Deadliest Warrior (2011): S03E01 – George Washington vs. Napoleon Bonaparte


Deadliest Warrior is a 2009 documentary series in which the great warriors of history are examined for fantasy combat simulations.


George Washington, the American General who led his country to independence, vs. Napoleon Bonaparte, the French emperor responsible for conquering almost all of Europe.

  • George Washington team: Paul Suda (18th Century Weapons Expert), Wayne Lee, PhD (Professor of Military History)
    George Washington weapons: Colichemarde Sword, Brown Bess Flintlock Musket & Pennsylvania Long Rifle, 6 Pound Cannon
    George Washington tactics: Hybrid Warfare
  • Napoleon Bonaparte team: Mathew Cape (19th Century Weapons Expert), Phillipe Simon (Napoleonic Historian)
    Napoleon Bonaparte weapons: Cavalry Saber, 1777 Charleville Musket, 8 Pound Cannon
    Napoleon Bonaparte tactics: “Bait and Bash”
  • This is the first episode to test cannons.
  • For short-range weapons, the French cavalry sabre was tested against the Colichemarde sword in eliminating three targets from horseback and on foot. Although both blades were evenly match with three kills and the cavalry sabre had flexibility, the edge was given to the Colichemarde sword since it was optimized for dismounted and anti-sabre combat.
  • For mid-range weapons, two four-man squads, one armed with four 1777 Charleville Muskets and one armed with two Brown Bess Muskets and two Pennsylvania Long Rifles, were tested against each other in eliminating four infantry and one mounted officer with five bullets each. The French squad eliminated only four infantry in 1m and 43s while the American squad eliminated all five targets and the simulated horse in 3m and 31s. Although it was very slow to reload, the edge was given to the Pennsylvania Long Rifle for its greater range and accuracy.
  • For long-range weapons, the French 8-Pound Cannon was tested against the American 6-Pound Cannon in eliminating 6 targets and 1 cannon at 200 yards. The French 8-Pounder achieved three kills and destroyed one cannon while the American 6-Pounder achieved only two kills and destroyed one cannon. In the Anti-Personnel Munition test, the French 8-Pounder achieved an 8/15 kill ratio with its Grapeshot while the American 6-Pounder achieved only a 4/15 kill ratio with its scattershot. The edge was given to the French 8-Pounder for its firepower and the better quality of its munitions and crew.
  • For military tactics, Washington’s “Hybrid Warfare” strategy was compared to Napoleon’s “Bait and Bash” strategy. Washington’s Hybrid Warfare involved the use of hit-and-run guerrilla warfare to weaken the British army and then use the Continental Army to fight the conventional battles and sieges which successfully led to his greatest victory at the Battle of Yorktown. Napoleon’s Bait and Bash involved luring an enemy into position and attacking when the conditions were perfect which was accomplished during his greatest victory at the Battle of Austerlitz where he deceived the Russo-Austrian army into thinking that he was planning to surrender by withdrawing from the Pratzen Heights and then used the cover of fog to mount a surprise attack on the weakened centre of their lines. Napoleon’s Bait and Bash was given the edge due to the magnitude of the French victory at Austerlitz.
  • George Washington is one of six warriors with no battle cry at the end.

Re-enactment 23

The battle starts off with the Grande Armée climbing a hilltop, where Napoleon observes Washington’s Continental Army relaxing near their cannon. Washington rides up and greets his troops and then notices Napoleon’s troops watching them. Napoleon orders a charge as Washington’s men take defensive positions and start firing. However, none of them hit their targets. One of Napoleon’s men kills a Continental Soldier with his first shot, but one of Washington’s men shortly follows with a hit of his own. Washington orders his sharpshooter to take out Napoleon’s mounted lieutenant, which he does. Both sides then scramble for their cannons. Napoleon’s army fires their cannon first and takes out another one of Washington’s men, but a man of their own is decapitated as Washington’s army fires their cannon. Another shot from Napoleon’s cannon disables Washington’s artillery. As Washington’s men commence a charge, Napoleon hastily reloads and is able to fire Grapeshot from his cannon, which kills one of the chargers and knocks the other one down. Washington gets on his horse and charges towards Napoleon as his opponent does the same. Washington kills Napoleon’s last man as he struggles to unsheathe his sword while Napoleon kills Washington’s last man as he stumbles to his feet. Then the leaders charge at each other. The first blow knocks Washington off his horse. As he retrieves his hat, Napoleon dismounts and engages him. A brief clash of swords gives Washington an opening and he punches Bonaparte in the face, stunning him. They engage again and after a while, Washington gets the upper hand and with a thrust, pierces his sword into Napoleon’s neck. As his opponent falls, Washington casually cleans his sword and stares towards the horizon.

Winner: George Washington.

Deadliest Warrior Series

You can find a full index and overview of Deadliest Warrior here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 20 July 2011.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 42 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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