January 14th, 2021


The Napoleon Diaries 4

Plans for the invasion of England (Napoleon always called Britain, England) have to be put on hold because war with Austria is imminent. Napoleon claims he doesn’t want war with anyone but can’t put up with an Austrian invasion of Bavaria.

Napoleon wins probably his greatest battle, now known as Austerlitz. It showed his mastery of tactics as well as the common touch he had when encouraging his soldiers. He didn’t then know that Nelson had destroyed his fleet at Trafalgar, giving Britain complete command of the seas. For all his military genius, Napoleon didn’t understand sea warfare at all. Because the book is about Napoleon and not Nelson, Roberts doesn’t dwell on Trafalgar except to say that when he was on St Helena, Napoleon said, ‘what Nelson had…was of nature.’, which I suppose is another way of saying he was a genius.