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France history notes
1. History of France Kings and Queens
2. Napoleon Bonaparte
3. Napoleon Bonaparte
4. Napoleon Bonaparte the early years
5. General of Revolutionary France.
6. Napoleon Military Ambition
7. The Revolutionary Directory
8. French army of Italy
9. Bonaparte First Consul for life
10. Napoleon Invasion of England
11. The Battle of Austerliz
12. Map of the Battle of Austerlitz
13. Battle of Jenna
Napoleon - The military ambition.
General of Revolutionary France
Napoleon Bonaparte now seized his opportunity to step into the breach of the European conflict and begin his climb to become the ultimate power within France and Europe.
A Second Lieutenant artillery officer in the La Fere regiment at the outbreak of the Revolution, Bonaparte wisely took two years leave to avoid implication with any particular factions that were violently vying for power within France itself.
He had a natural ability to play the political game, and as a Corsican by birth sought friendships with the Corsican Nationalist leader Pasquale Paoli and the French Revolutionary Jacobin Faction who were engaged in a complicated three way struggle (along with the Royalists) for the control of the island of Corsica.
Returning to his homeland the Jacobin Faction promoted Bonaparte to Lieutenant Colonel and gave him a command of volunteers,but after taking leave of absence, Napoleon led a riot against the French army of Corsican occupation.
With great political skill and manipulation, Bonaparte returned to France and then persuaded the Parisian military leaders to promote him to Captain in 1792.
His next mission for the French was to be an assault upon the island of La Maddalena part of Sardinia. Bonaparte's old friend Pasquale Paoli who had decided to sabotage this mission and seek Corsican independence from France was now deemed an enemy in league with the British,and one man who stood in the way of Napoleons rise to glory. In 1793 Bonaparte denounced Paoli as a traitor and Napoleon's family fled from Corsica to the French mainland.
Later that year Bonaparte published a pro Revolutionary pamphlet ' Le Souper de Beaucaire' which gained him the political support of the Robespierre administration. They promoted Bonaparte to Artillery Commander of the French forces besieging the city of Toulon (an important naval base and port, the city had seen a Royalist rebellion and the arrival of a British-Spanish fleet with troops in support of the anti-revolutionaries).
Napoleon Bonaparte now had an ideal opportunity to show his ability at leadership and having used his considerable imagination acquiring additional weaponry and powder, sited his cannon in such a position as to dominate the port and fortress of Toulon. Bonaparte joined the assault upon Toulon's fortress and narrowly missed death by being bayoneted in the thigh by a British soldier.
After this successful military action in which the British-Spanish fleet was forced to withdraw and Toulon re-taken from the Royalists, at 24 years of age Napoleon Bonaparte was promoted to Brigadier General. He was given the post of Commander of artillery within the French Army of Italy and spent time inspecting fortifications on the coast of southern France, along with creating plans further military action against the ' First Coalition'. [ More]