Napoleons military genius was considered to be so enormeous that the entire stategy of the Coalition that defeated him (the Trachenberg Plan) depended on retreat wherever & whenever they faced him and only attacking his underlings until they built up an overwhelming numerical troop advantage.

Trachenberg Plan

Former Marshal of the Empire Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, later Crown Prince Charles John of Sweden, co-author of the Trachenberg Plan

The Trachenberg Plan was a campaign strategy created by the Allies in the 1813 German Campaign during the War of the Sixth Coalition, and named for the conference held at the palace of Trachenberg. The plan advocated avoiding direct engagement with French emperor, Napoleon I, which had resulted from fear of the emperor’s now legendary prowess in battle. Consequently, the Allies planned to engage and defeat Napoleon’s marshals and generals separately, and thus weaken his army while they built up an overwhelming force even he could not defeat. It was decided upon after a series of defeats and near disasters a… Continue Reading (2 minute read)

5 thoughts on “Napoleons military genius was considered to be so enormeous that the entire stategy of the Coalition that defeated him (the Trachenberg Plan) depended on retreat wherever & whenever they faced him and only attacking his underlings until they built up an overwhelming numerical troop advantage.”

  1. sonofabutch

    This is known as the [Fabian Strategy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabian_strategy), employed by Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus against Hannibal during the Second Punic War (218 B.C.-201 B.C.).

    Even though the strategy was working, Fabius Maximus was criticized for not directly confronting Hannibal. He was removed from command and replaced with Gaius Terentius Varro, who did what the Senate wanted and led a massive attack on Hannibal… resulting in Rome’s catastrophic defeat at Cannae. Rome then reverted back to the Fabian strategy, eventually wearing down Hannibal’s army and forcing him to withdraw from Italy.

  2. Jokerang

    IIRC there was someone that did an analysis of data of military commanders in history, and Napoleon was rated to be the best overall, even more than Alexander the Great. The logic was that Napoleon won the majority of battles he directly commanded, some of which he was at a disadvantage to begin with, and all of his (relatively few) losses happened when he was severely disadvantaged to begin with, for one reason or another.

    Alexander, meanwhile, won all his battles but was in command for nowhere near as many battles as Napoleon, although the person doing the analysis hypothesized that he’d just keep winning battles had he lived longer.

  3. loger5

    Read on wikipedia that Bernadotte of Sweden, a former marshall of Napoleon came up with that plan.
    It was said that Napoleons presence on the battlefield was equivalent to 40,000 men.

    Napoleon lived in his opponents head, making them second guess every maneuver thinking it was was too obvious and and a trap.

    Epic History TV has a really good doc on the Napoleonic wars
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=91OmO2YMiDM

    The Age of Napoleon podcast is tremendously good at in depth tactics of Republican France, particularly Napoleon in the first Italian Campaign against Austria
    https://podbay.fm/p/the-age-of-napoleon-podcast

  4. emmasdad01

    The “live to fight another day” strategy.

  5. DarthEquus

    Tactical retreat. Or, as they would say in Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

    “Run away! Run away!”

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