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What Napoleonic Era military commander are you?

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puddles123 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 Jun 2009 at 15:38
  Hello everyone,

  I wasn't entirely sure where on the forums to put this post, but I suppose this place is as good as any.

   On facebook I have spent a number of days developing a quiz to determine through questions on strategy and personality what Napoleonic Era military commander you most resemble. Given my attempt to be very thorough, I decided I wanted to pass it on to those other history nerds out there who might appreciate my efforts Big smile.

   http://apps.facebook.com/what-napoleon-jggghe/?start=1&target=home

   Please let me know if the link does not work, and I will try to repost it. And let me know what you think of the quiz! There are nine possible results, and I'm interested to see what people get.

   If I get enough positive feedback, I will definitely make more quizzes of the same caliber. I'm already floating around ideas for Which famous woman in history are you? and Which famous conqueror are you?

   Thank you for taking it, and I hope you all enjoy it.

*Edit* I apologize to those who do not have facebook. I searched the internet for possible quiz formats, and facebook was the only one I encountered that had the setup to do what I wanted with the quiz.


Edited by puddles123 - 20 Jun 2009 at 16:00
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Knights View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2009 at 17:07
Great quiz, with lots of detail. After taking the quiz seriously, I did it another few times to see what other commanders there were. I look forward to more quizzes of this type and calibre, from you!

Oh by the way (Temujin will be pleased to know) I got Napoleon Bonaparte himself.
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puddles123 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote puddles123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2009 at 17:55
I'm glad you enjoyed it! By the way, I sent it off to another forum that has had a number of positive replies, and I noticed something interesting. It seems like those people who are passionate about military history get Napoleon most of the time, whereas those people who have different passions get a smattering of the 8 other possibilities. I'm not quite sure why that is, but I'm guessing that those who end up with Napoleon recognize his strategies which, given how he conquered most of Europe, they also recognize as being the most effective option.

Or maybe that is a lot of speculation. My enthusiasm for having so many different possible results does have the downside of making it so that it is possible you could answer a bare two questions in favor of a person, then a smattering of others which waters down the accuracy of the final answer. Hmm. Something to keep in mind for my next quiz when I get around to it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2009 at 18:01
Well I didn't choose my answers to get Napoleon as a result, I just chose the ones which applied most correctly to me. Admittedly at times though, it was a tough choice between more than one option.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote puddles123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2009 at 20:13
Good =). I did my best to make the possible answers all equally valid to create tough decisions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2009 at 00:31
An Excellent quiz.  I never would have guessed I'd get Blucher.  I would definitely encourage you to make more, one can see you spent time and effort creating it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2009 at 03:11
Yes more quizzes are definitely in order Smile I look forward to them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WolfHound85 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2009 at 04:00
Awesome any other interesting historical ones?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2009 at 04:50
Interesting quiz!

My result was Archduke Charles of Austria when I took the quiz.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote puddles123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2009 at 05:14
It's my first quiz, wolfhound. Rest assured, more are to come; but don't hold your breath. Life constructs delays and the amount of research I put into these take time. I aim to be done with the next one in a week or so. I'm glad you liked it, though! I am definitely going to make more given all this positive feedback.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2009 at 05:59
Originally posted by puddles123 puddles123 wrote:

It's my first quiz, wolfhound. Rest assured, more are to come; but don't hold your breath. Life constructs delays and the amount of research I put into these take time. I aim to be done with the next one in a week or so. I'm glad you liked it, though! I am definitely going to make more given all this positive feedback.


I look forward to what else you have offer!Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote puddles123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2009 at 15:46
Hey guys,

On this brand new morning I saw that 70 people have taken the quiz with it having been only out for about a day or so. So, I've decided to share all the possible outcomes, and the percentages of people who have received these outcomes. However, I'm not going to give the descriptions that go with each result, as that would result in one massive post and also take away part of the fun of taking it Tongue

Napoleon Bonaparte of France - 26%
Arthur Wellesley of Britain, Duke of Wellington - 24%
Archduke Charles of Austria - 20%
Gebhard Blücher of Prussia - 8%
Thomas Cochrane of Britain - 6%
Horatio Nelson of Britain - 6%
Joachim Murat of France - 6%
Mikhail Kutuzov of Russia - 4%
Michel Ney of France - 0% (Not a single person yet!)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2009 at 20:56
well, before i start let me say i'm a big enthusiast of the period and i have quite strong opinions on things:

my result was Murat because i really like cavalry, otherwise i would have gotten Napoleon too. i didn't liked that you said "of France" because even though he was a French Marshal he was ruler of Berg and the Naples, so that would ahve been in place. Murat himself had overall command in only very few battles, ALL of which he lost which begs the question if you really want to include him at all.

