Napoleon Bonaparte at the Bridge of the Arcole, by Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, (ca. 1801), Louvre, Paris
|Nickname(s)||General Vendémiaire, The Little Corporal, Napoleon the Great|
|Born||August 15, 1769|
|Died||May 5, 1821 51) (aged|
Longwood, St. Helena
|Service/||Trained as an artillerist|
|Years of service||1779–1815|
|Rank||Commander in Chief (Head of State)|
|Commands held|| Army of Italy |
Army of the Orient
|Battles/wars||French Revolutionary Wars|
|Awards|| Grand Master of the Legion of Honour |
Grand Master of the Order of the Reunion
Grand Master of the Order of the Iron Crown
Grand Master of the Order of the Three Golden Fleeces
|Relations||House of Bonaparte|
|Other work||Sovereign of Elba, Writer|
The military career of Napoleon Bonaparte spanned over 20 years. As emperor, he led the French Armies in the Napoleonic Wars. He is widely regarded as a military genius and one of the finest commanders in world history. He fought 60 battles, losing only eight, mostly at the end.The great French dominion collapsed rapidly after the disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812. Napoleon was defeated in 1814; he returned and was finally defeated in 1815 at Waterloo. He spent his remaining days in British custody on the remote island of St. Helena.
Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader of Italian descent who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.
The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).
The French invasion of Russia, known in Russia as the Patriotic War of 1812 and in France as the Russian Campaign, began on 24 June 1812 when Napoleon's Grande Armée crossed the Neman River in an attempt to engage and defeat the Russian army. Napoleon hoped to compel Emperor of All Russia Alexander I to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia. Napoleon named the campaign the Second Polish War to gain favor with the Poles and provide a political pretext for his actions.
Napoleon's early career is well covered.The most thorough coverage of his campaigns is by David G. Chandler.
David Geoffrey Chandler was a British historian whose study focused on the Napoleonic era.
August 15 – Napoleon born Nabulione di Buonaparte in Ajaccio, Corsica.
Ajaccio is a French commune, prefecture of the department of Corse-du-Sud, and head office of the Collectivité territoriale de Corse. It is also the largest settlement on the island. Ajaccio is located on the west coast of the island of Corsica, 210 nautical miles (390 km) southeast of Marseille.
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 18 regions of France. It is located southeast of the French mainland and west of the Italian Peninsula, with the nearest land mass being the Italian island of Sardinia to the immediate south. A single chain of mountains makes up two-thirds of the island.
December 15 – Napoleon leaves Corsica for mainland France.
January 1 – Napoleon enters religious school at Autun.
Autun is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department, France. Located in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, it was founded during the Principate era of the early Roman Empire by Emperor Augustus as Augustodunum to give a Roman capital to the Gallic people Aedui, who had Bibracte as their political centre. In Roman times the city may have been home to 30,000 to 100,000 people, according to different estimates. Nowadays, Autun has a population of about 15,000.
May 15 – Napoleon enters cadet school at Brienne-le-Château.
Brienne-le-Château[bʁi.jɛn.lə.ʃa.to] is a commune in the Aube department in north-central France. It is located 1 mile (2 km) from the right bank of the Aube River and 26 miles northeast of Troyes.
October 30 – Napoleon enters École Militaire in Paris.
September 1 – Napoleon graduates from École Militaire and is commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant of Artillery.
October 30 – Napoleon reports to first posting with the La Fère Artillery Regiment at Valence-sur-Rhône.
September 1 – Napoleon goes to Corsica on long furlough until June 1788.
June – Napoleon rejoins his regiment at Auxonne, attached to School of Artillery.
September 15 – Napoleon goes on second leave to Corsica, becomes involved in revolutionary activities and attempts to gain favour with Pasquale Paoli.
February 10 – Napoleon returns from Corsica to regimental duty at Auxonne.
April 1 – Napoleon promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
September 1 – Napoleon's third furlough to Corsica.
February 6 – Napoleon promoted to Captain (antedated).
April 1 – Napoleon is elected Lieutenant Colonel, 2nd Battalion, Corsican Volunteers. Is implicated in a riot in Ajaccio.
May 28 – Napoleon returns to Paris, instead of rejoining his regiment.
September 15 – Napoleon escorts his sister, Elisa, back to Corsica.
February 22–25 – Napoleon commands artillery during an abortive French landing on Maddalena Island, Sardinia.
March 3 – Napoleon breaks with Paoli, blaming the failed landing on him.
June 13 – Napoleon and his family arrive in Toulon, having been banished from Corsica by Paoli.
August 27 – Toulon handed over to the British by Royalists.
September 16 – Napoleon given command of artillery besieging Toulon.
October 18 – Napoleon promoted to Major.
December 17–19 – Successful recapture of Toulon from British and Royalists.
December 22 – Napoleon promoted to Brigadier General.
For comprehensive coverage, see Chandler (1973).For an overall view of the military history of the era see Trevor N. Dupuy and R. Ernest Dupuy, The Encyclopedia of Military History (2nd ed. 1970) pp 730–770.
