Should the Napoleonic Wars be considered...

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Lord Uxbridge Ist
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Should the Napoleonic Wars be considered...

Postby Lord Uxbridge Ist » Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:40 am

...a World War?

Discuss.

I must apologise to Gunfreak, who originally made this topic on the HistWar forums. However, I found it so interesting that I thought I'd throw it open to our patrons here. Gunfreak, I hope you don't mind.

LU
Last edited by Lord Uxbridge Ist on Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby cegorach » Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:58 am

I would rather say that 30-ears war was the first WW or at least the 7-years war - this way Napoleonic wars would be 2nd or even 3rd WW :wink:
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Postby Lord Uxbridge Ist » Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:16 am

Valid point Cegorach, I have editted the post above to reflect this.

LU
"There is no beating these troops. They were completely beaten; the day was mine, and yet they did not know it and would not run." - Marshal Soult in his report to Napoleon after the Battle of Albuera, 16th May, 1811

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Postby Lord Crow » Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:21 pm

I would say it qualifies and it stretched from Egypt to Canada if you include the 1812 but does that qualify? Troops were sent from North America to fight in mainland Europe so there is a link.

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Re: Should the Napoleonic Wars be considered...

Postby Gunfreak » Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:10 pm

Lord Uxbridge wrote:...a World War?

Discuss.

I must apologise to Gunfreak, who originally made this topic on the HistWar forums. However, I found it so interesting that I thought I'd throw it open to our patrons here. Gunfreak, I hope you don't mind.

LU


no i don't mind, was thiking about repositng my post here. so you saved my the truble.

and yes i would say that the war of 1812 was part of the Napoleonic war!!S!! i doubt the US would attack Canada if Britain hadn't been at war with france.

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Postby Lord BloodnGore » Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:26 pm

In WW1, there was 40 nations involved and in WW2 there was 91 nations.
In the Napoleonic wars there was only 13 nations involved so IMHO I don't think that those wars where considered World wars.

The bloodiest battle in the Nap wars was Borodino. The casualties was about 89,000 soldiers combined from both sides.

The battle of the Somme was the bloodiest and considered the worst battle of WW1.

The british lost 419,654 men, not including its allies which the french lost
204,253. The Germans lost 465,000 to 600,000.
8 men where being killed every second of the battle.

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Postby Rectunator » Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:46 pm

I like the idea of brits marching in clean lines into barbed wire and machinegun fire.

And no. Nappywars were mainly concentrated into Europe (they escalated a bit but the europe was the main hotspot). WW's one and two were fought from australia to africa and USA (both wars combined).
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Postby Miles Gloriosus » Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:52 pm

I'll line up behind the old argument that the 7 Years War was the first conflict that was truely global in scope.....in many respects more so than the Great War (1914-18).

Broadly one could include the swath of late 17th and 18th century European dynastic wars as "World Wars" as they consolidated the ocean spaces as politicized strategic zones as opposed to simply being a medium for travel. This was the compleation of a process that had begun in the late 15th century with Hispano-Portuguese commercial exploration and expansion.

Then again, if one's standards of what constitutes a Global conflict is military participation rate (MPR) then the dynastic wars qualify less then the Napoleonic.......we could go round in circles on this one....
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Postby Jakob » Thu Jun 29, 2006 10:33 pm

I think the Nappy Wars certainly count as a WW....people often forget that there was fighting all the way to India and South America....so yeah....it defenatly qualifies.

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Re: Should the Napoleonic Wars be considered...

Postby Le Marhceal Davout » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:35 am

No. It certainly didn't count as one. The wars raged over Europe, but it didn't overreach any areas( Apart from Napoleon's campaigns in Egypt) The whole of Europe was engaged in war at that time.

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Re: Should the Napoleonic Wars be considered...

Postby Chuckman » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:28 pm

Though much of the fighting happened in Europe, Asia was also heavily involved in Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Both the Dutch and the British had West Indies troops in their armies.

Africa was involved when Napoleon invaded Egypt. Naples had African soldiers in its ranks (7th line infantry)

North America was heavily involved in the War of 1812 (from 1812-1815), which was related. The US had always been allies with the French, which was at least in a small way part of their motivation for their failed invasions of Canada.

South America was involved because Spain being tied up by Napoleon started their independence wars.

That is every continent but Australia. And in Europe alone there were many more nations involved than 13; every nation in Europe fought as far as I know.

That and the number of casualties were between 3.5 and 6.5 million! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleonic_Wars_casualties

It by itself for wars before WW1 which could be classed as a World War. I have always thought it was WW1. A case could be made for the 30 years war and the 7 years war as well, but the number of continents/countries involved was lower as were the casualties.
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Re: Should the Napoleonic Wars be considered...

Postby Seimour01 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:54 am

While I do think that the Napoleonic war could be considered a world war if you stretch it a bit, it's hard to consider 18th century warfare as such. A world war also usually implies(IMHO)mobilizing the entire nation's economy to fund a total war with one side being crushed into submission. Wars of the 18th century lacked the destructive nature of later war and the armies involved were usually of limited scale.

As for the napoleonic wars themselves, the fighting outside of Europe mostly involved Britain overpowering french and dutch colonies without that much battle. The war of 1812 itself was a separate conflict(although linked because the continental blockade led to rise of tensions)between the US and the UK.
The russians did fight against the persians but that was again another war and it was far away from the european theater with a relatively small and well equipped russian army. Since Napoleon never managed to land in England and that his expeditions outside of Europe were separated by short peace, you can't really call it a world war since it's multiple wars happening in sucession or at the same time. Just my tiny grain of salt...
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Re: Should the Napoleonic Wars be considered...

Postby Chuckman » Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:33 pm

I don't think that it has to be total war for it to be a World War. Actually, though, does fit in the perameters you have layed out. National conscription happened in many countries, this was started for the first time in the Napoleonic wars or just before. The economies of all countries were poured into the war effort.

Civilian casualties in the Napoleonic Wars were quite high. 1 000 000 at least.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleonic_Wars_casualties
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Re: Should the Napoleonic Wars be considered...

Postby Seimour01 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:52 pm

Yeah, which is why I think it could be considered one if you stretch it out a bit. I mean the great war was initially the Napoleonic wars until World war One happened and we called it the great war. I guess we could have called it the second great war but we didn`t.
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