No, this isn't a photo of Napoleon (or even Elvis). In Golfe-Juan every year there's a reinactment of Napoleon's landing from Elba in 1815 for the start of his march up the Route Napoleon.
The small army of participents dress and act the roles to perfection, bivouacing on the beach during the few days of activities.
Golfe-Juan is just beside Antibes Juan-les-Pins.
1799 - Napoleon Bonaparte, returning from Egypt, via Fréjus, seized power in a coup d'état on "18 Brumaire" day (by the new French calendar),and headed the new Consulat.
He created a new army, using able-bodied Frenchmen rather than the upperclass and nobility.
He began his bid for power, eventually controlling most of western Europe (except Britain and Portugal).
1812 - Napoleon was bogged down in snows of the Russian winter.
1814, April - Defeated by an overwhelming force of Austrian, English, Prussian and Swedish troops, Napoleon was exiled to Elba, embarking at Fréjus.
1815 - Napoleon escaped from Elba and set out on the Route Napoléon to recover the world he had lost.
1815 (18 June) - He fought his final battle at Waterloo, against Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, and was exiled to Saint Helena off the coast of Africa.
1821 - Napoleon died in exile, but is remembered for his glories
Napoleon 1st (Napoleon Bonaparte), 1769-1821
Born in Ajaccio (Corsica), second son of Charles Marie Bonaparte and Maria Letizia Ramolino. He was Emperor of the French, 1804-1815.
Napoleon Bonaparte was received his military education at Brienne and entered the army in 1785. He was a Jacobin, distinguished himself as a captain of artillery at the seige of Toulon in 1793. He was discraced and briefly emprisoned after the Thermidor. He put down the Vendémiarie uprising in 1795, and was pardoned at Barras in 1796 by the commander of the army of Italy following a lightning victory over the Peimontias and Austrians. (Le Tambour d'Arcole, Cadenet) From this brilliant victory, he created the Cisalpine Republic and imposed peace with the Campo-Formio treaty of 18 Oct 1797.
In 1796, Napoleon married Joséphine de Beauharnais.
Napoleon commanded an Egyptian expedition in 1798-99 intended to cut off Britain's route to India. He defeated the Turks (Mamelukes) in Syria at the Battle of the Pyramids in 1798. He was then marooned in Egypt when his fleet was destroyed by Nelson at Aboukir, at the Battle of the Nile. He excaped from Egypt the following year to return home.
In Oct 1799 he returned to France. The moderates gave him the job of getting rid of the Consulate (directoire), which was accomplished by the coup d'Etat of 9-10 Nov (18 brumaire, year VIII). Napoleon became Premier Consul, and imposed an authoritarian constitution on the country. During the winter of 1800 he reorganized the country, centralizing the economy, justice, education and the administration (with prefets to head the departments).
In 1801 he lead a second Italian campaigne. Following victories over Austria at Maengo (1800) and Hohenlinden (1801), he imposed the Lunéville peace treaty on Austria, giving control of Italy and the left bank of the Rhine to France. Also in 1801, Napoleon signed a concordat with the Church.
In 1802 at Amiens he signed a general peace treaty with the English. He became Consul for life, president of the Italian Republic and Mediator of the Confédération Helvétique (Switzerland). In 1803 he added in Reorganizer of Germany.
A new war with Britain was threatening, and when he discovered a royalist plot against his government, he declared himself Emperor of the French (in 1804) and King of Italy (1805). Titled Napoleon 1st, he established an hereditary monarchy. He continued with his reorganization and centralization, establishing the civil Napoleonic Code, an imperial University, the Légion d'Honneur and the Banque de France.
The Napoleonic Wars with Europe took place in 1803-15. He had a series of brilliant victories, including Ulm (1805), Austerlitz (1805), Jena (1806), Friedland (1807) and Wagram (1809). He did less well at sea, being defeated by Nelson at Trafalgar in 1805. (Nelson won the battle but was killed during the fighting.)
Napolean tried to defeat Britain with the Contental System, an economic blockade. By 1808 he controlled all of continental Europe, with members of the Bonapart family ruling many of the puppet kingdoms.
In 1810, Napolean's marrage to Joséphine was annuled and he married Marie-Louise. He eventually made their son the King of Rome.
During the Peninsular War of 1808-14 (just one part of the Napoleonic Wars) against the British and Spanish, over 200,000 French troups were tied up in Spain, weaking Napoleon's power elswhere. In the end the French were driven out of Iberia in 1814.
Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, resulting in his famous retreat from Moscow that same winter. The remains of his army were defeated at eh Battle of the Nations in 1813. In 1814 Napoleon abdcated and was exiled to Elba.
Consulate (Directoire) - the regime that governed France from 26 Oct 1795 (4 brumaire, year IV) to 9 Nov 1799 (18 brumaire, year VIII).
Louis Napoleon, 1769-1821
Nephew of the first Napoleon, came to power in 1848 as resident of the Second Republic, later made himself Emperor Napoleon III.