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Napoleon Bonaparte A Military Leader History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

One of the greatest military leaders of all time, mainly known for his height and military skills. Napoleon was born in Ajaccio on the island of Corsica on August 15, 1769. Napoleon Bonaparte was born to be a military figure. Napoleon was selected for the Elite Military Academy (Ecole Militaire) in Paris, in 1784. From August 27 to December 19, 1793, the young Napoleon conducted the siege of Toulon; showing his military potentials. After his performance at the Siege of Toulon; Napoleon was given the position of Brigadier-General in December 1793. At 25, Napoleon had made his mark in the military world. Along with his success, came his failures; Napoleon was exiled twice. Despite being exiled for his failures, Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the greatest military strategists, and left France as a far greater country than he had found it.

Napoleon was the second son of eight children to Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino in Casa Buonaparte in Ajaccio, on the small island of Corsica on August 15, 1769. Napoleon’s father, Carlo Buonaparte, was Corsica’s representative to the court of Louis XVI. Napoleon had seven siblings, having only one older brother, Joseph, while the others were: Lucien, Elisa, Louis, Pauline, Caroline and Jerome. Napoleon Bonaparte was baptized Catholic days before his second birthday. In May of 1779, Napoleon enrolled at Brienne military academy. After finishing Brienne, Napoleon enrolled at Ecole Militaire (France’s elite military school) in 1784. Napoleon was forced to finish all of his courses in one year due to the low income, because of his father’s death. Napoleon graduated in September 1785.

After graduating, Napoleon’s military career was ready to rise. Napoleon received a commission to second lieutenant in the French Army in artillery. In August of 1793, Napoleon filled in for a French artillery commander at Toulon, and completed the Siege of Toulon against the British Naval Fleet in December 1793. The Siege of Toulon brought Napoleon Bonaparte to national prominence in France, earning him Brigadier General at the age of 24. In 1796, Napoleon married Josephine de Beauharnais, a beautiful woman of French descent from Martinique in the West Indies (World Book Encyclopedia). France had become enemies with much of Europe. Napoleon’s military career was ready to take off, and for him to officially rise to power.

From 1792 to 1795, France had been at war with much of Europe. By, 1796, Austria had become France’s chief enemy. Napoleon left Josephine days after getting married to take command of a French army on the Italian- French border; a small force of only 38,000 men. Napoleon ends up winning the war against Austria. In less than a year, Napoleon had defeated four armies, each being larger than his own. In October of 1797, France and Austria sign the Treaty of Campoformio, which enlarged France’s territory, only making them more powerful. At his return to Paris after the war, Napoleon is hailed a hero.

From all of his early success, Napoleon had formed a military strategy that he would forever use in his future experiences. The strategy: To start a battle while holding back as large a reserve as possible. Then, seek the weakest point in the enemy’s lines, and throw all of his strength forces against that point at the decisive moment. Napoleon Bonaparte had an extraordinary ability to recognize the best time to attack. After returning from the war against Austria, Napoleon already had political dreams. However, Napoleon felt that he did not have enough power France to grasp that kind of position. Napoleon was also considered one of the smartest at the military position; instead of attacking England, Napoleon opted to invade Egypt, therefore destroying the trade business with Egypt and England.

In May 1798, Napoleon sailed for Egypt with about 38,000 men. Bonaparte reached Egypt in July. He defeated the Mamelukes (Egypt’s military leaders in the Battle of the Pyramids near Cairo. On August 1, 1798, the French Fleet that Napoleon use to get to Egypt was destroyed in the Battle of the Nile by a British Fleet, causing Napoleon and his army to be stranded there. Seeing that Napoleon was stranded in Egypt with only 38,000 men, Turkey forms an alliance with Britain and Russia, and declared war on France. In 1799, Napoleon’s troops invaded Turkish Syria, and advanced as far as the fortress acre. In the time during the invasion, Napoleon learned that a Turkish army was preparing to invade Egypt. Napoleon retreated to Egypt, where he defeated the Turks at Abu Qir. After defeating the Turkish army, Napoleon found out that Austria, Britain, and Russia had formed a coalition against France, and had already defeated the French army in Italy. Upon his return to Paris, France; Napoleon was heavily greeted, and liked by the French people. Napoleon soon took control of the entire French government on November 9, 1799.


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