For this interview, I went to visit the St. Helena home of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was the former Emperor of France before he was exiled to this small island. He was to spend the rest of his life here. I was lucky enough to get this interview just a few days before his passing on May 5th, 1821.
Erica M. Historian: Hello, Mr. Bonaparte. It is a pleasure to meet you. How are you this evening?
Napoleon Bonaparte: Hello. I am doing very well, thank you.
Erica M. Historian: May I call you Napoleon?
Napoleon Bonaparte: You may, but I rather you call me Emperor.
Erica M. Historian: Of course. So, what got you interested in a military career?
Napoleon Bonaparte: Around the age of nine, my father had sent me to a military academy in Brienne, France (The Dublin Penny Journal 394). That experience lead me to a career in military and I then became an officer around 1785 (Encyclopedia 2001).
Erica M. Historian: I know that you were promoted to a general rank in 1793. You were only twenty- four correct? That is a very young age to become a general. How did you achieve that?
Napoleon Bonaparte: That is correct. I became a general by proving I was made to be a leader. I had a countless amount of energy and ambition. I learned how to make the best with what I had and take advantage of opportunities. I successfully defeated the British at the siege of Toulon. After that I even had a few astonishing victories as commander in chief for the army of Italy. This was one of my many achievements (Encyclopedia, 2001).
Erica M. Historian: Some refer to you as a military genius. What do you think your most successful battle was?
Napoleon Bonaparte: I would have to say the siege of Toulon because this battle really showed my military expertise. If I did not win this battle, I don’t think I would would’ve gotten as far as I did. If I did not defeat the British here, I don’t think I would’ve been able to achieve the rank of general by the young age of twenty-four (Encyclopedia 2001).
Erica M. Historian: Did you have a favorite military strategy?
Napoleon Bonaparte: Of Course. I developed a very strong strategy that helped form the footing for my future campaigns. At the beginning of a battle, I would biggest reserve as possible. I would then find my enemy’s weakest point, and then I would wait until the perfect moment and throw all our strength against that point. I always knew the exact moment to attack. I guess you could say it was a gift (Thompson 46).
Erica M. Historian: How did you seize control over France?
Napoleon Bonaparte: Well this was called the Coup d’état of Eighteenth Brumaire. This meant I became the first consul of the three- member Consulate. I believe that France was ready for a strong leader and I was more than ready to be the new ruler. Treaties were signed with Austria and England, so Europe found peace for the first time in ten years. Finally, a few years later, Senate declared me Emperor, but I didn’t want to take a chance on someone trying to take...