“we also see two things that are very salient for Napoleon –   1. Whenever he saw an opportunity, he immediately felt a strong desire to seize it with bold and lightning-quick action.   2. When threatened or in a dangerous situation, his default inclination was to attack.   A lot of his success came from #1 – this is where came his bold actions to join the French army, to defect from one of his posts (where he was luckily rewarded with a promotion instead of a court-martial; it could have gone either way); his hurrying back to France from Egypt in the chaos of Second Coalition defeats of France; etc.   But later it became the first piece of his eventual downfall, the opportunistic seizing of the Throne of Spain and betrayal of his Spanish allies. It was not reasoned-through or carefully planned enough – he saw the weakness of the Spanish monarchy and just immediately seized upon it.   A lot of his success likewise came from #2 – Austerlitz is the most famous – but eventually, he followed this pattern into the Russian Campaign with disastrous consequences.”

Sebastian Marshall, PROGRESSION
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