Napoleonic Army at Boulogne Bookmark and Share

The Napoleonic army camped
at Boulogne - 1805


Between 1803 and 1805 Napoleon installed the massive Camp de Boulogne as part of the effort to realize his greatest ambition - the conquest of England.


Some 150,000 to 200,000 men eventually lived on the site, working to expand the regions port facilities and to build new forts. They were known as the Armée des côtes de l'Océan (Army of the Ocean Coasts) or the Armée de l'Angleterre (Army of England).


A triumphal column - seen in this engraving - was even errected in anticipation of the success of the invasion.


In August 1805, the emperor decided to sent the Coast and Ocean Armies to Austria and the project of invasion was abandoned. On October 21, the British decisively defeated a combined French and Spanish fleet at Trafalgear.


This fascinating lithograph entitled "Camps de Boulogne, d'Ostende, An 13 (1805) was created after an 1833 work by the French painter Hippolyte Bellange (1800–1866).


It shows the daily life of the army during the long days in the camps as they await battle. A chef serves wine to two officers, others tend a garden, a man draws waterf rom a well, and one man, accompanied by a dog, reads a book.


The text below the engraving explains "Each regiment had a vegetable and flower garden, and each had a well from which they took water for the plants and flowers cultivated by the soldiers..."


"Chaque regiment avait son jardin, chaque compagnie son potager, son parterre et un puits couvert de fleurs pour arroser les fleurs et les plantes que le soldat cultivait..."



Dimensions: 34 X 27 cm
Condition - Sheet lightly toned, some damage at crease through center. Rough edges with some small tears (see last photo)


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