On This Day in Napoleonic History – 16 September 1793

16Napoleon is sent to command the artillery at the Siege of Toulon

Toulon was the first major break for Napoleon, whose youth was overlooked in the army that was so depleted by mass emigration and executions. Napoleon’s aim was to suppress the Royalist insurrection in Toulon and dislodge the British, Spanish, Neapolitan and Piedmontese troops thatΒ were supporting the insurrectionists.

Antoine Christophe Saliceti was soon writing to Paris that ‘Buonoparte was the only officer of artillery who knows anything of his duty.’ Napoleon was helped by two aide-de-camps who would stay with him until the very end of his political career – Jean-Andoche Junot and Auguste de Marmont. Thanks to Napoleon’s capable leadership, Toulon was a Republican victory and the Allies were forced to evacuate.

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