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

As the intangible expression of a way of thinking where the skill lies in mastering a vast range of parameters and their interactions, strategy is rarely evoked nowadays without mentioning Napoleon.

The exhibition’s goal is to illustrate and explain the way in which he devised, then applied his strategy. The exhibition draws 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.