AHC/WI: Napoleon wins

As simple - make him achieve as much as he reasonably can with any PoD you want.

The two most discussed PoDs are:
1. No Peninsular War
2. no War of 1812

The goal here is to have a Continental System with France as a leader and UK either under French control or excluded from European affairs to as large degree as possible. A nice perk is if this system last at least as long sa the post-Vienna one.

@alexmilman
 
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Your best POD is to have the Danish annihilate Nelson and the British fleet at the First Battle of Copenhagen. Had the Danes used their entire fleet, Nelson wouldn't have had a chance.

This forces the British navy on the defensive and prevents the disaster that the French/Spanish fleet faces at Trafalgar.

Without Trafalgar, Napoleon has far more respect for his Spanish allies, which helps avoid Spanish-French relations from falling apart.

Also without Naval superiority, Wellington and the British army can't be supported in Libson, leading to a complete collapse of Portugal.

The British will sue for peace. Without the disaster that was the quagmire in Spain, Napoleon has hundreds of thousands of extra soldiers at his disposal.

Russia will either be far more compelled to follow the Continental System or will get their asses handed to them.
 
Your best POD is to have the Danish annihilate Nelson and the British fleet at the First Battle of Copenhagen. Had the Danes used their entire fleet, Nelson wouldn't have had a chance.

At that battle Nelson had 12 ships of the line. In 1800 the Royal Navy had 127 ships of the line so even in an absolutely unlikely event of Nelson’s squadron being completely annihilated the Brits still have much more battleships than any of their opponents and, unlike French and Spanish navies, their crews are well-trained. So there is no reason for the Brits to get into the panic mode and your schema is not working.



 
At that battle Nelson had 12 ships of the line. In 1800 the Royal Navy had 127 ships of the line so even in an absolutely unlikely event of Nelson’s squadron being completely annihilated the Brits still have much more battleships than any of their opponents and, unlike French and Spanish navies, their crews are well-trained. So there is no reason for the Brits to get into the panic mode and your schema is not working.
Losing 10 percent of your fleet overnight that is spread out across the empire along with your best admiral is certainly a major issue, and would at the least put the British on the defensive and more willing to negotiate.
 
As simple - make him achieve as much as he reasonably can with any PoD you want.

The two most discussed PoDs are:
1. No Peninsular War
2. no War of 1812

The goal here is to have a Continental System with France as a leader and UK either under French control or excluded from European affairs to as large degree as possible. A nice perk is if this system last at least as long sa the post-Vienna one.

@alexmilman
One of the prerequisites would be Paul surviving attempt of assassination (and blaming Britain and Alexander). This would most probably exclude the 3rd and 4th coalitions as something meaningful.

However, even the lasting love fest between Napoleon and Paul would change the fact that the CS in its OTL form was not good (in a short term) for most of the Continental Europe and Nappy would have to maintain his position exclusively by the bullying. He would need to come with something better than the CS but the obvious problem is that France could not replace the UK either as exporter or as the importer. A “sub-problem” was that carrying goods by the sea was cheaper and faster than by the land so simply pushing the Brits out of the picture would not work. Nappy could try the neutral shipping schema, which the Brits would not support making themselves the bad guys. Or he could just try the tariffs game (favorable tariffs for those who are “in”) which, again, would make the Brits the bad guys.

Second part of the whole, he should learn to limit his appetites within the Continental Europe: making a set of the territorial readjustments once or twice was OK (quite a few rulers benefitted from that) but doing them all the time extending borders of the French Empire beyond the reasonable limits was a different story. He needed to stop and secure sphere of influence consisting of the friendly states of Germany and Spain. Without CS there is no invasion of Portugal and all the following mess.
 
Losing 10 percent of your fleet overnight that is spread out across the empire along with your best admiral is certainly a major issue, and would at the least put the British on the defensive and more willing to negotiate.
Losing the whole squadron in a single battle would be a fantasy but, being a major issue, it would not be big enough to go onto the defense because the naval superiority still would be there. Then goes the question with whom the Brits would be willing to negotiate and about what?

