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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 12:04 p.m. PST

"It was the evening of Christmas Eve. The streets of Paris were crowded with citizens. Some were shopping, some were eating and drinking. But others were plotting to murder the most famous and powerful man in the world. They wheeled their improvised bomb into town earlier that day, and waited. Then, amongst the milling crowd, they saw the target. Despite knowing that the bomb would kill indiscriminately, the fuse was lit, and the enormous explosion wreaked havoc.

The target for this early act of terrorism was the coach carrying Napoleon Bonaparte, who had seized power the year before and found himself the enemy of republicans and royalists alike. The terrorists belonged to the royal faction and although they failed to kill Napoleon, their atrocity hurled political violence in a new and terrifying direction in the country: towards a now familiar place where civilian casualties would be collateral damage and where bombs in packed streets and squares would be the new agents of terror.

This book sets the scene with Napoleon's coup and follows the cell of extremists as they prepare their plans and devise a weapon that became known as the Infernal Machine. After their attack, we follow the security services as they hunt down the perpetrators, baffled by the novelty of terrorism, as Napoleon uses public anger to launch a war on his opponents. Using first-hand accounts, trial transcripts and archival material, and with the drama of a detective story, Killing Napoleon recounts one of the great crimes of its era, a story still largely unknown in the English-speaking world, that was a powerful precursor to the terrorist threats we know today."

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Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 1:59 p.m. PST

Here is the funny thing…..

It should have been "so easy" to kill Napoleon, Hitler or Stalin. (I will concede it would have needed von Stauffenb ….I think Tom Cruise deserved an Oscar as an actor I never really rated up until then… to have been prepared to sacrifice himself for Long Live Sacred etc)

But no one did to try to kill these three (arguably I admit, when it really was too late to matter) not at the expense of their own lives. Risk of, yes…….

I would add Mao, Pol Pot, Willy Kaiser and Brezhnev to that list

But not one truly suicide bomber.

It is not our way. makes you wonder though……..

Only War and Peace suggests that we are all pawns to the will of a few powerful individuals. Post advent of Soviet writing is power to the people, the peasants, the proletariat….The people en masse can change the course of history….indeed that is inevitable (Soviet Doctrine told us).

Funny thing though. The role of the individual is not allowed. Pierre played by Sergei Bond. in the film W and P…if he had got near Boney as planned….

42flanker08 Aug 2018 3:36 p.m. PST

"But others were plotting to murder the most famous and powerful man in the world…"


("It was the evening of Christmas Eve…"
or, as we like to say in English, "It was Christmas Eve.")

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP09 Aug 2018 5:50 a.m. PST

But not one truly suicide bomber

I don't think that the conditions which usually produce suicide bombers – belonging to a group which perceives itself to be violently oppressed with little hope of successful conventional resistance – existed in Europe in Napoleon's time.

I suppose that a suicide bomber might have attacked Hitler or Stalin, but the bomber would almost certainly have to have been Jewish, Polish, Chechen or similar rather than a German.

Andrew Walters09 Aug 2018 10:40 a.m. PST

Looks neat. It's not available on Amazon yet. I'd like to see a few more reviews. It has become difficult to convince myself I need another book.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Aug 2018 10:47 a.m. PST



Hector Blackwolf09 Aug 2018 7:40 p.m. PST

When you consider how 'available' so many historical leaders were it is amazing how few controversial figures were actually assassinated.

It of course happened quite a lot, but when you consider how much security attends public figures these days it's interesting how few in the past fell to political radicals (rather than simply rival elites)

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2018 11:09 a.m. PST

Interesting indeed!.


14Bore14 Aug 2018 2:40 p.m. PST

Only in a novel but Count Bezukov takes a shot at Napoleon

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