Napoleonic Era

1185 words 5 pages
Ideas, much like nature, survive the trials of time and overcome the obstacles of challenge to prevail stronger and more resolute; such is the case with warfare as it came about in the Napoleonic era, as it precepts have flourished and pervaded into current doctrine and practice. Warfare in the Napoleonic era is fundamentally similar to warfare as it is conducted at present, as the ideas of a national army, combined arms corps-centered organizational structure, and maneuver warfare prevail in today’s era.
The Napoleonic Era saw the rise of the national army, comprised of citizens of France who had personal interest in the welfare of the nation instead of soldiers who were unemotionally attached and lacked loyalty to the cause. Prior
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Although Napoleon’s corps did not always operate decisively or maintain discipline when left on their own, these smaller, more agile structures did provide him with greater mobility, more command and control, and a simpler logistics process when Napoleon was present. The U.S. Army today is organized into three active corps with various combined arms divisions in their structures and has experienced similar benefits as those of the Napoleonic Era.
Napoleon completely changed the way warfare was conducted through a new style of maneuver warfare, which gave his army flexibility, mobility, and psychological advantages over the longstanding firing lines of the past. His main concept of warfare was a lightning-quick maneuver (later called a Blitzkrieg attack) that was boldly and aggressively aimed at the enemy’s main army, often catching the enemy by surprise. His armies were certainly known for moving fast and were able to cover great distances in little time. One soldier commented that “the Emperor has discovered a new way of making war; he makes use of our legs instead of our arms!” The war with Prussia at Jena-Auerstadt in 1806 was a classic example of this, as Napoleon’s army killed or captured 96 percent of the devastated Prussian Army in thirty-three days. He also employed his classic manoeuvre sur les derrieres, a flanking movement that distracted his enemies near the front while attacking them from the rear. In this manner he was able


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