15.07.

1815: The Final Surrender of the Great Napoleon Bonaparte

1815: The Final Surrender of the Great Napoleon Bonaparte
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 15 July 1815
  • On this day Napoleon finally agreed to board the British ship and de facto surrender to the British. Ship’s captain politely received Napoleon, gave him a large cabin and ordered a course for Britain. The journey lasted for about a week and during that time Napoleon had a routine to stroll along the deck every afternoon, where the British sailors and officers removed their hats out of respect and kept polite distance, talking with him only if they were spoken to.

On this day one of the greatest military leaders in history, the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte finally surrendered.

His previous surrender in 1814, when he ended up on the island of Elba, was not definitive because Napoleon managed to restore his power, set sail from Elba to France, gather a large army and confront the European powers once more at the Battle of Waterloo. In that battle he reached the threshold of victory, but the French forces were overpowered by the united British and Prussians.

After the defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon retreated to France, as far away from hostile attacks, on the very Atlantic coast. He settled on the small island of Île-d’Aix in the Atlantic Ocean, a few miles from the French coast.

He intended to flee to the United States, but the British ships blocked the shore so he would not be able to escape. Since he in no way wanted to surrender to the French royalists or the Austrians, his sworn enemies, he began to consider the possibility to seek asylum from the British, either to settle in England or that they transport him to the United States.

He started negotiations with the English Captain Frederick Maitland, who commanded the ship HMS Bellerophon (74 guns), which was anchored near the islet making sure that Napoleon could not escape by sea. On this day Napoleon finally agreed to board the British ship and de facto surrender to the British. Ship’s captain politely received Napoleon, gave him a large cabin and ordered a course for Britain.

The journey lasted for about a week and during that time Napoleon had a routine to stroll along the deck every afternoon, where the British sailors and officers took off their hats out of respect and kept polite distance, talking with him only if they were spoken to. Finally, HMS Bellerophon arrived in the English port. When it was learned that Napoleon was on board, it created a sensation among the population, but the British Lord Keith ordered that Napoleon must remain isolated.

He remained on board for two weeks, until the British government finally decided what to do with him. They refused all his requests for transportation to the United States or for settlement in Britain and determined to place him on a remote island of Saint Helena, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, which is more than 2,000 kilometers away from the nearest continent – Africa. Napoleon died on St. Helena less than six years later.

Facebook Comments

Related posts