Louis-Gabriel Suchet, Duke of Albufera, was a French Marshal of the Empire and one of the most successful commanders of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
The Napoleonic era is a period in the history of France and Europe. It is generally classified as including the fourth and final stage of the French Revolution, the first being the National Assembly, the second being the Legislative Assembly, and the third being the Directory. The Napoleonic era begins roughly with Napoleon Bonaparte's coup d'état, overthrowing the Directory, establishing the French Consulate, and ends during the Hundred Days and his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. The Congress of Vienna soon set out to restore Europe to pre-French Revolution days. Napoleon brought political stability to a land torn by revolution and war. He made peace with the Roman Catholic Church and reversed the most radical religious policies of the Convention. In 1804 Napoleon promulgated the Civil Code, a revised body of civil law, which also helped stabilize French society. The Civil Code affirmed the political and legal equality of all adult men and established a merit-based society in which individuals advanced in education and employment because of talent rather than birth or social standing. The Civil Code confirmed many of the moderate revolutionary policies of the National Assembly but retracted measures passed by the more radical Convention. The code restored patriarchal authority in the family, for example, by making women and children subservient to male heads of households.
Charles Pierre François Augereau, 1st Duc de Castiglione was a soldier and general and Marshal of France. After serving in the French Revolutionary Wars he earned rapid promotion while fighting against Spain and soon found himself a division commander under Napoleon Bonaparte in Italy. He fought in all of Bonaparte's battles of 1796 with great distinction. During the Napoleonic Wars, Emperor Napoleon entrusted him with important commands. His life ended under a cloud because of his poor timing in switching sides between Napoleon and King Louis XVIII of France. Napoleon wrote of Augereau that he "has plenty of character, courage, firmness, activity; is inured to war; is well liked by the soldiery; is fortunate in his operations."
Nicolas Charles Oudinot, 1st Comte Oudinot, 1st Duc de Reggio, was a Marshal of France. He is known to have been wounded 34 times in battle. Oudinot is one of the Names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, Eastern pillar Columns 13, 14.
Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton was a British Army officer and a general officer during the Napoleonic Wars.
Henri-François Delaborde was a French general in the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars.
Claude Victor-Perrin, First Duc de Belluno was a French soldier and military commander during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He was made a Marshal of France in 1807 by Napoleon.
The First French Empire, officially the French Empire, was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Although France had already established an overseas colonial empire beginning in the 17th century, the French state had remained a kingdom under the Bourbons and a republic after the Revolution. Historians refer to Napoleon's regime as the First Empire to distinguish it from the restorationist Second Empire (1852–1870) ruled by his nephew as Napoleon III.
Claude Juste Alexandre Louis Legrand was a French general. He commanded French divisions at several notable battles of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He rose to senator on 5 April 1813, then Pair de France on 4 June 1814 and chevalier de Saint-Louis on 27 June 1814. He organised the defence of Chalon-sur-Saône in 1814 and died in Paris in 1815 of wounds received beside the River Berezina.
For his life and a basic reading list see Napoleon I of France
Claude Dallemagne started his career in the French army under the Bourbons, fought in the American Revolutionary War, rose in rank to become a general officer during the French Revolutionary Wars, took part in the 1796 Italian campaign under Napoleon Bonaparte, and held military posts during the Napoleonic Wars.
Count Ignác Gyulay de Marosnémeti et Nádaska, Ignácz Gyulay, Ignaz Gyulai, or Ignjat Đulaj was a Hungarian military officer, joined the army of Habsburg Austria, fought against Ottoman Turkey, and became a general officer during the French Revolutionary Wars. From 1806 he held the title of Ban of Croatia. In the struggle against the First French Empire during Napoleonic Wars, he commanded army corps. At the time of his death, he presided over the Hofkriegsrat, the Austrian Council of War.
Pierre Dominique Garnier, born 19 December 1756 – died 11 May 1827, was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. He enlisted in the French royal army in 1773 and served in the French West Indies. At the outbreak of the French Revolution he left his career as an architect and joined the National Guard. Continuing in the army, he enjoyed rapid promotion while fighting in several theaters during the War of the First Coalition. As a general of brigade he fought at Toulon and was elevated to the rank of general of division. After fighting at Loano in late 1795, he found himself under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte for the Montenotte Campaign in April 1796. Bonaparte had little use for Garnier, however. Garnier saw action in Italy during the War of the Second Coalition in 1799 and 1800. During the Napoleonic Wars he held reserve or garrison commands and retired from the military in 1816. His surname is one of the 660 names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.
Henri Rottembourg became a French division commander late in the Napoleonic Wars. He enlisted in an infantry regiment of the French Royal Army in 1784 and was promoted to first lieutenant by 1792. During the War of the First Coalition from 1793 to 1797 he fought mostly in the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse. He was wounded at Verona in 1799 and fought on the Var and at the Mincio in 1800. He transferred to the Imperial Guard in 1806 before fighting at Jena and being named to command an infantry regiment. In 1809 he was wounded at Wagram.
Joseph Boyer de Rébeval became a French division commander during the later Napoleonic Wars. He enlisted in the French Royal Army in 1787 and earned promotions through the ranks in the War of the First Coalition and subsequent conflicts. He was wounded at Valvasone in March 1797. He emerged as a major in the Vélites of the Imperial Guard in 1806 and fought at Kolberg in 1807. He was promoted colonel of the 2nd Foot Chasseurs of the Guard in 1808. He fought at Wagram in 1809, winning promotion to general of brigade. He was wounded at Borodino in 1812. He commanded a Young Guard brigade at Dresden and Leipzig in 1813 and was promoted to general of division. He led a Young Guard division at Craonne, where he was wounded, and at Laon, Reims and Arcis-sur-Aube in 1814. During the Hundred Days he commanded units of the Imperial Guard at Waterloo in 1815 and retired soon afterward.