Emperor Napoleon’s Proclamation after the Battle of Austerlitz: December 3, 1805
"Soldiers: I am satisfied with you. In the Battle of Austerlitz you have justified all that I expected from your intrepidity. You have decorated your eagles with immortal glory. An army of one hundred thousand men, commanded by the Emperors of Russia and Austria, has been, in less than four hours, either cut in pieces or dispersed. Thus in two months the third coalition has been vanquished and dissolved. Peace can not now be far distant. But I will make only such a peace as gives us guarantee for our future, and secures rewards to our allies. When everything necessary to secure the happiness and prosperity of our country is obtained, I will lead you back to France. My people will behold you again with joy. It will be enough for one of you to say, ‘I was at the battle of Austerlitz;’ for all your fellow citizens to exclaim, ‘There is a brave man.’"
The Battle at Austerlitz was not by grand design for Napoleon. He had his sights on a rival he could never quite pin down, England. The Battle at Austerlitz, widely considered his greatest military masterpiece, and by his own admission was his greatest achievement as a military commander, was in reaction to new adversaries: Russia and Austria. Napoleon was forced to abandon his plans against Great Britain and concentrate his attention east. "Concentrate his attention" is a bit of an understatement. Napoleon quickly seized the initiative and sent 200,000 fine men of the Grande Armee across the Rhine to crush the armies of Austria and Russia.
After winning several early battles, on 2 December 1805, Emperor Napoleon lured the Allied Army under Czar Alexander into attacking him on favorable ground personally selected by himself , "Study this ground well, it will be a field of battle" that became one of the most famous traps in military history. The Allied army attacked but was split in two by a French counter-attack and disastrously defeated, giving Napoleon one of the greatest victories in the history of war
Austerlitz was a decisive and great victory for Napoleon, there is no doubt. Despite the fact that many things went right for the French army on that day, almost all that went right were conditions that were made by Napoleon. These actions included preparing his army to be a serious fighting force, long before the battle occurred; continually inspiring his troops; choosing the terrain on which to fight; using deception to lure the enemy into a trap; and then employing his troops wisely. It showed that Napoleon understood his enemy. The downfall of Austerlitz would be that many historians consider that it was after Austerlitz that Napoleon started to lose touch with reality and would became arrogant and cocky. That after Austerlitz, French foreign policy became personally Napoleonic. It would also give his enemies insight into what determination it would take to defeat him. Despite these drawbacks, the battle itself was a triumph for Napoleon. He had created all the conditions to make his own luck, and luck did indeed reward him well with a victory that could be justifiably called his greatest masterpiece.