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Unity and Diversity in European Culture

Siege of Toulon

Main article: Siege of Toulon

Bonaparte at the Siege of Toulon

In July 1793, Bonaparte published a pro-republican pamphlet entitled Le souper de Beaucaire (Supper at Beaucaire) which gained him the support of Augustin Robespierre, younger brother of the Revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre. With the help of his fellow Corsican Antoine Christophe Saliceti, Bonaparte was appointed artillery commander of the republican forces at the Siege of Toulon.[44]

He adopted a plan to capture a hill where republican guns could dominate the city’s harbour and force the British to evacuate. The assault on the position led to the capture of the city, but during it Bonaparte was wounded in the thigh. He was promoted to brigadier general at the age of 24. Catching the attention of the Committee of Public Safety, he was put in charge of the artillery of France’s Army of Italy.[45]

Napoleon spent time as inspector of coastal fortifications on the Mediterranean coast near Marseille while he was waiting for confirmation of the Army of Italy post. He devised plans for attacking the Kingdom of Sardinia as part of France’s campaign against the First Coalition. Augustin Robespierre and Saliceti were ready to listen to the freshly promoted artillery general.[46]

The French army carried out Bonaparte’s plan in the Battle of Saorgio in April 1794, and then advanced to seize Ormea in the mountains. From Ormea, they headed west to outflank the Austro-Sardinian positions around Saorge. After this campaign, Augustin Robespierre sent Bonaparte on a mission to the Republic of Genoa to determine that country’s intentions towards France.[47]