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Thread: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

  1. #1

    Default What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that, and what would it be like in NTW, I remember Kieran saying if your win Waterloo, you can go on to conquer the world, but what does that mean? All other reviews say that at the END of the campaign, you can decide to play a Waterloo scenario, but thats it. Anyway, what would have happened in your opinion if Napoleon won Waterloo, and completely destoryed or captured Wellingtons army. Would he turn and try to destroy the Austria and Russians heading towards France in 1815 as he did in 1805. what do you think?
    Formally known as 'Marshal Beale' - The Creator the Napoleon TW mods - 'Napoleon Order of War' and 'Revolution Order of War'

  2. #2
    Ebusitanus's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    He was pretty much doomed from the outset. His only hope was to win the engagements and patch some sort of peace together. I doubt it would have worked at that point.
    Read a napoleonic first hand account of a Hessian serving under the french flag

    Athenians: For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretenses - either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us- and make a long speech which would not be believed;.......... since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.

    Part of the Melian Dialogue in The History of the Pelopenessian War by Thucydides.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    But, everything is possible
    I think it was still possible, it would be like 1805 all over again, but the enemy was much more capable of war then what France was, the Grand army was full of new recruits.
    Formally known as 'Marshal Beale' - The Creator the Napoleon TW mods - 'Napoleon Order of War' and 'Revolution Order of War'

  4. #4

    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    Napoleon's 'six years for war' were well past by 1815. He was ill during the Waterloo campaign and had to hand over tactical decisions to Ney and the other Marshalls ,which led to the uncoordinated tacticsthat led to the French rout.In 1805 Napoleon was at the height of his powers and was able in 1805-6 to defeat the old fashioned tactics of the Austrians,Prussians and Russians.By the 1813 campaign in Germany the Allies were much better and able to defeat Napoleon's marshalls at battles like Dennewitz,Grossbeeren and Kulm and eventually Napoleon himself at Leipzig.Napoleon was certainly more back to his old form in 1814 on home soil but eventually forced to abdicate.Even with victory at Waterloo he would only have bought himself some time before the final defeat .The allies were determined to remove him in spite of their distrust of each other and the best peace terms he could hope for were a return to the natural French borders.With many enemies at home and in deteriorating health he would have found it difficult to hang on the power in France, let alone indulge in any more attempts to expand his empire.

  5. #5
    Pro-opera Jungian's Avatar Tiro
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    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    Napoleon lost Waterloo for one primary reason: His subordinates were poorly assigned. No, I am not one of those who say 'Napoleon was perfect, his subordinates let him down'. Rather my point is that
    A. Napoleon picked poor commanders.
    B. He did not keep them under tight control.
    C. They let him down.
    Here is what Napoleon's orginization of the army should have been-
    Commander of all Forces-Napoleon
    Chief of Staff-Rapp
    I Corps-Davout
    II Corps-Soult
    III Corps-Suchet
    IV Corps-Gerard
    VI Corps-Vandammene
    Guard-Lobou
    Artillery-Drout (or however you spell it-he commanded the Guard at Waterloo)
    Cavalry-Grouchy.
    In the event of the spiltting of the army, either Soult, Suchet or Davout would take command of one of the wings.

    All these officers were avilible to Napoleon, but he refused to assign them. He spread them to other less important theatres, theatres where the fighting only began weeks after Waterloo. Why? It could possibly be Napoleon's miscaluculation that it would be a multi front war, or just a mistake. The following is a hypothisis I am not sold on but what I contemplated: What could be the primary reason however was Napoleon wanting Waterloo not to be a battle of the French people but a battle of Napoleon. He wanted the victory to go to no other. Napoleon was by no means a glory seeker, but he did long for the spotlight. Case in point, at the battle of Jena-Auerstedt he gave full credit to Davout for his amazing victory at Auerstedt and added it to his title. At Jena however, not wanting the populous to think one could rival Napoleon, he gave credit soley to himeslf and gave no title to Ney and Lannes who played pivitol roles in the battle. At Waterloo it was the same way: The nation deserted him, Europe was against him, he wanted full credit and removed his better commanders to minute theatres of war, Suchet to command the Army of the Alps, Davout to be minister of war and Soult to chief of staff-all of whom should have been frontline commanders.

    One might say these theatres wer eimportant-they were, but not at the present. The whole crux of the Waterloo campaign was a big early victory before the other allies come. In it's very nature, it abandoned focus from all theatres other than the Low countries, than why not abandon all theatre commanders? Imagine how Soult, who faced Wellington before, would have forsaw his reverse slope tactics if he led D'Erlon's attack, imagine if Suchet pursued Blucher at Wavre instead of Grouchy, or if he would have marched to the sound of the guns at Mont St. Jean! But most of all, if Davout commanded D'Erlon's corps on the pivitol day of the 16 of June, imagine how he could have smashed Blucher at Ligny or Wellington at Quatre Bras, if he did what D'Erlon didn't and make that decision to march, like Davout did at Austerlitz.

    With such men, how could Napoleon not win?