The whole charade in Copenhagen was not even against Napoleon but against the League of Armed Neutrality aimed against the British blockade of France and presumably in the case of Denmark-Norway it was about endangering the British supply of the timber. However, the biggest supplier of the naval materials was Russia and in that regard the battle resolved nothing except that Paul ordered to arrest the British ships in the Russian ports and put embargo on export of the Russian timber. Nelson made a pointless voyage inside the Baltic Sea. missing the Russian squadron in Revel (with all brouhaha attached to his name, he had an amazing ability to miss the intended targets 😜) and did not even get a permission to land his crews for getting supplies. He (or rather the British government) had a rather fanciful idea of attacking Kronstadt but Paul was assassinated and Russian policy changed 180 degrees.
 
It would be interesting to have a scenario in which Nappy is killed on the way to the theater nd the attempt on Paul fails..
 
How about a POD before Nappy takes power. Ireland becomes Britains Peninsular War.

Maybe Nappy even succeeds in Egypt with this POD (British Navy occupied interdicting reinforcements to Ireland). French fleet supporting Nappy in Egypt doesn't get annihilated? Maybe Irish success means more support for and an expedition to Haiti? Would a concerted effort to land Touissaint's boys in Jamaica be impossible?
 
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As simple - make him achieve as much as he reasonably can with any PoD you want.

The two most discussed PoDs are:
1. No Peninsular War
2. no War of 1812

The goal here is to have a Continental System with France as a leader and UK either under French control or excluded from European affairs to as large degree as possible. A nice perk is if this system last at least as long sa the post-Vienna one.

@alexmilman
I hate repeating a variant of the old Wargames trope yet again, but... the best way Napoleon could've "won" was to quit playing the game... sometime after 1808, but well before 1812...
Focus on consolidation, not expansion... after all, you've got (nearly) all of Europe between the Pyrenees and the western border of Russia under your sway... why press your luck? :p
Unfortunately, that would've required a "Notpoleon"... :)
 
I hate repeating a variant of the old Wargames trope yet again, but... the best way Napoleon could've "won" was to quit playing the game... sometime after 1808, but well before 1812...
Focus on consolidation, not expansion... after all, you've got (nearly) all of Europe between the Pyrenees and the western border of Russia under your sway... why press your luck? :p
Unfortunately, that would've required a "Notpoleon"... :)
Was the OTL one Nutpoleon?

IMO a fully restored Poland would be helpful as a butter state
 
Was the OTL one Nutpoleon?

IMO a fully restored Poland would be helpful as a butter state
Poland would make quite good cattle country, yes x'D (sorry, couldn't resist... damn autocorrect, I know...)

I wouldn't call him a "nut", exactly.... even highly intelligent and perfectly sane people are susceptible of "overreach", when they become too cock-sure of their own abilities....
 
Poland would make quite good cattle country, yes x'D (sorry, couldn't resist... damn autocorrect, I know...)

I wouldn't call him a "nut", exactly.... even highly intelligent and perfectly sane people are susceptible of "overreach", when they become too cock-sure of their own abilities....
No, that was intentional
 
Was the OTL one Nutpoleon?

Not, just a genius who forgot that the numbers do matter.
IMO a fully restored Poland would be helpful as a butter state
“Fully restored Poland” is pretty much meaningless taking into an account that its shrinking started in the XVII century when Sweden got Livonia and Russia got Smolensk and Eastern Ukraine. Being on rather “enthusiastic” side, the Polish patriots would most probably tempted to consider these borders after pre-Partition Poland is restored and would make noises regarding status of the former Ducal Prussia and then recall that the rights to Silesia were renounced only in mid-14th century, etc. Not to mention that for the full restoration Nappy would have not just defeat but crush Russia. So who is going to consider it “useful” is a separate story. 😜
 
It would be interesting to have a scenario in which Nappy is killed on the way to the theater nd the attempt on Paul fails..
In the case when power is transferred according to Nappy’s prediction (“he would play Anthony ….”), his successor would probably do just fine with Paul and perhaps not only with him. 😜
 
So, lets say the 1796 Irish expedition lands its 15-20k french troops. A few initial victories, inspiring major insurection all over Ireland. The English may (may) win in the end, but it will be a drawn out guerilla war like the Peninsular War, wont be over quickly, will worry London and occupy Britain somewhat.

The British Royal Navy is going to be prioritising preventing further reinforcements/arms/supplies reaching Ireland.

Would the Directory be bold enough to say 'lets have more of the same in Jamaica' and dispatch an expedition to Haiti to free up Touissaint for Jamaica? Probably not but its fun to think about and that really would have Britain feeling threatened + get naval assets transfered to the Carribean which means they are not in the Medeteranian.

