Napoleon Bonaparte (2)
Emperor of France
Portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon not murdered, say scientists
masterminding the Peace of Campo Formio, Bonaparte returned to Paris
where he took command of the Army of England, an imposing force
neutered by England's wooden walls of its navy.
Desperate to be both at Britain and pushing his own reputation,
Bonaparte planned an expedition to
Egypt to threaten his foe's trading routes. He sailed from Toulon
in 1798 and, after capturing Malta, made it to Egypt in early July.
The campaign began brilliantly when he smashed the power of the
ruling Mamelukes at the Battle of
the Pyramids, but was crippled when Nelson's
hound-pack fleet finally caught up with the French navy at Aboukir
(Battle of the Nile) and sank all
but four of the 17-ship force.
and with suspect supply lines, Bonaparte moved into Syria and won
the battle of Mt Tabor before being
halted by fierce and stubborn resistance at Acre.
with disease and wary of a mass revolt in Cairo, the French made
a horrendous march through the deserts of the Sinai, but arrived
at Aboukir in good enough condition
to crush another Turkish force.
the potential success of his campaign was now limited, if not impossible,
Bonaparte decided to abandon his army and get back to the centre
of power - Paris - and make sure his position had not been undermined.
Popular with the people, Bonaparte found the loathed Directory
very cool towards his surprise arrival and no doubt took pleasure
in their discomfort when he, Abbe Sieyes and Roger Ducos seized
power in the Coup de Brumaire, which saw them share power as equal
consuls. Within months Bonaparte was First Consul and had eased
his "equals" into early retirement.
next stage in Bonaparte's career came in 1800, when he again moved
into Italy with another brilliant manouevre that saw him lead the
French army over the Alps and surprise the occupying Austrians.
almost proved to be a blunder - as Bonaparte was in turn caught
by surprise at the tenacity of General
Melas who attacked him at Marengo.
Holding on for grim life the situation was saved for Bonaparte by
General Louis Desaix's arrival
with reinforcements and what was a lost battle became a stunning
victory for the First Consul.