  6. #6

    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    The 100 days campaign was a desperate gamble by a desperate man in a desperate situation. Certainly, he took a calculated risk, and he lost, but a victory at Waterloo would hardly have meant peace or rest for the man. After all, not even resounding successes like Austerlitz or Iena granted him much of a break, and by 1815 his enemies were no longer the bewildered monarchs of 1805 -- they had become united, determined and organized in their intent to destroy Napoleon, no matter what. He was pretty much doomed, with that setting.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jihada View Post
    By the 1813 campaign in Germany the Allies were much better and able to defeat Napoleon's marshalls at battles like Dennewitz,Grossbeeren and Kulm and eventually Napoleon himself at Leipzig.
    Napoleon lost Leipzig because his enemies were more capable ? 200000 French vs 400000-1mil troops and French held city for 10 hours then they retreated because situation didnt look very well ... so it was a draw not a defeat.
    Up to topic tho... like said above even if Napoleon won waterloo it wouldnt mean anything because his enemies would regroup and fight him again and again ... His only chance would be to make peace with his enemies or maybe even aliance with US (very unlikely tho ...) to fight British in america.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    While I certainly don't think Napoleon stood much of a chance even if he won Waterloo, I think people are giving the Coalition too much credit. They had quite the reputation of unwillingness to fight, even in 1814 when they could have easily crossed in to France they instead chose to sit outside the border for months to decide if it was the right thing to do or not. The Coalition still very much feared Napoleon and probably would have sued for peace sooner than most people think, certainly it would have taken quite a few more victories after Waterloo to achieve this however, and Napoleon could almost certainly not have delivered.

    The Coalition would have realized the truth, that neither Napoleon's physical or mental state could maintain the necessary measures to continue to operate so far outside of France, something which Napoleon himself realized, nor the political climate in Paris would have supported such measures and Napoleon would have been to fearful to continue long campaigns outside of his consolidated France. Realizing this, they may have been quicker to sue for peace since the alternative of re-instating the Monarchy already had failed once, who was to say that it would succeed after they beat Napoleon...perhaps by that stage, had Napoleon won at Waterloo and continued on a success of a few more victories at the least, the Coalition would have settled with Napoleon in power, but obviously in a weakened state that could no longer bully Europe around as he had before.
    Last edited by Tiberius Tosi; December 30, 2009 at 11:19 PM.
    Forget the Cod this man needs a Sturgeon!

  9. #9

    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    Well actually, it would not have been the first time Napoleon had to fight all of Europe at once and win.

    Austria and Britian were NOT happy with growing Russian power and may have pulled out after a lukewarm fight.

    It realy all depended on Napoleon...
    If he went for post 1792 borders then he probably would not be able to get peace talks going.

    But its really based on Waterloo's decisiviness and in that subject we have 2 possible outcomes for a French victory.



    Outcome 1.
    d'Erlorn's Corps fights at Lingy


    If d'Erlorn's Corps did infact arrive on Bluchers right flank instead of marching around aimlessly that day, and a Cannae-like anhiliation DID ensue then Grouchy's Corps would not be needed to be dispatched to chase the prussians and that would leave Napoleon with 30,000 MORE men at Waterloo and Wellington with 50,000 LESS troops.

    So there would be roughly 102,000 French at Waterloo against Wellington's 68,000 (predominatly German ) Army.

    Instead of the 72,000 French vs 118,000 that actually happend.

    We are talking about Napoleon with 102,000 men.
    The defeat would have been complete, and Britian would no longer have a standing army on the continent.

    Prussia would also be temporarly out of the war and if Napoleon stayed with a defensive strategy with 1792 borders, I strongly doubt any army in the world could step foot in France.



    Outcome 2
    Grouchy marches to Waterloo.

    Say the whole d'Erlorn debacle happens, Grouchy is dispatched to chase the Prussains etc.

    Grouchy hears the cannon fire at Waterloo, seizeing the great Desiax's inititive he marches to Waterloo. Since Blucher and Grouchy were roughly similar distance from Waterloo, lets say they both arrive at 4PM with Zeithen and Ohain spear heading Bluchers army.

    By 6PM, there are now 102,000 French men and 118,000 Germans (and SOME Brits LOL) at Waterloo.

    The French still hold La Haye Saint and Grouchy is now holding a flank gaurd around Placienot.
    Napoleon sends in the Guard, Wellington is forced to retreat with some causalties, BUT IS UNITED WITH BLUCHER!

    All of the momentum and advantage Napoleon has is lost.
    Napoleon still won, but it was a frontal assault and Grouchy was unable to intercept the Prussians.

    Napoleon took roughly the same number of causalties as Wellington did, and we know from the 1813 Campaign unless an army is DESTROYED, the allies face no significant setbacks.

