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Dan Snow's History Hit

2. Napoleon: The Commander

Ep. 1324

During the Napoleonic Wars, 18th-century leaders in Europe quickly decided the best way to beat Napoleon Bonaparte was to retreat and not meet him on the battlefield at all. He was head and shoulders above the other commanders of the day. So why did it go so spectacularly wrong for him at Waterloo?


In episode two of his series, Dan delves into who Napoleon was as a military commander- what made him so effective on the battlefield, as a leader of men and conqueror of lands. He's joined by military historian Dr Zack White, as they dissect the Siege of Toulon in 1793 in which Napoleon proved himself a commander of extraordinary promise. They assess his strategy and tactics at Austerlitz, his incredible relationship with his men on the battlefield, and how the later years of his life were mired by internal turmoil that soon clouded his once precise military reasoning.


Produced by Mariana Des Forges, Freddy Chick and edited by Dougal Patmore.


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