s eastern borders. It was also eight times the size of the entire US standing army in 1815.

Amidst all that, anything the US could ever hope to deploy was but a rowboat in the ocean that was streaming to drown Napoleon’s France. The scope of the war in Europe was far beyond anything that had ever occurred on the American continent.

The US Army of old had nothing comparable to the juggernaut it today is. It wasn’t until the American Civil War that the US first fielded a military force large enough and capable enough to be more than a non-factor in the scale of the contemporary European warfare, and it didn’t establish itself as an existing and permanent military power until the Second World War.

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