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THE NAPOLEONIC LEGACY The legacy of Napoleon Bonaparte began in 1793 and continues to this day Although the French general Napoleon left France smaller than it originally was at the beginning of the Revolution in 1789 he was widely respected during his lifetime and thereafter Napoleon Bonaparte produced an everlasting imprint on the history of Europe as a result of his great military genius development of political ideas and the remodeling of French law At the root of Napoleons success lay his military genius Much of Napoleons military genius comes from his studies of historys finest commanders Of these influences on Napoleon were Alexander Caesar Hannibal Gustavus Adolphus Turenne Eugene and most of all Frederick the Great Napoleon used Fredericks strategies and adapted them to his own tactical system Chandler 70 Napoleons military tactics were based around the corps d arme a small army containing the elements of cavalry infantry and artillery The most important advantage of the small army was its capability of fighting alone for a long period of time against superior enemy forces until help could be attained Chandler 79 With speed good order and carefully maintained formations a successful cavalry was developed Every type of cavalry was placed in one of three categories each with specific tasks The heavy cavalry used their size and weight to create holes in the enemies line of battle The cavalry of the line was expected to protect lines of communication and carry out raids The light cavalry was mainly used for pursuit and to explore areas in order to gain military information Chandler 94 Napoleon was the first general to employ cavalry simultaneously to conceal his main troop movements and to recognize the front The foot soldiers of the infantry were the backbone of Napoleons army Chandler 97 The infantry marched in a column up to the attack instead of a line This column was more maneuverable than lines and could swing
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