i also fail to see why you included Admirals in this, left alone there are presently three options of Britian but only one each of Prussia, Austria and Russia, which is unfair. other than those, you should have included at least Schwarzenberg who commanded THE main coalition army that eventually disposed Napoleon for the first time. as for Prussia, Blücher i guess is enough, maybe already too much considderign that Prussian generals of that time sucked (incl. Blücher but honorably mention of Bülow), except for the staff generals Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.

as for Russians, i'd liked to see Barclay de Tolly at least, maybe even Bennigsen, Bagration or Wittgenstein. i noticed one of the options in one question was "retreat and conduct scorched earth". i pressume this leads to Kutuzov but he was actually a big enemy of that strategy, this strategy was applied by Barclay de Tolly until he fell out of favour at court for this unpopular strategy at the time. this strategy was only later popularized and incorrectly attributed to Kutuzov, who replaced Barcaly as overall commander and immediately prepared the pointless battle of Borodino which almost cost him his army.

as for French commanders, Massena mostly led Armies indipendently, so did Eugene de Beauharnais, Napoleons son-in-law, they would be appropriate selections. if you prefer subordinate commanders i would have picked Lannes and Davout but there's of course a multitude of French commanders to choose from.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote puddles123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2009 at 03:29
Hehe. I was expecting someone to challenge me on these things, and that is perfectly fine. Here are my responses.

  Overall, I constructed my perceptions of these generals and admirals from reading the very fun and informative book called The War of Wars - The Epic Struggle Between Britain and France: 1789-1815 by Robert Harvey. All I've learned about the Napoleonic wars I learned from that one book. Naturally, I'm not going to be exactly historically accurate given this limited view. But I trust the author had most things right. What prompted me to write the quiz was seeing all these generals/admirals in action and noticing how many of them had very different strategies and personalities. Consequently, I wanted to share to others who don't necessarily love history the way I do how you can find such interesting personalities and stories in this era. Now, as for your specific points...

 1. I noted Joachim Murat as being "of France" because that is where he spent the majority of his time during the wars. I know he was ruler of Sicily and Naples and all, but for the sake of simplicity and an effort to make the quiz accessible to people who know nothing about the era, I did not say "Joachim Murat of France, Naples, Berg, and Sicily," because that just looks unwieldy. As for him having overall command in only a few battles, from my perspective that is irrelevant. His strategy/command with cavalry and his personality which was distinct from the other options in the quiz earned him a right to be in it. Note: I do not say "What successful Napoleonic Era military commander are you?" Given the dozens if not hundreds of generals and admirals in the war, I knew I was bound to disappoint someone, and I apologize. But I urge you to consider the confines of a personality quiz.

 2. I included the admirals because I did not want to ignore their certainly significant contributions to the war. Also, I know that there are those who are naval enthusiasts, and I wanted to include them. And I just love Thomas Cochrane. I did not include any other admirals of other nations because Britain dominated that particular field. I considered briefly putting in Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve, but there simply was not enough information in the book I read (or google) to construct valid responses to the questions within the quiz. Not to mention, his strategies never worked, and I tried to make every strategic answer to my hypothetical questions conceivably valid to everyone.

 3. There are three options of Britain and three of France, then a smattering of the others. This was not a conscious effort, but merely me looking at all the different personalities located within my book and then choosing those that would be unique enough from each other to have reasonable answers to my questions. Blücher may have sucked, in your opinion, but like I said before it is the personality and distinct strategy that mattered. Only Blücher would relentlessly drive towards the French capital when Napoleon was on the ropes; all the other generals were too wary of Napoleon's reputation to consider doing the same until Blücher did it. Hence his presence in the quiz.

4. As for the Russians, I actually do not recall much of Barclay de Tolly. Of course, that does not mean that he was not important or a valid possible answer, but that the information I had on hand gave me more info to include Kutuzov above him. I did not know that Barclay introduced the scorched earth policy, but I did include Kutuzov as using it because he did whether he liked it or not. That is why it is the answer for him. While it may not count for much (I'm too lazy to pore through my book right now), Wikipedia does say that after the battle of Borodino, Kutuzov fell back on the strategy of his predecessor. I also remember my book saying that it was never really clear whether Kutuzov ordered saboteurs to burn Moscow to the ground or not. These are the reasons I associated Kutuzov with scorched earth. If he did not actually utilize scorched earth policy, then I'm sorry, my source is flawed. I would have then changed his answer to be "Retreat and let the onset of winter ravage the enemy's supplies and men" or something along those lines.