Anyway, lets be boring and say things don't deviate too far from OTL till Napoleon becomes first Consul. Except he succeeds in Egypt/Syria because he has naval support (RN is more busy preventing further landings in Ireland).

So... If France has succeeded in Egypt and there is a weaker British presence in the Medeteranian. Do France and Russia partition the Ottoman Empire? Is a serious expedition to India on the cards?
@alexmilman
 
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So, lets say the 1796 Irish expedition lands its 15-20k french troops. A few initial victories, inspiring major insurection all over Ireland. The English may (may) win in the end, but it will be a drawn out guerilla war like the Peninsular War, wont be over quickly, will worry London and occupy Britain somewhat.

The British Royal Navy is going to be prioritising preventing further reinforcements/arms/supplies reaching Ireland.

Would the Directory be bold enough to say 'lets have more of the same in Jamaica' and dispatch an expedition to Haiti to free up Touissaint for Jamaica? Probably not but its fun to think about and that really would have Britain feeling threatened + get naval assets transfered to the Carribean which means they are not in the Medeteranian.

Anyway, lets be boring and say things don't deviate too far from OTL till Napoleon becomes first Consul. Except he succeeds in Egypt/Syria because he has naval support (RN is more busy preventing further landings in Ireland).

So... If France has succeeded in Egypt and there is a weaker British presence in the Medeteranian. Do France and Russia partition the Ottoman Empire?


Actually, at that time Russia and the Ottomans had been allies against French (created the Septinsular Republic under their joined sovereignty). Anyway, a popular idea that all Russian rulers had been obsessed with the partition of the Ottoman Empire is based upon a very shaky ground CIIs fantastic “Greek Project” and NIs proposals to do this internationally). Paul, specifically, was against any further expansion of the Russian Empire stating that it is already too big and that the efforts should be directed toward putting it into order.

So, if Paul avoids assassination and he and the 1st Consul are getting along as in OTL then an unprovoked war against the Ottomans is very unlikely and, objectively, what would Russia really want from the Ottomans at that time? A relatively small piece of a territory on the Northern Caucasus to improve communication with Georgia?




Is a serious expedition to India on the cards?

Paul did order few thousands Cossacks to “march on India” without the maps and supplies but this was more or less his typical knee-jerk action which would not end with anything serious. It took expedition a month to reach Volga (from the Don) and it would be quite in a contemporary style to kill project by procrastination and paperwork. Paul wanted the whole thing as an answer to the expected attack on the League of Armed Neutrality. With the attack happening (battle of Copenhagen and following Nelson’s expedition into the Baltic Sea) probably Paul was going to figure out that depriving Britain of the Russian (and Swedish) strategic materials and arrest of the British ships and goods in the Russian ports is going to be an effective pressure tool.

As for the alleged Franco-Russian plan of invasion, it is probably a mystification (no trace if the Franco-Russian discussions) or, at best, just a raw idea (either Napoleon’s or Paul’s, nobody can tell for sure) which did not reach stage of a serious discussion (story about Napoleon’s plan brought to Paul by Duroc does not hold water because Duroc arrived to St. Petersburg only after Paul’s death. The 1st publication was made in France only in 1840 as an attachment Leibnitz’ proposal to Louis XIV regarding invasion of Egypt and translation of that document in Russian in 1847. Looks fishy to me.

Taking into an account a complete absence of the maps beyond Khiva, I think that the enterprise would be too fantastic even for Nappy.



 
objectively, what would Russia really want from the Ottomans at that time? A relatively small piece of a territory on the Northern Caucasus to improve communication with Georgia?
Constantinople, The Daradanelles and whatever other terrirtory was required for their security and linkage to Russia. Is the idea that wanting this was a consistent aim of Russian foreign policy just British paranoia and propaganda?
As for the alleged Franco-Russian plan of invasion, it is probably a mystification (no trace if the Franco-Russian discussions) or, at best, just a raw idea (either Napoleon’s or Paul’s, nobody can tell for sure) which did not reach stage of a serious discussion (story about Napoleon’s plan brought to Paul by Duroc does not hold water because Duroc arrived to St. Petersburg only after Paul’s death. The 1st publication was made in France only in 1840 as an attachment Leibnitz’ proposal to Louis XIV regarding invasion of Egypt and translation of that document in Russian in 1847. Looks fishy to me.
That is very interesting. Thankyou.
 

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Interesting to see one of the topics as old as published alternate history being brought up. We have nearly two hundred years of imagination to draw upon.
 
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