key to the success of Napoleons Grand Armée
was his organizational innovation of making corps under
his command self-sufficient armies unto themselves.
On average, they numbered 20,000 to 30,000 men, usually
commanded by a marshal or senior general, and were capable
of fighting independently. Each was comprised of two
or more infantry divisions of about 12,000 men, a brigade
of cavalry (about 2,500 men) and six to eight companies
of artillery (each about 100 to 120 men). In addition,
each corps had a company of engineers, plus a headquarters
staff, medical and service units, and supply train for
baggage and ammunition.
commanded that each army corps never be more than a
days march about 20 miles away from
each other so they could support each other on the battlefield.
Each corps commander was relied upon to orchestrate
the bodies of men under his command to facilitate Napoleons
ever-changing tactics. Infantry,
each had to play their part in order to win battles.
Guard, some of the most feared soldiers in
Europe, were used as the ultimate weapon to ensure victory.