Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Really brilliant plan, there.
Shortly after Napoleon arrived in Elba, he decided that he did not like exile and would much prefer to be Emperor of the French again. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Napoleon took advantage of the total incompetence of Louis XVIII, the new Bourbon monarch, and marched on France. Louis XVIII, who had decided to keep fiercely Napoleonic military units together, to stew in their rage and to declare undying oaths to their emperor and who had further decided to completely disband half the military without giving them adequate compensation.
It was no wonder that someone of Louis XVIII's genius had an equally brilliant plan for dealing with Napoleon's return, and the defection of all the armies from Louis XVIII to Napoleon. Led by several advisers, including Chateaubriand, the Romantic of the time, Louis XVIII actually decided that his best plan was to stay in Paris and, with the Chambers of Peers and deputies on back-up, shame Napoleon into withdrawing.
Needless to say, Louis XVIII abandoned this plan in favor of running off to Switzerland instead.