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Marengo 01-09-2007 04:19 PM

Emperor Napoleon III (1808-1873)
Charles Louis Napoléon, Prince français (Imperial Highness) and Prince of Holland, President of France on 10 December 1848, became NAPOLÉON III, Emperor of the French 2 Dec 1852 (Paris, 20 April 1808 - Camden Place, Chislehurst, Kent 9 January 1873)

Dynasty: Bonaparte

Reign: 1852 - 1871

Predecessor: Louis Bonaparte, Count of Saint-Leu

Successor (as head of the family): Prince Napoleon (IV) Bonaparte

Married to: Eugénie Rojas y Kirkpatirck, Countess of Mora

Son: Prince Napoleon (IV) Bonaparte

Parents: Louis Napoleon, King of Holland, Count of Saint-Leu of and Hortense de Beauharnais, Duchess of Saint-Leu

Siblings: Prince Napoléon Louis Charles and Prince Napoléon Louis Bonaparte

Marengo 01-09-2007 04:19 PM

Napoleon III
Emperor Napoleon III (from wikipedia)

Napoléon III Emperor of the French (Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte) (April 20, 1808 – January 9, 1873) was President of the French Republic from 1848 to 1851, then from December 2, 1851 to December 2, 1852 the ruler of a dictatorial government, then Emperor of the French under the name Napoléon III, to 1870. He was the last monarch to rule France.

Prince Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, as he was known before becoming emperor, was born in Paris. He was the third son of Louis Bonaparte, a younger brother of Napoléon I, and Hortense de Beauharnais, the daughter of Napoleon I's wife Josephine de Beauharnais by her first marriage. During Napoléon I's reign, Louis-Napoléon's parents had been made king and queen of a French puppet state, the Kingdom of Holland. After Napoléon I's final defeat and deposition in 1815 and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in France, all members of the Bonaparte family were forced into exile, so the child Louis-Napoléon was brought up in Switzerland (living with his mother in the canton of Thugau) and Germany (receiving his education at the gymnasium school at Augsburg in Bavaria). As a young man he settled in Italy, where he and his elder brother Napoléon Louiss espoused liberal politics and became involved in the Carbonari, a resistance organization fighting Austrian domination of Northern Italyy. This would later have an effect on his foreign policy.

Read more about Emeror Napoleon III in this wikipedia article

left: Winterhaller portrait of Napoleon III
2nd from the left: Napoleon III captured at Sedan
2nd from the right: picture of Napoleon III and his son with a painting of Napoleon I and Napoleon II in the background
right: picture of Napoleon III and his family

Stefan 07-13-2008 11:50 AM

At the moment there is a Special Exhibition commemorating the 200 anniversary of his virth at Konstanz and Arenenberg Castle. I visited it yesterday. Some pictures and a report can be found on my blog.

PssMarie-Elisabeth 07-23-2008 11:26 PM

Prince Imperial - In Memoriam

Vanesa 07-29-2008 09:31 PM

Poor boy...what an awful end he had. He was so beatiful.


V.F.H.78 11-18-2008 01:20 PM

Napoléon III's official mistresses and illegitimate children
Here is the list of the most important mistresses of Napoleon III (by order of appearance) :

- Eléonore Vergeot
- Caroline O'Hara
- Elisabeth "Rachel" Félix
- Alice Ozy
- Elizabeth Ann Haryett "Miss Howard"
- Mathilde Bonaparte, countess Demidoff (platonic love but ambiguous)
- Clotilde de la Rochelambert, countess de la Bédoyère
- Virginia Oldoïni, countess di Castiglione
- Marie Anne de Ricci Poniatowska, countess Walewska
- Valentine Haussmann
- Eglé Ney de la Moskowa, duchess de Persigny
- Lodzia Bogaslawa Zelewska, spouse Feydeau
- Julie Leboeuf "Marguerite Bellanger"
- Louise de Mercy-Argenteau

