David Senra

February 6, 2024

Napoleon's Maxims

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My top 10 highlights from the book:

1. Hesitation and half measures lose all in war.

2. It is profitable to study the campaigns of the great masters.

3. A rapid march augments the morale of an army, and increases its means of victory.

4. Ten people who yell make more noise than ten thousand who keep silent.

5. Long orders, which require much time to prepare, to read, and to understand are the enemies of speed. Napoleon could issue orders of few sentences which clearly expressed his intentions and required little time to issue and to understand.

6. Skill consists in converging a mass of fire upon a single point. He that has the skill to bring a sudden, unexpected concentration of artillery to bear upon a selected point is sure to capture it.

7. Nothing is more important in war than unity of command. When war is waged there must be but one army, acting on one line, and led by one chief.

8. Keeping one's forces united, being vulnerable at no point, moving rapidly on important points—these are the principles which assure victory.

9. Seek a frontier which forms a natural obstacle to invasion.

10. Read and reread the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus, Turenne, Eugène and Frederick. Model yourself upon them. This is the only way to become a great captain and to discover the secrets of the art of war. Your genius, enlightened by this study, will reject the maxims opposed to those of these great men.

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About David Senra

Learn from history's greatest founders. Every week I read a biography of an entrepreneur and tell you what I learned on Founders podcast