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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

Bernadotte.

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Re: Bernadotte.

Postby Senarmont198 » December 5th, 2017, 11:16 pm

On what basis do you rate Bernadotte a better strategist than Napoleon?

Why do you dispute the Jena-Auerstadt comment? Bernadotte was not engaged at all on 14 October and he did fail to support Davout.
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Re: Bernadotte.

Postby Josh&Historyland » December 6th, 2017, 12:58 am

To me Bernadotte seems a much abler political strategist than Napoleon.
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Re: Bernadotte.

Postby Senarmont198 » December 6th, 2017, 2:27 am

Because he allied Sweden, Russia's traditional enemy, against Napoleon in 1813?
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Re: Bernadotte.

Postby Josh&Historyland » December 6th, 2017, 1:43 pm

That was quite the achievement, yes, but in general as well he was able to survive reverses and always came out on top. He knew when to be quiet and when to act.
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Re: Bernadotte.

Postby Senarmont198 » December 6th, 2017, 8:11 pm

I don't think that subordinating himself to Alexander was an achievement.
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Re: Bernadotte.

Postby Josh&Historyland » December 7th, 2017, 12:57 am

One might say the proof is in the pudding.
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Re: Bernadotte.

Postby Senarmont198 » December 7th, 2017, 5:21 pm

I would submit that Bernadotte himself and his actions were dishonorable. That he got ahead because of it is not something to admire. Turning on former comrades and soldiers that he had commanded in order to get ahead is execrable.

The best story about Bernadotte that I have found happened in either 1813 or 1814 when he and his party approached a French fortress under a flag of truce to demand its surrender. The answer he received from a French sentry was getting shot at. When Bernadotte and his minions complained he was told that the sentry was attempting to apprehend a French deserter.

Too bad the sentry wasn't a better shot.

As Davout said, 'Le miserable Ponte Corvo.'

Napoleon made him a marshal and a prince, and Bernadotte returned the favor by turning against his homeland.
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Re: Bernadotte.

Postby Josh&Historyland » December 7th, 2017, 8:04 pm

I suppose it depends on how great a nationalist you are. I must echo what I read in the link over in the other Bernadotte post. Where is it written that you cannot change your nationality & allegiance? He was no Benedict Arnold, acting in the shadows, he was a head of state when he joined the allies. By all accounts I've read Napoleon & Bonaparte never liked one another, Bernadotte never evinced a great allegiance to anything except the Revolution & Sweden. And even then he asked permission to take the Swedish offer & renounce his French nationality (I think), he sensibly declined to promise never to fight France, Napoleon would hardly have prevented Sweden being overrun by Russia, if he'd made such an impolitic move.
No, I don't see the dishonour, or at least I don't see the profit in observing it today being as if it was notorious it was an honourable kind of dishonour, though I see why his former comrades would see it that way.
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