Military career of Napoleon Bonaparte

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Napoleon Bonaparte
1801 Antoine-Jean Gros - Bonaparte on the Bridge at Arcole.jpg
Napoleon at the Bridge of the Arcole, by Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, (ca. 1801), Louvre, Paris
Nickname(s) General Vendémiaire, The Little Corporal, Napoleon the Great
Born (1769-08-15)August 15, 1769
Ajaccio, Corsica
Died 5 May 1821(1821-05-05) (aged 51)
Longwood, St. Helena
Allegiance France
Service/branch Trained as an artillerist
Years of service 1779 - 1815
Rank General, Emperor
Commands held Army of Italy
Army of the Orient
French Army
Grande Armée

French Revolutionary Wars

Napoleonic Wars

Awards Grand Master of the Legion of Honour
Grand Master of the Order of the Reunion
Grand Master of the Order of the Iron Crown
Grand Master of the Order of the Three Golden Fleeces
Relations House of Bonaparte
Other work Sovereign of Elba, Writer

The military career of Napoleon Bonaparte spanned over 20 years. As emperor, he led the French Armies in the Napoleonic Wars. He is widely regarded as a military genius and one of the best commanders in world history. He fought sixty battles, losing only nine.

Early career[edit]


August 15 - Napoleon born Nabulione di Buonaparte in Ajaccio, Corsica.


December 15 - Napoleon leaves Corsica for mainland France.


January 1 - Napoleon enters religious school at Autun.

May 15 - Napoleon enters cadet school at Brienne-le-Château.


October 30 - Napoleon enters École Militaire in Paris.


September 1 - Napoleon graduates from École Militaire and is commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant of Artillery.

October 30 - Napoleon reports to first posting with the La Fère Artillery Regiment at Valence-sur-Rhône.


September 1 - Napoleon goes to Corsica on long furlough until June 1788.


June - Napoleon rejoins his regiment at Auxonne, attached to School of Artillery.


September 15 - Napoleon goes on second leave to Corsica, becomes involved in revolutionary activities and attempts to gain favour with Pasquale Paoli.


February 10 - Napoleon returns from Corsica to regimental duty at Auxonne.

April 1 - Napoleon promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

September 1 - Napoleon's third furlough to Corsica.


February 6 - Napoleon promoted to Captain (antedated).

April 1 - Napoleon is elected Lieutenant Colonel, 2nd Battalion, Corsican Volunteers. Is implicated in a riot in Ajaccio.

May 28 - Napoleon returns to Paris, instead of rejoining his regiment.

September 15 - Napoleon escorts his sister, Elisa, back to Corsica.


February 22–25 - Napoleon commands artillery during an abortive French landing on Maddalena Island, Sardinia.

March 3 - Napoleon breaks with Paoli, blaming the failed landing on him.

June 13 - Napoleon and his family arrive in Toulon, having been banished from Corsica by Paoli.

August 27 - Toulon handed over to the British by Royalists.

September 16 - Napoleon given command of artillery besieging Toulon.

October 18 - Napoleon promoted to Major.

December 17–19 - Successful recapture of Toulon from British and Royalists.

December 22 - Napoleon promoted to Brigadier General.




Later career[edit]

After his final defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon was exiled to the British island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. It was there that he lived the remainder of his life and wrote the memoirs of his life and career.