Historiographical interpretations of Napoleon's military abilities have under gone several changes. In his epic work The Campaigns of Napoleon David Chandler accurately portrays how the "wheel has turned full cycle several times" as to the impressions of Napoleon's abilities. He had been regarded from at best a "talented thug", to a military genius. General James Marshal-Cornwall, a contemporary of Chandler, regards Napoleon as "...a master of the conduct of war; he was the supreme craftsman of his trade, who new how to make to most effective, though not the most economical use of the tools and techniques which he found ready to his hand." Like Chandler he regards Napoleon's military genius as stemming from his use of the 'tools at hand' but, he is also aware of Napoleon's weaknesses as a military commander.


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