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Napoleon was here

Author elsslots
#1 | Posted: 7 Jun 2008 10:47 
For this connection, we use the rather sharp definition: 'Visits of historical significance, with documented identifiable locations and in person'. That's because Napoleon's army was almost everywhere in Europe.

Now someone has suggested two sites to connect:
- Memphis
- Acre

Any proof that he was there in person, when, where and why?

Author Solivagant
#2 | Posted: 7 Jun 2008 12:36 | Edited by: Solivagant 
The reason I didn't put Acre in in my original list for this connection was that, as I understand it, Napoleon never set foot in the town - His siege failed. There are numerous accounts of the siege on the Web but none of them indicate that he ever got inside - even partially. Here is a typical and shorter one :-
"Advancing from Egypt, Napoleon Bonaparte wanted to capture the key port of Acre, but his plans received a terrible setback when his siege artillery was lost to a Royal Navy flotilla under Commodore Sir William Sidney Smith. Unable to now batter down the ancient walls of the city, the French had to try to seize it at bayonet point, but eight assaults failed to dislodge the Turkish defenders and their British allies. The naval link proved the decisive factor in the siege and the regularly resupplied city watched as the plague swept through the French camp. One last assault on 10 May was again repulsed and Bonaparte gave up and began a horrific march back to Egypt"
Only a cockstride off? I will leave it to Els - the list isn't that long I suppose to "give" it to him (He is dead and I guess we Brits owe him something after St Helena!)

As regards Memphis etc. I know that Napoleon took with him a number of archaeologists/engineers and during the French stay in Egypt (somewhat longer than Napoleon's own personal stay) a lot of effort was spent surveying the Egyptian remains (including finding the Rosetta stone). Before the Battle of Giza he is reported to have said to his troops "From atop these pyramids, forty centuries look down upon you" - but the actual Battle was 15kms away from the Pyramids. It seemed inconceivable that he didn't go to see them in person but I wasn't able to find a quote or similar (as I was for Warsaw "Old Town"). However I have looked again and found reference to a visit to "The Kings chamber" (In Cheops Pyramid) by Napoleon in person
a. depicted in an engraving by Grenier.
b. as a story in which he asked to be left alone there
Both could be apocryphal but, I think consitute enough "evidence" for our purposes!!!

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