jueves, 27 de agosto de 2015

August 27: Today is the anniversary of the revolt of the port of Toulon, France, against their own country, in 1793. Combined fleets of Spain and Britain invaded southern France through the port of Toulon, as part of the First International Coalition against the French Revolution. There were seven coalitions in total, two against the Revolution itself and five against Napoleon.

As a young artillery officer, Napoleon Bonaparte gained prominence with heroic exploits at Toulon and Paris,
during the French Revolution.

The southern French were "realistic". That is to say, they did not accept the Revolution because they got along well with the absolutist monarchy of what we now call the "Ancient Regime", whose monarchs believed that their kingdoms were a hereditary grace of God, and therefore absolutists. Since the beginning of the Revolution, there were frequent conflicts in Toulon between the workers at the arsenal and the naval officers.

Siege of Toulon (1793) Bonaparte published a pro-republican pamphlet, Le souper de Beaucaire• Bonaparte was appointed artillery commander of the republican forces 

At that time, Napoleon Bonaparte was a young specialist captain of artillery who was sent to Toulon army. However, his superiors were losing ground against Spanish and British marine forces. The young captain asked to be given attention to his proposal which was to collect all the scattered artillery in Southern France and allow him to develop a new strategy with different tactics.

Siege of Toulon Map

French Generals mocked the young Napoleon, but as they were being defeated, they had no choice and let the young and inexperienced captain Bonaparte made his strategic madness, because there was nothing more to lose.

Siege of Toulon Map

In short, Napoleon expelled the invaders with his artillery and subdued them shamefully. He was shot in the thigh, but continued bombarding the Spanish and British ships until their defeated retirement. The Siege of Toulon was over thanks to Napoleon Bonaparte.

Napoleon at the Siege of Toulon 1793

The young Napoleon grew up with that success. The young captain saved France from being invaded. So, he became a national hero to the extent that no one in the top armed forces could stand him for his fame. Not even top politicians within the French Revolution who got drunk with envy.

Napoleon at the Siege of Toulon 1793

Nevertheless, the success of the glorious young captain filled with courage the rest of the revolutionary army. Captain Napoleon jumped to Major General when he was 24 years old. That event generated much envy at high political and military leaders. Napoleon became famous and admired by the young French revolutionary nation.