Napoleon, Josephine, Italy discussed on Real Dictators

Real Dictators


This great general boy do we love him? Napoleon quite loves himself, too. I no longer regard myself as a simple general he muses. But as a man called upon to decide the fate of peoples. On May 15th, 1796, Napoleon makes his heroic entry into Milan. He is presented and welcome as a liberator by his spin doctors and the hand picked crowds. We come to break your chains, he proclaims our only quarrel is with the tyrants who have enslaved you. For good measure he makes himself head of a provisional government. He announces the creation of a new jacobin style republic in Lombardy. He gifts this entity a red, white and green, tricolour flag. It will prove inspirational to the risorgimento movement that will one day result in Italian unification. Doctor Michael rapport there's a long period really for June 1796 the invasion of Italy and into the early 1800s, where he established republics, where he conquered, especially in northern Italy. And I'm not doubting some of his sincerity. We have some of his correspondents which suggest, yes, republicanism, it's great. On the other hand, the kind of nation building he's doing in Italy is also platform for his own power. He's also using these republics to fuel his war effort. Their force into alliances are the terms of those alliances being they would raise armies of themselves and those armies would be aligned with French military and a strategic policy. Going deep enough belief the surface is about French strategic interests, Napoleon's ambition. His power, his authority as well, and his ability to raise funds, both for himself, his men, and also for the French Republic. Napoleon puts himself up in the sumptuous Palazzo cerbero. He takes to Milan high life like Caviar to a cracker. Entertaining its writers and intellectuals admiring its works of art, going to the opera flushed with success in his new seat of power, Napoleon appeals to Josephine to join him, petitioning, begging as reluctant wife for over a month. But madam Bonaparte is unable to travel she informs him. For music to Napoleon's ears, she is pregnant. A little Corporal is overjoyed. Unfortunately, it's a complete fabrication. Just an excuse not to see him, and a rather cruel one. The truth is, the Josephine is preoccupied. Less than two months on from their wedding and she's already having an affair. Her new lover is a dashing young cavalry officer. 9 years of junior, a lieutenant named Charles is a bit of a wag it is said, a practical joker. A lot of fun. And a bit of a demon between the sheets. After some serious pleading and diplomatic intervention at the highest level, Josephine is finally persuaded to pack a bags. Practically bundled into the carriage by Paul barras, she heads for Italy. Napoleon requests that she not wash before traveling. So that he might wallow in her scent. When Josephine gets to Milan, she finds that Napoleon is filled the Palazzo San Bologna with flowers. Her love struck hobby as hot footed at 300 miles back from the front to be with her. Josephine's entourage includes her maid and her dog. A yappie pug named fortuna. She's discreet enough not to mention that lieutenant ipoh Charles has also come along for the ride. No one, they're looking Napoleon in the eye. Josephine's foot dragging has paid off, however. As with their wedding, she is forced to endure no more than 48 hours in her husband's company. She said to have cried the whole time. It's with some relief then when she hears that he must once again depart. Orders have come from Paris. Napoleon must press on. The phantom pregnancy is forgotten. Napoleon's military command is beginning to mark him out as someone with unique gifts. He is obsessed with maps and geography. He has a near photographic memory. He studies the history of every campaign ever fought on the same terrain, leaving no detail to chance. As a workaholic, he sleeps little. Sometimes rising to start his day at midnight. He's also a good delegator. He's the first notable military leader to employ a chief of staff. A man named Louis Alexandre Berthier, a rocksteady veteran of the American war of independence. Someone who can take care of Napoleon's business Napoleon also trusts decisions to capable lieutenants. And, as we know, he's got his ear to the ground when it comes to the rank and file. Such as the Esprit de corps fostered. That when some of his troops are singled out for punishment, their banner is simply inscribed with the words. These men no longer belong to the army of Italy. The offending soldiers blub like babies, ashamed of letting down their beloved little Corporal. They will, they wail, fight extra hard next time. Napoleon's instinct is to give chase to the Austrians and finish the job. But those in the directory have other ideas. Their generals on the Rhine front are growing rather jealous of this new kid on the block. This young Turk suddenly rolling in all the glory, defeating Austria was supposed to be their privilege. Rather than give chase, they prefer that Napoleon busy himself with a mopping up operation. Bringing the remainder of northern and central Italy under French control. He must turn south and march on Rome. A gigantic hissy fit leaves Paris in no doubt as to Bonaparte's displeasure. That said, Napoleon is soon advancing on the central Papal States. So fearsome is reputation by now. But by June, Pope Pius the 6th is offering Napoleon an armistice. CHF 15 million and as much booty as he can carry. Soon, the king of Naples, a bourbon, and a member of the coalition is throwing in the towel too. He also reveals a talent for diplomacy because as he conquers all sorts of Italian territories. He has to conduct discussions with the local rulers, even negotiate with the Pope's envoys. It was no small thing to negotiate with the envoys of the Pope, or the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and he was at ease. He also writes laws and constitutions and here's ease in everything as if everything is natural to him. Back in the north, Napoleon's tour continues. Brescia, modena, Bologna, livorno, Florence, Verona. The main obstacle for some time has been the town of Mantua, where the Austrians have a large garrison. Taking Mantua turns into a protracted siege. It lasts a frustrating 7 months. It's not till January 1797 that Napoleon can get back on track. Moving into the Italian northeast. Finally, near Lake garda, is ready for the big showdown. On the snow swept plateau above rivoli, the bloody battle goes on for three days a combined 20,000

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