The first steps to greatness
The blood tide that swept away the Bourbons in the terror of the French revolution also heralded the Revolutionary Wars in which Republican France not only sought to spread its doctrine through Europe, but also had to initially contend with French Royalist forces who fought to re-establish the old regime. In 1793, the coastal town of Toulon in Southern France lay under siege. Its defenders were French monarchists supported by Spanish, Sardinian and British forces. Outside the defences, among the guns of his beloved artillery, was a 24 year old major in the Republican Army. His genius for war was here given free rein and was instrumental in breaking the siege and bringing about a decisive victory for the cause he espoused. Recognition of his achievement elevated him swiftly to the rank of brigadier general and placed him at the hub of French power in a Europe then seething with unrest and ripe for sweeping change. That young man was, of course, Napoleon Bonaparte. What may have occurred had anyone realised that this single man was capable of overturning regimes and bathing the Continent in fire and bloodshed until his eventual downfall over 20 years in the future we may only speculate. This book explains that pivotal moment in the history of the Western world as the man who would become an emperor took his first steps on the path to greatness. Available in softcover and hardcover with dust jacket.