Napoleon’s presence alone is enough to inspire battle weary troops to fight on, even in the bleakest of situations. He commands the respect and adoration of his troops, and respects and cares for them in return. The moral fibre he instils in lesser men is a valuable asset on the battlefield. It is advisable to keep him away from the thick of the fighting: it is his task to have a cool head, not be pre-occupied with swinging a sword.
From an early age Napoleon’s school masters commented on his pride and ambition, aspects of his personality that were to follow him through to adulthood. Many of his teachers took the time to nurture this talented and promising young man, but none more so than Baron du Teil, the commandant of the artillery school Napoleon attended. He helped lay the foundations for Napoleon’s skills with artillery and helped him to develop a better understanding of tactical concepts which he would later use to outstanding effect. Even as a mature commander, Napoleon never lost his grasp of the simple truth that artillery won battles for him.