Napoleon Bonaparte is considered one of the greatest commanders in history. Napoleon, who conquered a large part of Europe and founded the French Empire, was victorious in many battles. But Napoleon also has one defeat he’ll want to forget: the hunting party he lost against the rabbits.
This interesting event took place in 1807. Napoleon won the Friedland War between Russia and France and signed the Tilsit Peace Treaty. To celebrate this great achievement, Napoleon ordered his consul general, Alexandre Berthier, to organize a hunting party. Berthier had hundreds or even thousands of rabbits brought to the palace garden in cages to appease Napoleon.
When the hunting party began, the rabbits were released from the cages. But something unexpected happened: instead of fleeing, the rabbits began to attack Napoleon and his men. The reason for this aggression of rabbits is that the rabbits kept in cages are not wild but domestic rabbits. Domestic rabbits are accustomed to approaching people for food, and they thought Napoleon was a bringer of food.
Napoleon and his men tried to resist the attack of the rabbits, but without success. Rabbits clung to Napoleon’s legs, climbed on his coat and tried to bite him. Napoleon also tried to drive away the rabbits with sticks and riding crops to protect himself. But the number of rabbits is very large, and they surrounded Napoleon.
Napoleon had nowhere to run. The men next to him couldn’t stop the rabbits either. Napoleon found a way to get on his coach and walk away. However, the rabbits did not let go and followed the ram. Napoleon’s tragicomic war ended only hours later. The rabbits only calmed down when all the guests fled.
Napoleon thus suffered one of the most interesting defeats in history. The man who conquered Europe could not resist the rabbits. This event caused great damage to Napoleon’s prestige. Some historians say that this event was a sign that prepared the end of Napoleon. Because Napoleon then suffered a great defeat against Russia and was exiled.