We use the American Renaissance style guide.
Deane The writings of Karl Von Clausewitz continue to provide historians with judging criteria for matters of war. If Napoleon would have won the battle of Leipzig he would have been called a battlefield genius.
So if his decisions that led to victory would qualify for genius, why would the same decisions disqualify him after a defeat?
Clausewitz suggests that chance is uncontrollable, but that the quality of the decisions made in response to chance is what determines genius.
Clausewitz gives several criteria for genius. He describes courage as the first requirement. Napoleon rarely had to brave enemy fire, yet he did struggle with the weight of moving, defending and defeating entire armies; Napoleon also had to defend the revolution that he personified and maneuver adroitly within the constantly evolving political situations.
So Napoleon did not face normal tests of courage, but faced struggles that perhaps no man since Oliver Cromwell had to contend with. During the campaigns of Napoleon continually taxed his means.
His army was the same size as earlier ones but of decidedly inferior quality. But then he maneuvered those armies with corps commanders that lacked the ability to operate independently. His operations against Berlin robbed him of the mass needed for a decisive victory, but he needed to break apart the Sixth Coalition that was rapidly gaining strength.
He vacillated on whether to abandon Dresden because he needed to ensure the continued support of the Saxon King. And then left a garrison there when it was needed for Leipzig, but he probably assumed that the defensive positions there would allow him another Dresden type victory. Yet these objections are only raised in response to his finally losing.
During Napoleon accumulated a list of battle field victories while his subordinates lost. Even at Leipzig Napoleon faced an enemy almost twice his size,  fought them to a standstill while surrounded, and only retired after running short of ammunition.
The majority of troops captured during that battle resulted from a scared NCO destroying the main bridge before the retreat was complete. The point being that Napoleon had the mental determination and physical stamina to follow his plan to victory.
But having the courage to follow his plan in the face of opposition is determination that demands merit. We should see in what ways Napoleon held to his inner light, and in what ways his plans changed according to the clear convictions forced upon him.
In his formulation of the master plan, and his use to rivers as a screen Napoleon excelled on the strategic level. On the tactical level, Napoleon at Dresden, Bautzen, and Leipzig made excellent of terrain. In the matter of human terrain, Napoleon misjudged even his father in law The King of Austriaand continued to misjudge the capabilities of his corps commanders, and his soldiers.
Before we proceed in examining the Clausewitzean traits of Napoleon we should examine the unique selection of the battle of Leipzig.
There are far more spectacular battles such as Jena and Austerlitz; far more studied battles such as of Borodino and Waterloo; and far more famous campaigns like the Russian and Spanish campaigns.
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