The military career of Napoleon and his qualities of an extraordinary commander have fascinated millions for centuries. He was not only one of the greatest political and military leaders, but a prominent civil administrator as well.
Napoleon’s major ambition was to get the world or at least European domination. His hegemony over most of European countries was established in the so-called Napoleonic Wars. He exerted every effort to spread the ideas of the French Revolution all over Europe or even the whole world and consolidate a monarchy. He strived for building a federation of free rightful people in Europe taking all the power in his hands.
Modern researchers claim that his strategic thinking had major drawbacks, since he depended too much on the experience of the foregoers. His failure is often ascribed to his improvising instead of efficient planning. The warfare style of Napoleon was so successful that he did not bother to change it and projected it onto his other projects, like invasion of Russia, subjugation of Spain or Waterloo battle. He preferred winning single battles and neglected looking at the big picture.
Napoleon made a number of mistakes which include Napoleon’s retreat from Russia in winter, the battle in Egypt on the NileRiver when the Royal navy managed to sink his fleet, his loss at Trafalgar and others. Napoleon’s eventual downfall can be also accounted for the great capacities of his enemies. Besides, it was not feasible to control all the battlefields with several hundreds of thousands of troops personally.
The achievements of Napoleon are unique and no other military leader in the world history has ever been as well-known, successful or charismatic. Even his mistakes and errors in judgment contributed in a new understanding of values in Europe. His war strategies are still being studied and analyzed for the purposes of improvement the art of warfare.