Napoleon’s coded Kremlin letter sold for nearly $250,000
2012-12-03 0:00

From: AssociatedPress



A secret code letter sent by French emperor Napoleon boasting that his multinational forces would blow up Moscow’s Kremlin has sold at auction Sunday for €187,500 ($243,500) — 10 times its estimated presale price.

A Paris museum, the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts, was finalizing its purchase of the Oct. 20, 1812, document with elegantly calligraphic ciphers.

The sale price, which includes fees, far outstripped the pre-sale estimate of €15,000 ($19,500), according to Fontainebleau Auction House south of Paris.


In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, a letter dictated by Napoleon in secret code that declares his intentions "to blow up the Kremlin" during his ill-fated Russian campaign is displayed in Fontainebleau, outside Paris. The rare letter, written in unusually emotive language, sees Napoleon complain of harsh conditions and the shortcomings of his grand army.


Experts say the letter is unique, written in a numeric code that Napoleon often used to throw off would-be interceptors — notably when he was conveying battle plans. The letter’s content also revealed the strains on Napoleon of his calamitous Russian invasion.

"At three o’clock in the morning, on the 22nd I am going to blow up the Kremlin," the letter said, laying out his route of retreat and urging his minions to send rations to the towns to the west. "My cavalry is in tatters, many horses are dying."

Napoleon’s prolific correspondence has drawn aficionados from around the world in places like the U.S., Britain, Japan and Russia. Interest appears to be rising as museums like the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts prepare to mark the bicentennial of Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo in 1815.

The Kremlin letter was but one piece in the vast auction Sunday. A 310-page manuscript for the "Essay on countryside fortification," which Napoleon wrote while exiled on the remote island of Saint Helena in 1818-1919, was also bought by the Paris museum — for €375,000 ($487,000), including fees.

Gerard Lheritier, director of the Paris museum, said it already has at least 1,500 letters, manuscripts or other writings linked to Napoleon Bonaparte. It recently acquired one from Japan that Napoleon had written to the Empress Josephine; it fetched €600,000-€700,000, he said.

[...]

Read the full article at: news.yahoo.com




Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Do Many Neocons Just Hate All Europeans?
2015-02-01 22:21
Marxis Neocon Charles Krauthammer A few months ago I encountered at a conference an eminent Straussian scholar who teaches at an Ivy League institution, and he almost immediately launched into a tirade against “the Europeans,” who are at the point of “finishing Hitler’s work.” The only exception that my interlocutor would concede to this sweeping statement was for the English “who ...
Swedish Feminists Drink Blood
2015-02-01 21:44
Swedish Feminists drink menstrual blood to fight the Patriarchy! Here is the story from alltomstockholm.se as translated by Google (English not 100% correct) A feast to celebrate the woman - and your period Menstruation - and this year's celebration. Theatre Bristol salute month's bloodiest weeks and cause menstrual celebration of International Women's Day. - We will offer menstrual drinks, says Daniela Kullman. On International Women's Day ...
'What do we need this war for?' Ukrainians flee from 100k army draft
2015-02-01 21:12
With the heavy fighting taking its toll on the Ukrainian army, another military draft is underway - the fourth within less than a year. It's the largest one to date - set to get 100k people into the military. This includes everyone up to the age of 60, with a voluntary mobilization for women. Fleeing the draft some are getting ...
Gunman Storms Dutch TV Station Demanding Airtime
2015-01-30 23:32
Dutch authorities have released few details about the bizarre case of 19-year-old Tarik Zahzah’s attack on the main news studio of television station NOS on Thursday. To get the obvious question out of the way first, the police say there is no evidence that Zahzah, who is half-Egyptian, acted on behalf of organized terrorism. The authorities always say that on the ...
How Alan Dershowitz bullied rape victims to protect a serial child molester
2015-01-30 23:40
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz always felt children were fair game for Israeli missiles. Now the question is whether he thinks they are fair game for the sexual exploits of his powerful associates and himself. Dershowitz and the UK’s Prince Andrew were accused in a recent court filing of raping a teenage girl who was forced into sexual slavery by ...
More News »