On the surface Alexander the Great appears to be similar to many modern generals and military leaders. Tojo, Hitler, Patton, Napoleon Bonaparte ,and Norman Scharttzcopf all could be considered military Geniuses on the same level of Alexander the Great. It is however upon examining their motives that the similarities begin to disappear. Tojo and Hitler were great conquers but were racist and merciless in their pursuit of political ideas. As a result they were feared by the people they were conquered.
The opposite was true of Alexander the Great. Alexander was fighting for personal glory and for unity and the vast majority of the people he conquered him were pleased with his rule and prospered under it. Patton and Shcartzcopf also were driven by different motives . Although both exhibited the use of aggressive tactics the fought they played the opposite role of Alexander and were liberators of conquered people. This leaves Napoleon. Napoleon like Alexander was generally welcomed by the people he conquered .
Alexander fled from his father Philip II when he divorced Alexander’s mom. Alexander then remained isolated and insecure fearing his father until he eventually took control of his father’s empire. Alexander the great came to power in 336 B.C. after his father was mysteriously assassinated. He was supported by the army who immedialty recognized him as King.
He used his influence with the military to have all potential rivals killed and then worked on gaining the allegiance of Macedonian nobles. He succeeded in this and at the same time gained the allegiance of the Greeks. H liberated the Greek cities of Anotilia and then went on to defeat the Persian army being lead by Darious. Alexander then went to Egypt was excepted as Pharoh and founded Alexandria. He went on to conquer much of Mesopatamia and Susa while fighting internal revolt. He died at the age of 33 while planning a conquest into Arabia.
When Alexander died he did not appoint a successor and his kingdom fell into a state of anarchy. Alexander’s reign spread Hellenistic culture, paved the way for the Greek Empire, and helped prepare the way for Christianity by opening up the Greek world to Oriental influence.
Napoleon and his family were forced to flee Marseilles after coming into conflict with Pasquale PAOLI, a Corsican nationalist. Napoleon for his role in the French Revolution was eventually appointed commander of the Army of the Interior . From this position began his practice of dividing and conquering and successfully defeated the Sardinian and Austrian armies in Italy. Napoleon began to meddle in political affairs and it was suggested that he conquer Britain, but instead he chose to occupy Egypt in order to threaten India, which was then under British rule.
On May 19, 1798 Napoleon took 35,000 troops and sailed towards Alexandria. Stopping to seize Malta on the way Napoleon reached Egypt July 1. Napoleon fought bravely in this and many other violent conflicts and was eventually Crowned himself emperor of France in a ceremony presided over by Pope Pious VII. Napoleon tried to defeat the British economically by imposing sanctions against Britain called the Continental system. In an effort to enforce this embargo he invade Russia eventually reaching Moscow where the Russians employed a defensive technique that would serve them well again in the 1940’s. The Russians set Moscow on fire forcing Napoleon to retreat from the city, he was then encircled by Russian troops and forced to retreat losing almost as many men to the severe winter weather as to Russian attack.
This severely reduced Napoleons popularity and eventually he was exiled. Napoleon returned to France to rule for a short period of time only to be Exiled again.
As can be seen Alexander the Great and Napoleon where both military geniuses, both slightly mad, and both driven to pursue glory and expand the sphere of influence of Hellenistic and French culture respectively. Both men although Heroes in their day would probably not be regarded son in a more modern setting because of the high price paid in blood for their conquests. .