A crime from history.

christopheranton By christopheranton, 8th Dec 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

Many people praise the memory of Napoleon Bonaparte. But the truth is that he was a warmongering maniac, who wasnt averse to cold blooded murder when the notion took him.

Murder most foul.

"Civilian deaths are impossible to accurately estimate. Whilst military deaths are invariably put at between 2.5 million and 3.5 million, civilian death tolls vary from 750,000 to 3 million. Thus estimates of total dead, both military and civilian, can reasonably range from 3,250,000 to 6,500,000".

The above figure was taken from The wikipedia article on the casualties of the Napoleonic wars between 1803 and 1815. I am printing them here because I have read several articles by people praising Napoleon Bonaparte, as if he were a person that should be looked up to. Many words are wasted making heroes of the most unworthy of creatures, but few people in history are as unworthy of adulation as this dictator who brought ruin to his country, and devastation to a complete continent.

But I do not propose to write on the subject of Bonaparte's wars, in order to strip the facade of heroism from his stinking memory, but rather to relate the story of one honourable man who became a victim of the murderous malevalence of the corsican gangster.
I speak, of course of Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien, who was kidnapped and then murdered on the orders of Bonaparte in March 1804.

A short biography of the victim.

Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien was part of of the french royal family. He was a member of the Conde Family, a lineage that had given great service to France for many generations. At the outbreak of The French Revolution in 1789 he emigrated with his father and his grandfather. He fought for the royalist cause in the revolutionary wars which started in 1792. He was distinguished for his bravery in that conflict.
After the peace of Lunéville (February 1801), he married privately Charlotte de Rohan, niece of the Cardinal de Rohan, and took up his residence at Ettenheim in Baden, near the Rhine. He was, by all accounts, a devoted husband.

Early in 1804, the corsican, then First Consul of France, heard news which seemed to connect the young duke with the Cadoudal-Pichegru conspiracy then being tracked by the French police. Reports were received that the duke was in company with Charles François Dumouriez,( a leading opponent of the regime,) and had made secret journeys into France. This was false; the acquaintance was Thumry, a harmless old man, and the duke had no dealings with either Cadoudal or Pichegru. Bonaparte gave orders for the seizure of the duke.

Some people are without a concience.

French dragoons crossed the Rhine and surrounded the house of The Duke. He was captured and brought to the Château de Vincennes near Paris where a military style tribunal was hastily convened to try him.
Bonaparte had meanwhile discovered the truth of the case, that The duke was innocent of the charges being preferred.
But instead of freeing him to return to his family, which would have been the honourable thing to do, the charges were hastily changed to that of having borne arms against France in the late war, and having the intention of taking up arms again in the future.
So we have now the spectacle, of a representative of the legitimate authority being charged by a usurping criminal with fighting for the defence of his country. The fact that the unfortunate Duke was living in quiet retirement being neither here or there.
The Duke, of course was convicted, and he was shot in the moat of the chateau, near a grave that had previously been prepared.

He didnt totally die in vain however. When the details of what happened started to circulate around Europe, such was the revulsion at the actions of the dictator, that any residual respect he might have had from fair minded people evaporated, and it only served to unite those who opposed him. One of the more cynical commentators said about the murder of The Duke, that "it was worse than a crime. it was a mistake".

Nevertheless Bonaparte never expressed any regrets about his actions at any time. In his memoirs, written in St Helena, he said that he would have done the same thing again should the opportunity arise.
Such are the delusions that cloud the conciences of evil men.

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Tags

Bonapart, Bonaparte, Bonaparte Never Expressed Regret, Crimes Of Napoleon, Dictator, Duke Murdered On Napoleons Orders, Duke Of Enghein, France, French, French Revolution, French Royal Family, Kidnapped By French Dragoons, Murdered By Napoleon, Napoleon, Napoleonic Wars, Revolutionary Wars, Revulsion At The Murder Of The Duke Of Enghein, The Corsican Usurper

Meet the author

author avatar christopheranton
Born in Ireland, but living in London since 1986, my main interests are reading, studying history, politics, and theology, and looking after the welfare of my cat. I like to write on a variety of subjects, make general observations on lifes dilemmas....(more)

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Comments

author avatar D in The Darling
9th Dec 2010 (#)

Once again, you strike a cord!
This is beautiful. Exposing evil for what it really is! Never make heroes out of villains unless you're a villain too. That's why Osama Bin Laden, Bush and Tony Blair should all be charged for crimes against humanity! If you continue floating on this tide, I might declare you my hero! Now let's think of the article we might do together; Christianity or Islam, Christians or Muslims, which is a more violent religion and which believers have committed more crimes and atrocities in history? Back to the article at hand, thanks for sharing! I'm feeling you!

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author avatar SiddiQ
9th Dec 2010 (#)

I never really looked at it from the other point of view. Great article.

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author avatar christopheranton
9th Dec 2010 (#)

Thanks. dinthedarling and SiddiQ.
History is full of people like him.
What we need to remember is that in
his own time he was regarded
as a menace. It was
only later on that
people started to forget
how horrible he really was.
He was a forerunner of Hitler.

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author avatar Denise O
11th Dec 2010 (#)

Just goes to show, over time even a tyrant can be glorified.
It makes you wonder what history will say about those that lived through our life times.
Good and interesting read.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar christopheranton
11th Dec 2010 (#)

There are a lot of people
who praise Mussolini. You know "the trains used to run on time then" types.
Others praise Hitler because of
volkwagens or building the autobahn. I do wonder about how rehabilitated
these people can become over time. Thats why
it is important for the truth
to be preserved.

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author avatar Greenfaol
22nd Dec 2010 (#)

Couldn't agree more. bonaparte was an egomaniacal little man with an inferiority complex x

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author avatar D in The Darling
22nd Dec 2010 (#)

Amen!

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author avatar christopheranton
22nd Dec 2010 (#)

You can see his preserved
"willy" in a museum.
It was unbelievably small,
unlike his ego.

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author avatar Retired
28th Dec 2010 (#)

Great article

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author avatar christopheranton
28th Dec 2010 (#)

Thanks for reading my articles Lucia,
and for your appreciation.

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