Does history repeat itself because people become power hungry? In the years from 58 B.C. to 1821 A.D., two infamous generals led armies to great success, yet met with similar fates. It is my belief that through the use of similar tactics, one general fell victim to a fate shared by another, earlier general. Could this fate have been avoided, if he'd carefully studied his predecessor's mistakes?
There have been several great military geniuses to come from Europe. Edward Rommel won a lot of victories against the British in World War II primarily because he didn't have awful teeth, and he spoke German. Alexander the Great wasn't called Great just because he encouraged people to call him that, he was actually great warrior on the field of battle…and he was well over 6 feet tall. And Hannibal showed us that elephants couldn't fly, but they could climb mountains. Unfortunately, none of these men were as successful as Julius Caesar, and France's own mighty giant Napoleon Bonaparte. Well, maybe they were…I don't know, I was only covering Caesar and Napoleon.
Napoleon Bonaparte's success as a military leader and conqueror can clearly be seen in Julius Caesar. Caesar achieved great glory by bringing his country out of turmoil, as did Napoleon. Looking to the past, Napoleon knew what steps to take in order to achieve success. Napoleon devoured books on the art of war. Volume after volume of military theory was read, analyzed and criticized. He studied the campaigns of history's most famous commanders, but his favorite, and the most influential on his strategies, was none other than Julius Caesar . It was Caesar that Napoleon modeled himself after the most. He wanted to be as great, if not greater than, Caesar. But he'd never get taller than Caesar.
Julius Caesar was the Roman leader who changed the course of history for the Greco - Roman world. Caesar was able to create the Roman Empire because of his strength in war strategies . Julius Caesar was to become one of the greatest generals ever to rise from Europe, conquering the whole of Gaul. In 58 B.C., Caesar became governor and military commander of Gaul, which included modern France, Belgium, and portions of Switzerland, Holland, and Germany west of the Rhine. For the next eight years, Caesar led military campaigns involving both the Roman legions and tribes in Gaul who were often competing among themselves. Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman whose dictatorship was pivotal in Rome's transition from republic to empire . He could also make a mean salad.
Caesar's principles were to keep his forces united; to strike speedily at critical points; to be vulnerable at no point; to rely on moral factors, such as his reputation and the fear he inspired; and political means in order to insure the loyalty of his allies and the submissiveness of the conquered nations. He made use of every possible opportunity to increase his chances of victory on the battlefield and, in order to accomplish this, he needed unity of all his troops . And maybe a good salad to feed them.
Beginning at the time that he first faced battle in Gaul and discovered his own military genius, Caesar was fascinated and obsessed by military and imperial problems. He gave them an absolute priority over the more delicate, but no less fundamental task, of revising the Roman constitution. There was a need in the latter for a solution; this solution would introduce such elements of authoritarianism, which were necessary to check corruption and administrative weakness .
The story of all his battles and wars has been preserved in Caesar's written account, Commentaries on the Gallic Wars, originally published in 50 B.C. For this period, Caesar is the only existent source providing first-hand descriptions of Britain. While no doubt self-serving when written, Caesar's account is nevertheless regarded as accurate and historically reliable . Caesar was appointed dictator for a year starting in 49 B.C., for two years in 48 B.C., for ten years in 46 B.C. and finally dictator for life in 44 B.C. Taking over as Dictator for Life enabled Caesar to gain unrestricted power. He was able to run a strong military, and even though he was considered a dictator, he wrote laws