Napoleonic Wars Forum

The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

Andrew Roberts: we'd be better off if Napoleon had won

For all posts regarding the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo | 1815 - 2015.

Re: Andrew Roberts: we'd be better off if Napoleon had won

Postby DaveH » July 15th, 2015, 7:40 pm

FBC-Elvas, Portugal wrote:That's Roberts' next book I bet.

Sarah


No, that's 'Adolf the Great' where WW2 was not his fault as the UK and France declared war on him. Berlin would have been so much nicer if Speer had been left to rebuild it and those pesky Allied planes hadn't dropped lots of HE on it.
DaveH
Senior Member
 
Posts: 361
Joined: July 1st, 2015, 8:13 pm

Re: Andrew Roberts: we'd be better off if Napoleon had won

Postby Mark » July 16th, 2015, 8:36 am

Ok guys, back to 1792-1815 please ;)

Mark
Mark Simner BA (Hons) MSc | Web: http://marksimner.me.uk | Twitter @marksimner
User avatar
Mark
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3630
Joined: May 12th, 2011, 7:52 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Andrew Roberts: we'd be better off if Napoleon had won

Postby DaveH » July 16th, 2015, 11:05 am

Yes, I know I lose by invoking the Nazis, but that is how idiotic Roberts' claims are.

Who declares war has no bearing on why a war happened. Indeed, all those, who claim the UK broke the Treaty of Amiens conveniently forget that at Luneville, N promised to evacuate Malta and Holland, but didn't. It is important to understand why everyone acted as they did, not try to be righteousness about who started it (viz Basil Fawlty!).
DaveH
Senior Member
 
Posts: 361
Joined: July 1st, 2015, 8:13 pm

Re: Andrew Roberts: we'd be better off if Napoleon had won

Postby Kev » July 16th, 2015, 3:31 pm

Not the old Hitler comparison again? ;)

This is not about righteousness, its a debate. :D

Image
User avatar
Kev
New Member
 
Posts: 54
Joined: May 26th, 2015, 6:16 am

Re: Andrew Roberts: we'd be better off if Napoleon had won

Postby DaveH » July 16th, 2015, 8:49 pm

We should certainly debate the whys and hows, but too often, discussions get bogged down in righteousness - as Roberts' attempts to justify N's militarism show. Weider advanced the same kind of claims, but if we consider 1939, it should be pretty obvious how silly that superficial judgement can be.
Indeed, I was struck by Roberts' handling of 1799-1800: He devotes two pages to the siege of Genoa (lifted from Gachot) where N wasn't, compared with just half a page on the correspondence between Paris and the allies, from which he concludes it was the Allies' fault that 1800 happened. This was down to his lazy "research" - as he only used the FN edition of N's Correspondence and all those proclamations about wanting peace, while not bothering with the key letters (written by Talleyrand under N's direction) published over a century ago.
I am not saying that 1800 was N's fault - that is another "righteousness" judgement - but it completely avoids any analysis of why N felt he had to fight another war. In fact, it was much like Lodi - to secure his position, he needed a victory and you cannot blame him for the self-interested approach. There is none of this in Roberts.
DaveH
Senior Member
 
Posts: 361
Joined: July 1st, 2015, 8:13 pm

Re: Andrew Roberts: we'd be better off if Napoleon had won

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » July 17th, 2015, 9:59 am

janner wrote:I came across an interesting review of Roberts' book today,
http://bjmh.org.uk/index.php/bjmh/article/view/60/49
Apologies if this has already been posted, but there are clearly also some articles in there that will be of interest :D
http://bjmh.org.uk/index.php/bjmh


Thanks for these links Stephen. There are excellent links on the latter one to Napoleonic articles [all available as pdf files] by Nick Lipscombe and Charles Esdaile. Particularly of interest to this thread is the link to 19 pages of correspondence between Andrew Roberts and Charles Esdaile about Roberts' position on the greatness of Napoleon. I liked Esdaile's comment toward the end To be blunt, great statesmen do not throw away the enormous strategic advantages of 1807 and bring down disasters of the scale that afflicted France in the wake of the battle of Leipzig.

Sarah
Friends of the British Cemetery, Elvas
User avatar
FBC-Elvas, Portugal
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 2305
Joined: June 18th, 2011, 2:47 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: Andrew Roberts: we'd be better off if Napoleon had won

Postby Kev » July 17th, 2015, 6:01 pm

I am afraid this one stopped being a debate for me when the Nazi / Hitler comments appeared.

Sadly predictable I guess.
User avatar
Kev
New Member
 
Posts: 54
Joined: May 26th, 2015, 6:16 am

Re: Andrew Roberts: we'd be better off if Napoleon had won

Postby DaveH » July 17th, 2015, 6:16 pm

Sorry, but I was just trying to illustrate the absurdity of the argument that Napoleon was the "defensive victim", because others declared war on him. 1939 just shows that absurdity most clearly and that it is necessary to understand the background to war breaking out rather than making simplistic judgements on how was "responsible" for the declaration.

1799 and Amiens can both get pretty complicated, especially if those using these declaration arguments to heap responsibility for war ignore the key sources.
DaveH
Senior Member
 
Posts: 361
Joined: July 1st, 2015, 8:13 pm

Re: Andrew Roberts: we'd be better off if Napoleon had won

Postby Senarmont198 » July 17th, 2015, 9:58 pm

Kev,

I agree and you are correct. It's a shame, isn't it? I would suggest that events of 1939, et al, are not only out of the period, but the comparison is way off base.

Sen
Senarmont198
Senior Member
 
Posts: 499
Joined: May 28th, 2015, 10:23 am

Re: Andrew Roberts: we'd be better off if Napoleon had won

Postby jf42 » July 17th, 2015, 10:06 pm

FBC-Elvas, Portugal wrote:
janner wrote:I came across an interesting review of Roberts' book today,
http://bjmh.org.uk/index.php/bjmh/article/view/60/49
Apologies if this has already been posted, but there are clearly also some articles in there that will be of interest :D
http://bjmh.org.uk/index.php/bjmh


Thanks for these links Stephen. There are excellent links on the latter one to Napoleonic articles [all available as pdf files] by Nick Lipscombe and Charles Esdaile. Particularly of interest to this thread is the link to 19 pages of correspondence between Andrew Roberts and Charles Esdaile about Roberts' position on the greatness of Napoleon. I liked Esdaile's comment toward the end To be blunt, great statesmen do not throw away the enormous strategic advantages of 1807 and bring down disasters of the scale that afflicted France in the wake of the battle of Leipzig.

Sarah



The correspondence between Charles Esdaile and Andrew Roberts is very telling. One man is defending a position, the other is defending a case. I finally understand the meaning of the word 'casuistry'.
Last edited by jf42 on June 13th, 2016, 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
jf42
Senior Veteran Member
 
Posts: 1285
Joined: June 23rd, 2011, 10:17 am
Location: United Kingdom

PreviousNext

Return to Waterloo 200th Anniversary

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests