To say that Napoleon Bonaparte was an exceptional general, tactician, and strategist is an enormous understatement. Napoleon was, by almost all measurements, one of the greatest military minds ever to exist.
What makes Napoleon almost entirely unique amongst the great military strategists and generals of all time, however, is the method in which he attained victory. Napoleon did not, by any means, bring about any new form of warfare, and he did not develop any new radical strategies that had not already been employed. Instead, Napoleon took pre-existing strategies and theories, refined them slightly to his advantage, reoganized armies to better suit the realities of the battlefield, and executed battles in a calculated but adaptable method.
Through this article, I will analyze three major components of Napoleon's art of warfare that caused him to be great, and while there are many more countless reasons, I will primarily stay to these three topics and will give a general overview of each. I will outline the strategy, tactics, and reforms implemented by Napoleon that led to the success and ultimate downfall during his army during his time in power. Although for the sake of simplicity, strategy and tactics will be lumped into one section, as describing the tactics of Napoleon could warrant an entire article on its' own.
In this article I will outline the major points of Napoleon's strategy, tactics, and reforms by citing various battles which I will only begin to scratch the surface on. I will provide sources for further research on battles if you the reader are interested in such readings, and they will be included in the last section Sources. I will only begin to scratch the surface on the broad and major points that distinguished Napoleon from earlier and contemporary commanders (of Napoleon's time) and will not go into Napoleon's extreme micromanagement of his armies or into detail of the various intelligence agencies that contributed so much, rather I will...