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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Napoleonic Era

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Napoleonic Era Discuss the many wars fought around the globe around the time of Napoleon. This forum is dedicated to the memory of Ben Weider and our late friend and long time ACG Staff member, Michael Brown, better known here as Post Captain.

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  #31  
Old 18 Jun 17, 09:37
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Originally Posted by Massena View Post
Wellington did create a staff of sorts in the Peninsula. See SPG Ward's Wellington’s Headquarters A Study of the Administrative Problems in the Peninsula 1809-1814. It's an excellent study.
I said General Staff not staff. Every general had some kind of staff. Had the British army of the time had a General Staff Wellington would have had access to a body of very senior officers of general rank who would take the day to day resposibility for such things as logistic, operational planning,intelligence etc off his shoulders not just for the army in the peninsular but elsewhere as well. Beresford could have headed up training and organisation of allied armies - he was very good at that.
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  #32  
Old 18 Jun 17, 17:20
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
I said General Staff not staff. Every general had some kind of staff. Had the British army of the time had a General Staff Wellington would have had access to a body of very senior officers of general rank who would take the day to day resposibility for such things as logistic, operational planning,intelligence etc off his shoulders not just for the army in the peninsular but elsewhere as well. Beresford could have headed up training and organisation of allied armies - he was very good at that.
Army staffs at this time might also double as 'general staffs' but as you said the British did not have one that could function in that capacity.

The French army staff, under Berthier, was the best of its day and had its beginnings in the 1760s because of Bourcet.

After the disaster of 1806, the Prussians were trying to get one together and despite Scharnhorst's best efforts, their army staff which would later morph into a general staff was in the embryonic stage and not up to the standard that Berthier had made the French 'general staff' into.
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  #33  
Old 19 Jun 17, 05:37
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Originally Posted by Massena View Post
(...)
That would have freed Soult for a field command, and he would have been a good choice to chase the Prussians after Ligny. Sending Grouchy deprived the Cavalry Reserve of its commander, which later allowed Ney to waste it in attacks that were 'an hour too early.'
I'd say they were a day early, at least
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  #34  
Old 19 Jun 17, 06:06
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Originally Posted by Massena View Post
Army staffs at this time might also double as 'general staffs' but as you said the British did not have one that could function in that capacity.

.
And I suspect that if it had not been the demands imposed by the Anglo French military conversations in planning for the BEF the Imperial General Staff would not have developed into one by 1914.

The British have a long history of objecting to improvements in military organisation (an effective standing army, conscription, compulsory military service, a General staff etc) Its almost as if they didn't want to make things too easy for the likes of Wellington. One wonders how much of this is a reflection of the deep rooted fear of a military dictatorship engendered by the experience of Cromwell's rule.
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  #35  
Old 19 Jun 17, 10:41
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Wellington himself acknowledged that if he had become a casualty at Waterloo, the Allied defence would have gone for a ball of chalk.
Sure...a little self-promotion after the battle LOL



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  #36  
Old 19 Jun 17, 11:53
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Sure...a little self-promotion after the battle LOL



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Well the French went to pot at Salamanca when Massena became hors de combat. In those days loosing the commanding general could have a dire effect.
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  #37  
Old 19 Jun 17, 12:00
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Well the French went to pot at Salamanca when Massena became hors de combat. In those days loosing the commanding general could have a dire effect.
When asked who he'd want to replace him if anything should happen to him Wellington said he wanted Beresford to replace him. Bear in mind this was said AFTER Albuera and would be going over the heads of guys like Hill to boot.

Wellington was actually hit at the battle of Orthez 1814 but not seriously hurt
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  #38  
Old 19 Jun 17, 12:30
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When asked who he'd want to replace him if anything should happen to him Wellington said he wanted Beresford to replace him. Bear in mind this was said AFTER Albuera and would be going over the heads of guys like Hill to boot.

Wellington was actually hit at the battle of Orthez 1814 but not seriously hurt
Beresford would make a reasonable caretaker provided there was no immediate threat. The army would be fed and no rash actions would be taken but a brilliant tactician Beresford was not. He made a very good fist of re building the Portuguese army.

What is your source for this?
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Old 19 Jun 17, 13:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Beresford would make a reasonable caretaker provided there was no immediate threat. The army would be fed and no rash actions would be taken but a brilliant tactician Beresford was not. He made a very good fist of re building the Portuguese army.

What is your source for this?
Oh god now your asking, it's been awhile but I think it was Guy Dempsey Alberura the other I think was either Oman (I can't remember the volume) or Robertsons Wellington Invades France and the other was a book called the Peninsular War a 1 volume book Sir Charles Esdaile, I remember Bernard Cornwall reccomended it
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  #40  
Old 19 Jun 17, 13:33
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Well the French went to pot at Salamanca when Massena became hors de combat. In those days loosing the commanding general could have a dire effect.
I believe it was Marmont, not Massena.
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Old 19 Jun 17, 15:22
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Oh god now your asking, it's been awhile but I think it was Guy Dempsey Alberura the other I think was either Oman (I can't remember the volume) or Robertsons Wellington Invades France and the other was a book called the Peninsular War a 1 volume book Sir Charles Esdaile, I remember Bernard Cornwall reccomended it
Oman and Napier I have read and don't remember that (but it was a while ago)
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Old 19 Jun 17, 16:48
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This compares with the terror bombing of Copenhagen in 1807 by the British, though the deaths (2,000) were much less, though over a much shorter period of time. .

Indeed, much, much less. The number of civilian dead at Copenhagen reported was "døde 195." Less than 10% of the figure you cite.

Presumably, you're not suggesting that Wellington intended large numbers of Portuguese civilians to starve as part of his strategy.
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Old 19 Jun 17, 17:10
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Presumably, you're not suggesting that Wellington intended large numbers of Portuguese civilians to starve as part of his strategy.
I don't think anyone cared about collateral damage those days.
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Old 19 Jun 17, 17:31
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Indeed, much, much less. The number of civilian dead at Copenhagen reported was "døde 195." Less than 10% of the figure you cite.

Presumably, you're not suggesting that Wellington intended large numbers of Portuguese civilians to starve as part of his strategy.
The number I found was in the recent book by Munch-Peterson on the subject. Considering the number of rounds fired into the city and the amount of the city that was either burned out or heavily damaged, 2,000 dead is a realistic number.

Many were killed in the fires when they sought shelter in basements and died there.

Whatever Wellington and the Portuguese government intended, they did not prepare to have 300,000 extra mouths to feed and give shelter to inside the Lines. If you're going to conduct an operation of that type, you have the responsibility for the civilians that you forced to evacuate.
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  #45  
Old 19 Jun 17, 18:42
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"De civile tab har tidl. generallæge og chef for Forsvarets Sundhedstjeneste, Hans Michael Jelsdorf, opgjort i sin artikel "Hospitalsberedskab og lægelig behandling under belejringen i 1807", (Krigshistorisk Tidsskrift 2007).
Antallet af sårede var 768, døde 195, altså væsentligt mindre end hidtil antaget

Brand- og bombeskaderne på ejendomme blev opgjort til 1071

http://www.1807.dk/tabstal%20civile.htm

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