Illegitimate children :

- 1843 : Alexandre Louis Eugène Bure, count d'Orx (son of Eléonore Vergeot)
- 1843 : Charles Jean Tristan de Montholon (son of Caroline O'Hara)
- 1845 : Louis Ernest Alexandre Bure, count de Labenne (son of Eléonore Vergeot)
- 1862 : Georges Feydeau (son of Lodzia Bogaslawa Zelewska)
- 1863 : Charles Leboeuf (son of Valentine Haussmann but adopted by Marguerite Bellanger)

If you have more informations to give about some of these mistresses or children, or photos, you're welcome!

Valentino 01-06-2009 07:14 AM

Napoleon III. spent his youth in Arenenberg (Switzerland, canton of Thurgau) at Lake of Constance (Bodensee). Here, he had already early numerous liaisons.
One of them with "Anna Maria Schiess" from Allensbach, Germany (vis a vis Arenenberg). This is survived and documented. Their common illegitimate son named "Bonaventur" was born on 14.07.1839 and 14 years later by marriage of "Meinrad Karrer" adopted.
The descendants live today in Constance (Germany). More in German under

Nachkommen (Descendant) von Napoleon III. « Nachkomme, Descendant Napoleon III.

and old pictures of the family here.

Here are a few stories on youth time Napoleon III. in Constance and Arenenberg by the Museum Director for the joint exhibition in 2008 "Napoleon III. - Der Kaiser vom Bodensee".

V.F.H.78 01-06-2009 02:27 PM

Thank you for these informations.
In France we don't know much about this part of Napoleon III's youth in Arenenberg.
But a thing that we know for sure is that Napoleon III was very fecund!

RoyalistRiley 06-13-2009 05:51 AM

What happened to Napoleon II? I've never heard of a Napoleon between I and III; it just doesn't add up!

Marsel 06-13-2009 06:10 AM

Napoleon II was the son of Napoleon I (Bonaparte) and Marie Louise of Austria. He was titled "King of Rome" from his birth and declared Heir Apparent to his father's Empire. However, the First French Empire collapsed 3 years after his birth. Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated in favour of his young son, who thus became French Emperor from June 22 to July 7 (from the moment of his father's abdication to the entrance of the Allied forces into Paris).
The King of Rome, who was known simply as "Franz" grew up in Austria, along with his maternal relatives. He died from tuberculosis in 1832.

When Louis Napoleon became Emperor in 1851, he assumed the name Napoleon III, thus honouring the brief 'reign' of his cousin.

chaz 08-19-2010 03:08 PM

Napoleon IIIs downfall and the Franco-Prussian war.
Napoleon III was desirous of expanding his empire,but was beset by revolutionists, charges of corruption,and an unenthusiastic military, he nevertheless believed he could wrest partitioned and dominated lands from Russia and Austria. And those peoples moreover would be grateful,and joyfully become part of a new "United States of Europe!" Whose capitol would be Paris. But ignoring the Congress system set up by the great powers of England, Austria, Prussia and Russia after Buonoparte's second exile, would be his undoing. The Franco- Austrian war of 1859,was a win for France, and NapoleonIII thought of this as a begining of a new order, of a French controled Europe . He then set about rearranging Italy to suit his ambitions. Now he turned his attention toward the German states of Prussia and Austria who had cooperated and won the second Schleswig war of 1864, meeting with Graf Otto von Bismarck, Prussian Chancellor,he tried to prise Prussian controlled territories, but Bismarck cleverly deflected his requests,and would commit to nothing. The Austrian Prussian war was a devastating defeat for the Austrian army. After months of denial, Napoleon III now realised the threat Prussia might pose. Austria now surrendered any influence it enjoyed formerly, to Hohenzollern Prussia. Napoleon's advisors told him that the wisest course would be to stop Prussia before it became any stronger. Prussia during this period was busy consolidating German territories both north and south. This was terrifying to Napoleon, every one realised war was on the horizon.
Internal problems were developing in France between the classes,it occured to Napoleon that a war with Prussia could rally support around his regime.