   5. I would have really liked to have put Eugene de Beauharnais as an option, but it was extraordinarily difficult already at nine possible options to create a question and answers that would do justice to each general/admiral and also remain distinctly different. I have to say though that in my book something struck me as him being rather similar to Archduke Charles. I can't remember if it was strategy or demeanor, but that helped knock him out of the running as a result.

 Thank you for the constructive criticism, as it will help when I make a new quiz. What I've learned from this one is that nine possible answers are actually too many, as it becomes insanely hard to keep all the answers good and different, thus forcing me to have less questions and thus become less accurate. 6 sounds like a good number, and that is the number of results there will be for my next quiz.


Edited by puddles123 - 23 Jun 2009 at 03:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2009 at 18:51
yeah i completely undertsand your viewpoint. in regards to the Napoleonic Wars however you won't coem around gettign more books. the problem with the Nap Wars is that English literature is often reptetitive and one-sided. usually even new books simply reiterate the myths established in older secondary sources while not even looking at primary sources at all, left alone those that are not in English or French. Kutuzov is of course more popular and well-known than barclay, mostly due to him beign the commander at Austerlitz and Borodino. besides Barclay was also more of an administrator than an actual commander even though he saved the Russians from defeat at Borodino. also he reformed the Russian Army as Minsiter of War until 1812, it is save to say he was the mastermind behind Napoleons disaster and ultimate downfall. also of course nationalist literature likes to emphasize on Kutuzov as opposed to the Scot Barclay de Tolly. i concede Blüchers biggest vice was his hatred of Frenchmen, which won him the campaign in 1814 while it almost cost him his entire army if it wasn't for pure luck at one occasion.

the main point of your quiz i think should not be having a lot of popular or well-known generals but generals with completely differing strategies and doctrines, that'll make the quiz more interesting and there would be more diverse choices. but i would still refrain from including Admirals, that just feels wrong and the questions often don't really fit them at all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote puddles123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2009 at 21:14
Well, I realize that the answers for the admirals might not fit too well with the hypothetical scenarios, but fully 20% of the people taking it have received them as results, so some people must like their inclusion for diversity's sake. I doubt I'll do something like that again for future quizzes, I just felt like I had to include Nelson for his legendary status among his officers and men and Cochrane for his sheer adventurousness and daring. None of the other generals matched those qualities, in my opinion. And some people just prefer naval strategy and history to land.

Thanks for that info on Barclay. My source didn't cover him much at all. And, actually, I figured as much with the repetitive approach to the Napoleonic wars which is why I felt justified in writing up the quiz after having only read one book on it =).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whiteice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2009 at 23:27
I got Gebhard Blücher of Prussia. I never would have expected that result.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote puddles123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2009 at 05:53
Yeah, what I'm learning is that my mix of strategy questions and personality questions is fudging up the results a little bit. I had two of my friends get Blücher; and I from watching them do it I figured out that one of them got him because he agreed with all or most of his strategies, but not personality whereas the other friend sided with his personality descriptions, but not strategies. They both still found things in common with the shared result, thankfully!

In any case, I'm glad I've received such favorable 'reviews' in general, and I'm learning what works and doesn't.

As a sidenote - I have the framework of my next quiz decided on, so you all should see it within a week I hope! Smile


Edited by puddles123 - 24 Jun 2009 at 05:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ResoundingEagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 08:08
This is slightly off topic, XD But I have noticed that in various original Russian WW2 photos, that as a joke, some soldiers (especially young Red Army men) would put a pipe in their mouth and their hand in their jacket. lol I found this rather amusing, considering. XD I have also seen this twice with Wehrmacht pictures as well.

Historical quizzes? Sounds fun. Count me in.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Praetor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2009 at 15:36
I got Napoleon, which was to me somewhat of a surprise but not a total one. Keep up the good work PuddlesThumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2009 at 16:50
Joachim Murat of France
 
Epic. Half of my answers included cavalry running down the enemy at no matter the cost.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ziegenbartami Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2009 at 05:11
Archduke Charles of Austria was my result.
"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule."
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