Team-Building In The Time of Napolean


Team-Building In The Time of Napolean


I recently started researching the history of team-building and it coincided with a holiday to Paris. I asked if I could visit the Archives Nationales to see how the French do it, and I was delighted to be granted access. Even more special were the notes I found written by Napolean in 1799, during his legenadary campaign in Italy.

Here it is below. It’s quite a fascinating read but I do want to point out that Remote Pals does not endorse the methods he describes.


Five Ways To Build Morale Amongst Your Canon Fodder  Soldiers

By Me, Napolean, May 1, 1796

1) Song

A good rousing military march does wonder to bond soldiers together. I’ve always found  “Death to London and All Englishe People But Especially The Duke of Wellington” a very satisfying ditty. Make sure to play it in G Flat.

2) Socks

As your army marches across Europe in search of new peoples to liberate, take care of your soldiers’ physical needs. If you disburse one pair of woollen socks for every seven men they may each wear it once per week. On the six other days that they tread barefoot over mountain or through forest, they will bear in mind the sweet treat that awaits them on the seventh day (this we call the Soldier’s Sabbath).

3) Fun

Soldiering is a tough business in truth. Though we look askance at frivolity in other aspects of societie, the soldier will do better if he can have fun from time to time. If one looks at the map, in between Paris and Moscow there are plenty of small villages to ransack, pillage, or loot.

To the best of my knowledge no native has ever objected to such activities.

Is Saxony even real?

See. No sign of Saxony anywhere!

4. Mercy

When it comes time to punish a soldier in your army, the morale of the overall battalion will increase ten-fold if you spare the wretch. Instead of 100 lashes, simply administer 99.

5) Art

We live in utilitarian times, which is why one must remember the human spirit and furnish it with Art. (Yes, soldiers are human too). This is why I have decreed that in lieu of wages this winter each battalion will be supplied with a tin-engraving of my visage so that between battles they may gaze upon it and replenish their faith in humanity.

An engraving of ME!