Study: Napoleon duped the British

Apr 16, 2007

A British academic has found evidence Napoleon duped the British by planting false intelligence concerning Copenhagen, Denmark.

Thomas Munch-Petersen of University College London said Napoleon started a rumor that France was mobilizing its navy to conqueror Ireland in a two-step attack, including seizing the Danish navy and using it to help attack Ireland. That false report resulted in the British terror bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807.

The attack itself is a historic landmark -- the first deployment of terror tactics on civilians to cause a nation's surrender and also the first example of rockets being used in Europe.

"The attack's largely been forgotten, and even brushed under the carpet by the British," said Munch-Petersen. "I think it's important that we put it back on the map again. It has definite relevance to readers today and people will see the parallels with the intelligence that led Britain to war in Iraq. That too was a pre-emptive attack that was founded on shaky intelligence and the credulity of politicians."

The finding, published as part of the bicentenary of the bombardment of Copenhagen, appears Munch-Petersen's book "Defying Napoleon."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Funding review casting shadow over Portuguese research could cloud other countries

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Typhoid Mary case may be cracked, a century later

Aug 15, 2013

When Typhoid Mary died in 1938, in medical exile on a tiny New York island, she took untold numbers of Salmonella typhi to her grave. No one knew how the bacteria managed to thrive and not kill her.

Recommended for you

How to win a Tour de France sprint

Jul 22, 2014

The final dash to the line in a Tour de France sprint finish may appear to the bystander to be a mess of bodies trying to cram into the width of a road, but there is a high degree of strategy involved. It ...

Bible museum planned for US capital

Jul 18, 2014

The devout Christian family that upended a part of President Barack Obama's health care law aims to open a Bible museum in Washington in 2017, a spokesperson for the project said Friday.

User comments : 0