Louis Alexandre Berthier
Louis Gabriel Suchet
Is there a reason why Jean-Baptiste Bessières isn't mentioned in the poll? I'm not too familiar with the Napoleonic era; but out of all of Napoleon's marshals, I'm quite fond of Bessières.
As a commander, especially of cavalry, Bessières left a reputation excelled by very few of Napoleon's marshals, and his dauntless courage and cool judgment made him a safe leader in independent command. He was personally beloved to an extraordinary extent amongst his soldiers, and (unlike most of the French generals of the time) amongst his opponents. It is said that masses were performed for his soul by the priests of insurgent Spain, and the king of Saxony raised a monument to his memory.
Last edited by Toph; February 15, 2010 at 02:52 PM.
Who the hell voted for Ney as the best? He lost Waterloo for Napoleon with his idiotic unsupported cavalry charge.
Also given the situation under which he charged at Waterloo, most generals probably would have done the same. It appeared that they were in full scale retreat and unlike us, Ney didn't get a birds eye view and a map with every Anglo-Allied regiment to make his decision.
Forget the Cod this man needs a Sturgeon!
Personally I do indeed think Davout was probably the finest of the Marshals (Auerstadt, Eckmuhl, Austerlitz and many more truly set this Marshal apart from others).
Now, with that being said, Lannes and Messena were amazing corp commanders that really worked out miracles in many battles.
Berthier, the Chief of Staff, was absolutely the 'planner' of victory. His absence in Waterloo might have been what caused Napoleon's defeat.
Ney was, as often recalled, 'the bravest of the brave, but dumbest of the dumb'. I personally don't think this does justice to the man, but he did have that bravado that would either save the army or damn it (Russia withdrawal vs. Waterloo charge).
Now for the silent genius that, according to many could have even been BETTER than Napoleon...General Desaix. This General was sadly killed at Marengo (having saved Bonaparte). His brilliant campaign in Upper Egypt (which many believe taught Davout the skills he later demonstrated) was perhaps the best campaign in that whole theater.
Desaix was also a fair ruling gentleman. The Egyptians even adored him! Bonaparte eventually lost his empire not only because of economic set-backs, military defeats, but also by antagonizing entire populations that originally had greeted him with open arms. Desaix, had he lived, might have contributed strategically to Bonaparte's empire.
Therefore, I would have cast my vote for Desaix. However, Davout is a close second and Lannes and Massena come in for a 'photo-finish' for 3rd!
I'm a little surprised that no one voted for Suchet. My top five go
All five made not only outstanding subordinates, but they could also commanded armies abley. Soult was the only general who beat Wellington in Spain. Also, while he lost in the end, with his raw, disheartened army, he stopped and almost pushed Wellington back from his invasion three times.
Napoleon was closest to Lannes, but during his career he thought of Massena the highest. By the end of the wars however, he trusted Davout more than anyone else, and on the event of his death he wanted him to take command. Davout was also the most loyal of the marshals. In 1814, he was the only one who said to fight on, not abdicate. In 1815, even after Waterloo he said to take over the government and counter attack the advancing Prussians with his fresh reserves and the survivors of the Army of the North.
give them a hat and maybe a baton and they won't look wildly different from one another. Except for Murat, he was a flamboyant one.
Marshal Lannes, a true friend of Napoleon, and one of Napoleons most stratergic and smartest Marshals. If Lannes had the same opportunities as Napoleon did, We would have Emperor Jean, and his best Marshal; Marshal Bonaparte, and this would be Jean: Total War!
Doesn't have the same amount of charisma as "Napoleon" Total War
Formally known as 'Marshal Beale' - The Creator the Napoleon TW mods - 'Napoleon Order of War' and 'Revolution Order of War'
Davout, without a doubt. Napoleon's estimation of his marshals was usually reflected in the size of the corps he entrusted them to command, and Davout was consistently given the largest. His loyalty and obedience to Napoleon were absolute and he was regarded by his contemporaries as one of the ablest of the marshals.
Ney, I think of him a bit like Patton. No option for Marshal Bernadotte? He might not have been one of Napoleons best generals but he became king of Sweden, joined the coalition against Napoleon and helped defeat him at Leipzig, and then took Norway from the Danes. Not to bad for a French commoner born in the Ancien Régime.
Without a doubt, it is D'Avout, I think Waterloo and Ligny might well have been very different had Nap not left him in Paris as the Minister of War, (Jena-)Auerstadt alone, I believe confirms his place at the top of this list!
Another notable, although not a Marshall was Louis Desaix, he fought with Nap in Egypt and died while securing the victory at Marengo.
Obviously he will be dead by the time the Grand Campaign comes along but, just out of interest Jack, will Desaix feature in the Egyptian Campaign?
Of course there is no option for Bernadotte, he was a stripped of the position!
Last edited by InLikeFlynn; February 16, 2010 at 04:17 AM.