Bonaparte - Prelude to Waterloo

Forced to abdicate, Napoleon was sent to the island of Elba. Within ten months he returned to Paris, welcomed by many.  How was he able to escape from the Mediterranean island?

Napoleon sent a letter to General Douot on February 16, 1815.  Contemplating a return to power, Napoleon—still on Elba—wrote the following:

Give the order for the Brig to enter the dock and turn it around on its keel, shine it, seal the water ways, resurface the careening and everything else necessary for taking it to the sea. Have it painted as an English Brig. Everything shall be done in anticipation as if I were to arrive tomorrow.

You will supply the Brig with biscuits, rice, legumes, cheese, half of the provisions in aquavit and the other half in wine, and enough water for 120 men for three weeks. As much salted meat to last for 15 days. You will ensure enough wood and that there is absolutely nothing lacking. I wish that from the 24th to the 25th of this month that everything will be as I have asked and ready at the anchorage.

On the 26th of February, 1815, Napoleon slipped past his enemies.  Soon thereafter, the Brig—called Inconstant—left Elba with Napoleon on board.  Few knew the Emperor had escaped.

It would not be long, however, before the whole world knew.

His next military campaign, during "The Hundred Days" when Napoleon once-again ruled France, would end in Belgium at a place called Waterloo.

Media Credits

This video clip, providing details and historical background, is online via YouTube.


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"Bonaparte - Prelude to Waterloo" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 20, 2020.
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