The day after Bastille day July 15, 1870 the French Parlement voted the necessary war credits,for Napoleon's war against Prussia. This set off a short lived patriotic frenzy in the capital Paris. War was formally declared on the 19th of July 1870, and only after that were the French troops mobilised! Prussia was behind France in the mobilisation of her troops. There was no formal plan for the commencement of hostilities, but the French armies were divided into 3 portions, the Emperor would personally lead the Army of the Rhine which was to be deployed at Metz. Another would remain at Chalons and the third deployed in Allsace. Fifteen thousand French troops were left in Paris in case of revolt, in the always volatile city.
to be continued

chaz 08-22-2010 10:33 AM

It was said about Prussia "Most states have armies, Prussia is an army that has a state!" Every able bodied 20 year old man was drafted and required to serve three years in the army, after which they would become members of the reserves for five years, after the fifth year they could still be mobilised if the need arose.
On July 29 NapoleonIII arrived at Metz to personally lead his army, with a head full of delusions of grandeur, and no military experience he hoped he could emulate his uncle the great Napoleon I. The first enemies the French needed to subdue were confusion and disorder,both of which would plague the French Armies throughout the entire conflict.

The French posessed a superior infantry rifle the Chassepot, which fired a metal cartridge, the Prussians had the "needle gun" a rifle that took a paper cartridge, with a long firing pin that had to penetrate the paper to ignite the powder within. The needle gun was extremely unreliable, the needle like firing pin would frequently break off, leaving the rifle inoperable.

While the Prussians had an inferior infantry rifle, their artillery was the most modern and the best of all of Europe's cannon. Adding to France's other problems, she was unable to mobilise many new levies, and the few she was able to conscript (4.000) were only a drop in the bucket of what was needed. Ill equiped soldiers wandered the countryside searching for the units they were supposed to be assigned to, they had not been told because of "secrecy". Some of the conscripts while on the march shouted revolutionary slogans such as "Down with the Emperor!" while threating to march on Paris and overthrow the regime.

chaz 08-24-2010 11:42 AM

French troops even before reaching their places of deployment, began geting rid of their uniforms and equipment,including their rifles. As they went along they were frequently drunk on wine and cognac supplied by the citizens of the areas they passed through, or they had liberated on their own. This army in name only was marching to meet the most disciplined army in Europe.

Unlike the French troops, the Prussians arrived at the front via railway,full of enthusiastic patriotism and ardor. The comander in chief of the Prussian forces was Marshall Helmut von Moltke, he had planned the mobilisation and deployment in masterly fashion, and his army was ready to fight. With the exception of the Bavarian troops,whose behaviour was closer to that of the French,drunkeness and discarding equipment before arriving by train at the front, but they would redeem themselves in battle, and the French would not.

chaz 08-25-2010 10:28 AM

At the beginning of August the first skirmishes on the border of France and Germany had taken place, the Prussians found not much difficulty pushing the French back across their own border. But holding that position proved to be more difficult for the Prussians, as was noted before the Germans were basically raw recruits not veterans like the French. In one case a single French platoon had routed an entire Prussian battalion !

Moltke's opposite number Marshal Achille Bazain's III corps along with General Charles Frossard's II corps crossed the border into Prussian territory at Saarbrucken, Napoleon III had brought his fourteen year old son Prince Louis'. This was to be the Prince's baptism of fire. The French took the town rather easily, in what can not really be called a battle more of a skirmish, there were only around 80 casualties on either side. When the Emperor and his son mounted horseback,to inspect the front, they were met with the shocking display of all of the discarded gear left by the French troops on their march. Marshal Edmond Leboef told the Emperor the reason for it was that the entire army was infected with revolution.

