Napoleon the Strategist

from 06/04/2018 to 22/07/2018
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The Musée de l’Armée’s exhibition Napoleon the Strategist celebrates one of the most famous aspects of the history of Napoleon (1769–1821) : his skills as a military commander.

Napoleon the Strategist

Presentation by the Musée de l’Armée:

In Spring 2018, following on from the presentation of Napoleon’s political vision with the 2013 exhibition “Napoleon and Europe”, and an exploration of his fall and his legend with “Napoleon on St Helena: his Fight for his Story” in 2016, in spring 2018 the Musée de l’Armée will be tackling another aspect of the history of Napoleon, whose skills as a “military genius” are universally recognised. Any examination of Napoleon the strategist has to start by defining the notion of strategy and how it

For it was in Napoleon’s time that strategy became inextricably linked to power and the abilities of the person wielding it. The word “strategy” emerged in the military world, gradually taking on the meaning and form that are now applied more broadly to politics, the economy, finance and communications.

The idea behind the exhibition is therefore to train the spotlight on strategy, the intangible expression of Napoleonic thinking where the skill lies in mastering a vast range of parameters and their interactions. The exhibition will draw on maps, documents illustrating the master strategist’s deliberations, and objects – vestiges, symbols and representations of historical facts – which embody the tangible reality that strategic thinking seeks to control.

To ensure that the theme is as widely accessible as possible, Napoleon’s role will be illustrated in the context of his era, including a description of his education, abilities, and the means available to him and to his enemies. The exhibition sets out to show the strategist at work, explain the issues at stakes and how campaigns progressed, and get to the heart of the action to analyse his most famous battles, defeats as well as victories.

Website of the exhibition (in English)

Press release in English

Buy tickets

Opening hours: the exhibition is open every day, except 1st May 2018; 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday,
open Tuesday evenings until 9pm, 10am to 7pm Saturday and Sunday

Prices (exhibition and permanent collections): €12, reduced price €10, free for children under 18.

Guided tours: adults ( – +33 (0) 825 05 44 05); families, school groups and
students (

The exhibition includes:

201 works, objects and documents
35 lenders from 5 different European countries
18 multimedia installations
8 panels designed for young visitors

The exhibition is organized with the support of the Fondation Napoléon and CIC, a key partner to the Musée de l’Armée. It benefits from the special contribution of the Service Historique de la Défense and kind assistance of the Château de Versailles.

For young visitors:

Family visits
Special panels combined with a games booklet for young visitors provide an informative and fun way
of finding out all about the exhibition’s objects, artworks and archives. The youngest visitors are
invited to meet the challenge of using a visual detail to find a specific object or artwork. The
winners are rewarded with a small gift.

Fun exhibition visits
A fun guided tour to find out how Napoleon became a master strategist as well as the mistakes he
made. Various challenges await the participants. The guided tour is suitable for families and school
groups. The tour lasts from 1.5 to 2 hrs – bookings:

Download the Game booklet (in English or in French) for young visitors [The anwsers to the quiz can be found here]

There is also a fully illustrated catalogue (in French), 300 pages.

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