Since however long humanity has been around the world has seen some of the greatest military leaders ever. One of the most famous Generals of all time and later first emperor of France was Napoleon Bonaparte. He was known for his ruthlessness and tactical genius on the battlefield. He was an outstanding leader who wanted perfection. Napoleon conquered many countries while in power. He wasn’t the biggest of men either standing at roughly five foot seven, but that didn’t stop him from becoming one of the most intimidating Generals to ever lead a military on the battlefield. “When he put on that hat you would have thought he grew 2 feet”, said one General of the Italian Army.1
During Napoleons early years he studied at a prep military school and had a failed time with navy. He eventually went to Ecole Militaire in Brienne where he learned foreign languages, Geography, Math and military sciences, were after his first year he had received honors. 2 He was very interested in the readings of the French Enlightenment philosophers such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Racine, and Corneille.3 He spent most of his time studying military campaigns of past Generals before him. “The primary focus was upon those he identified as the "Captains of Antiquity" and included Alexander of Macedonia, Hannibal, and Julius Caesar”.4 These studies played a vital role on why he was so successful during his reign as General for the French military. After finishing up from school he held the rank of second lieutenant, and served with an artillery company.
He would later be given command of an artillery unit at the siege of Toulon in 1793.5 During this time he became good friends with a younger Robespierre. In 1795 he helped defeat the counter attack in Paris with the famous “whiff grape shot”.6 The grape shot many round balls that looked like
grapes, the shot made a spread almost like a modern day shotgun. After this battle he was named commander of the French army in Italy where he served for many years and was able show how much of a military genius he was. Before he left to command the army he married his first wife Josephine de Beauharnais her previous husband been put to death after the reign of terror.7
Napoleon was just 26 years old when he arrived to his post in Nice on March 27,1796.8 While in Italy many high authorities such as Pierre Franois Charles Augereau, and AndrŽ MassŽna didn’t take the Frenchmen very serious at first. Even one saying, “He looks more like a mathematician than a general”.9 During the briefing their attitudes changed towards Napoleon. “ That little bastard of a General frightened me”, said Augereau to MassŽna.10 He impressed all the Generals with his attitude and eagerness to make things better for the Italian military. He even questioned the Generals on their divisions and how effective they were in combat.
Napoleon Bonparte was given command of a ragged of soldier’s called the 209th...