Corsica sees the birth of its most famous man today in 1769.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Napoleone was born today, the 15th of August, in 1769.
    He was born to a beautiful Letizia Buonaparte and her husband Carlo,  whose family had 200 years ago come from Tuscany. Napoleone, however, was French as Louis XV had bought Corsica from the Republic of Genoa, 15 months before. He would learn Italian from his parents and not change his name until he was 27 and an established French General. He had an older brother, Giuseppe.
    We know him as the man who would win 60 of his 70 battles and become France’s most successful military commander and ruler of most of Europe.
    Many believe him the world’s greatest general.


  • Customizer

    I find it amazing how easily it is forgotten through modern eyes that France has had a rather formidable military prowess. I wonder how much that opinion would differ had the early part of WWII had been less disastrous. France from the Gauls to medieval times have been some the most fearsome men at arms throughout history. Napoleon being one of them.

    We know of Napoleon as an almost cartoonish character from commercials and comedy. However the man essentially gained and regained an empire and struck fear throughout Europe.

    He is mistakenly remembered as being short in stature yet he was average height. That misconception come from that fact that he frequently walked or dismounted from his horse more than many military commanders while commanding his troops IIRC.

    Good post wittman.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    I like yours too Toblerone.
    Of course you are right. Being half English and a lover of history,  however, I am happy to celebrate its defeats at our hands.


  • Customizer

    @wittmann:

    I like yours too Toblerone.
    Of course you are right. Being half English and a lover of history,  however, I am happy to celebrate its defeats at our hands.

    All too true. As an American with many nationalities in my familial history none are French. However my mom was born in Canada and from her side there’s a sort of English/Commonwealth pride. She however being the black sheep became a US citizen.  Somewhat beside the point but relevant is that I learned many Britsh turns of phrase and terms growing up. Bloody or bugger were big swear words at my grandparent’s house while at my friends they were good alternaives to curse words LOL.

    One thing I like about this site is all the English and Canadian member telling stories about random things in Canada or the UK.

    LOL cheers mate!


  • 2019 2018 2017

    @toblerone77:

    He is mistakenly remembered as being short in stature yet he was average height. That misconception come from that fact that he frequently walked or dismounted from his horse more than many military commanders while commanding his troops IIRC.

    Also, Napoleon was often accompanied by soldiers of his Old Guard, for which relatively tall men were selected (apart from other criteria such as experience and distinction). And his wife Josephine de Beauharnais seems to have been relatively tall for a woman of that time period.
    But the most important factor was simply that Napoleon’s height had been reported at 5’2" (he was probably slight taller than that anyway). That would obviously have been rather short in English feet, but the measurement was done in French feet, which were longer. It’s quite an irony that Napoleon himself probably contributed to the myth of his short stature by introducing the metric system, thus abolishing the various ‘feet’ that existed all over Europe at the time, only to find his height erroneously reported in the only ‘foot’ that he couldn’t touch - the English one.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Nice. Thank you Herr KaLeun.
    He was never having our feet!


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