The Emperor rejected every piece of advice offered by Marshal Bazaine, to the extent that the Marshal stopped giving it, NapoleonIII was convinced he was the better tactician. After capturing Saarbrucken, NapoleonIII rather than holding it marched his army away,toward the Moselle, one of Napoleon's officers commented that the Emperor was "Randomly making things up as he went along."

chaz 08-28-2010 09:54 AM

Marshal von Moltke's strategy is reffered to as "kesselschlachten" ie. pocket battles, this was accomplished by dividing his army into several groups consisting of multiple corps. This tactic had been sucsessfuly used in the Prussian-Austrian war in 1866. A quick Prussian response and a rapid march would force the French into these pockets. The Prussian soldiery was in awe of the Chassepot rifle, this fear had made the Prussian recruits loath to engage the French. On July 25 an entire Prussian column had been held up by only three chassepot equiped infantry soldiers. Rapid fire and accuracy made the chassepot deadly.

Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm's four army Corps consisting of 125,000 who had been delayed by the difficulty of the terrain, met Marshal McMahon's I corps of 45,000,and drove them from their position,at Wissembourg and Froeschwiller pass through the Vosges. This presented Napoleon with the dilemna of chosing to make his front either to the south or the east.

The Prussians massed large numbers around Wissembourg, this startling development caused Napoleon and his general's to change their plans for an offensive thrust from Saarbruecken, to a defensive one there, blocking the Moselle river valley and the route to Thionville. But without even awaiting orders, General Frossard yielded Saarbruecken to the Prussians. Going from an agressive posture to an defensive one, prompted Le Boeuf to warn of an "une affaire serieuse" which underestimated the seriousness of the threat.

Moltke told Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm via telegram that he wanted to coordinate the operations of the second and third Armies. And bring them against Louis-Napoleon's principal army. The crown prince and General Blumenthal followed von Moltke's instructions, marching their armies westward in early August. Moltke's first blow was landed against Alsace, the Prussian Third Army engaged Marshal Patrice McMahon's I Corps in two stages, a small "encounter battle" at Wissembourg on the fourth August,and an combined asssault at Froeschwiller on the sixth. McMahon's commanded a four division corps, and was expected to hold the line of the Vosges,and prevent an attack on Strasbourg.

silverstar 11-26-2010 11:16 AM


Originally Posted by Marsel (Post 952088)
Napoleon II was the son of Napoleon I (Bonaparte) and Marie Louise of Austria.

hang on marsel... was nt Marie Louise Polish ?

MAfan 11-26-2010 12:09 PM

No, Marie Louise was Austrian indeed; she was the eldest daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Franz II (later Emperor Franz I of Austria) and his second wife Empress Maria Teresa, born Princess of Bourbon-Naples.

silverstar 11-26-2010 12:33 PM

Are n't we talking about the 19 year old Marie de Walewska... who
Napoleon first espied in Warsaw.... on 1st Jan 1807 .... the wife of a 70 year old Polish count... ?
you r'e telling me she was really Austrian ?

oops .....I see now Marie Louise was a hapsburg and they married by proxy...... (echoes of Marie Antoinette.....)
the Polish Marie bore him a child, but was only his mistress.....

Looks like Napoleon was making a dynastic marriage... marrying an Austrian Archduchess.... and seeking.... to draw France and Austria together.......... as was the wish of Louis 15th and Mme Pompadour way back when !

Just wondering... Napoleon virtually conquered Austria and Prussia.... was there any "triumphal entry" into
Vienna ... or Berlin ?

claurie777 04-20-2012 10:14 AM

Was'nt vienna and Berlin considered Austrian terrotory
:cool: Sincerly, Charlie777

An Ard Ri 04-21-2012 08:02 PM


Originally Posted by claurie777 (Post 1401920)
:cool: Sincerly, Charlie777

Vienna is in Austria and Berlin was the capital of Prussia until 1871 and after that Germany!

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