    I doubt in this scenario Napoleon would be able to consolidate his position.
    Last edited by Redalvilgeshki; December 31, 2009 at 12:26 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    the battle of leipzig basically found Napoleon unable to find a strategy to defeat the coalition, if waterloo would have been won Napoleon still needed to deal with the (pretty intact) remains of the Prussian army which undoubtely would try to join the austrian and/or russian army so Napoleon would or have to chase them threatening his own supply lines or wait for a massive army to arrive which would hardly be beatable with his so if he won waterloo the chance of winning was still low but victory was possible

  11. #11
    King Gambrinus's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    I don't get it. People are saying Napoleon could've never won Waterloo when Wellington had famously said after that it was "the closest run thing ever"? Could somebody explain?





    But anyway, Napoleon was mentally ill and like several have said, Waterloo was for his gain, not France's. I doubt he could have withstood The Coalition no matter how "dumb" they were.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    No, what they are saying is Napoleon could have won the battle but he had very little chance of winning the war.

  13. #13
    Orko's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    Didn't Napoleon offer a peace to the nations of Europe when he came back in 1815 and they just refused and went to war? I think he would have made a quite favorable peace if he had won and be done with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus Aurelius
    Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    Quote Originally Posted by risker View Post
    I don't get it. People are saying Napoleon could've never won Waterloo when Wellington had famously said after that it was "the closest run thing ever"? Could somebody explain?





    But anyway, Napoleon was mentally ill and like several have said, Waterloo was for his gain, not France's. I doubt he could have withstood The Coalition no matter how "dumb" they were.
    No one is saying the Coalition is dumb..

    And Napoleon was NOT mentally ill...
    If Waterloo was truely for his gain and he was so egocentric at the time why didnt he desolve the assembilies like Davout urged him to in 1815?
    Because it would have started a Civil war and he did not want any bloodshed spilt in his name inside France's borders.

    Didn't Napoleon offer a peace to the nations of Europe when he came back in 1815 and they just refused and went to war? I think he would have made a quite favorable peace if he had won and be done with it.
    Correct

  15. #15
    GearsFreak86's Avatar Foederatus
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    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    Between his health and his falling popularity with the people, Napoleon wouldn't had lasted very much longer. He would had to made peace somewhere down the line and after he did die rest of Europe would have picked apart his empire with ease.

  16. #16
    Geronimo2006's Avatar TAR Local Moderator
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    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    He invaded Belgium too early. He inherited Louis XVIII's standing-army of just 56,000 men, and - with Joachim Murat's kingdom of Naples -was only able to increase that to 280,000. In contrast, the Allies devoted 800,000-1 million troops to the conflict.
    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia.org
    Upon assumption of the throne, Napoleon found that he was left with little by the Bourbons and that the state of the Army was 56,000 troops of which 46,000 were ready to campaign. [1] By the end of May the total armed forces available to Napoleon had reached 198,000 with 66,000 more in depots training up but not yet ready for deployment.
    Last edited by Geronimo2006; December 31, 2009 at 10:11 PM.
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  17. #17
    AUSSIE11's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    even had napoleon succeeded at waterloo he would have only defeated a minor part of the coalitions armies... russia and austria where hardly involved and england and prussia had significant numbers deployed elsewhere... also GB would have just continued bank-rolling further coalitions until napoleon was defeated

  18. #18

    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Geronimo2006 View Post
    He invaded Belgium too early. He inherited Louis XVIII's standing-army of just 56,000 men, and - with Joachim Murat's kingdom of Naples -was only able to increase that to 280,000. In contrast, the Allies devoted 800,000-1 million troops to the conflict.
    Had he not taken the initiative however he would have spent his time repeating 1814 and running around France reacting to his enemies, instead of having his enemies react to him. This was Napoleon's gamble, as the latter method had not worked in 1814 then there was no reason it would work in 1815.
    Forget the Cod this man needs a Sturgeon!

  19. #19

    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    Once Napoleon returned from Elba, he offered peace to he other nation of Europe, they all refused and made the final coalition. The Russians and the Austrians are heading towards France, while British and the Prussians are head to France through the Low Nations. Napoleon has a choice, stay back in France building up the army and try to defend France from 4 huge capable armies, or do the old divide and conquer; Defeating all of the enemy armies in turn, one by one. But that would mean he would have to attack immediatly, instead of preparing the army. So Napoleon goes to attack the closest armies, the British and the Prussians, after defeating them he would turn to defeat the Austrians and finnally the closing in Russians in Germany. That was the plan, but he didn't know how capable the british army was, and how badly trained Louis XVIII's army was. But if something change in belgium, and Napoleon defeated the british, and the prussians, would he have a chance of winning the war, having defeated them and forcing all of 'em into peace. i thin so, only if had defeated the Prussians and British. then defeated the Austrians and Russians. See, its a long short but still possible.
    Formally known as 'Marshal Beale' - The Creator the Napoleon TW mods - 'Napoleon Order of War' and 'Revolution Order of War'

  20. #20
    Ebusitanus's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: What if Napoleon won Waterloo and the battles after that...

    You are aware of course that Spain was also massing at the border with France?
    Read a napoleonic first hand account of a Hessian serving under the french flag

    Athenians: For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretenses - either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us- and make a long speech which would not be believed;.......... since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.

    Part of the Melian Dialogue in The History of the Pelopenessian War by Thucydides.

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