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Napoleonic Wars

The Napoleonic Wars were fought in Europe in the early 19th century.

The Second Doctor prevented the Players from altering the outcome of the Napoleonic Wars, (PROSE: World Game) while the Sixth Doctor did the same by preventing Davros and the Imperial Daleks from altering the Battle of Waterloo. (AUDIO: The Curse of Davros)

Mr. Beachem was born during the Napoleonic Wars, and Edward Grainger guessed that he was born in 1812 when recalling their encounter. (PROSE: Childhood Living)


Rise of Napoleon and Wellesley[]

Napoleon. (TV: The Reign of Terror)

Napoleon was born Napoleone Buona Parte in the year 1769, just months apart from his future enemy, Arthur Wellesley. A native of Corsica, a small island that was an often-rebellious province of France, Napoleon's parents were aristocrats, part of the Corsican nobility and rulers of the island on behalf of the French. Their family name was originally Buona Parte. In later years it was "Frenchified", and Napoleone Buona Parte became Napoleon Bonaparte. Like Wellesley, Napoleon attended a military academy in France, though not the same one, and both became soldiers, both rising in their chosen profession. (PROSE: World Game)

The War[]


Main article: Battle of Trafalgar

Horatio Nelson's death. (PROSE: H.M.S. TARDIS)

According to the Second Doctor, the Battle of Trafalgar was the most important English victory by sea in the Napoleonic Wars. On 21 October 1805, the Royal Navy, led by Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson, defeated a French and Spanish fleet. However, Nelson was killed in the fighting. (PROSE: World Game) The Fourth Doctor mentioned that he had breakfast with Nelson the day before the battle. (PROSE: Eye of Heaven)

Prior to the battle, the Player known as the Countess attempted to ensure Napoleon's victory by helping Fulton develop a prototype submarine, known as the Nautilus. With the machine limited in its ability to move underwater with the technologies at hand, the Countess had attempted to enhance its power by providing Fulton with an omega drive, but the Second Doctor was able to sabotage the drive and convince Fulton and Napoleon to abandon the plan. (PROSE: World Game)

The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond visited a different ship during the battle. It was fleeing from what they believed to be a Kraken. It was actually a 21st century aircraft carrier brought back in time by an infestation of Time Roaches. The Doctor sent it back into the Time Vortex, causing the carrier to return to its own time. (COMIC: Rough Waters)

After the English won the battle, Nelson was shot down by a sniper. (PROSE: World Game) The Second Doctor, Ben Jackson and Polly Wright visited Nelson's ship during the battle. The Doctor tried to change history by preventing Nelson's death, but was unsuccessful. (PROSE: H.M.S. TARDIS) In his dying words, Nelson addressed the Doctor, Thomas Hardy and a Sea Devil. (AUDIO: Gallery of Ghouls)

Sometime before their eighth incarnation, the Doctor told Iris Wildthyme that he was instrumental at Trafalgar. (PROSE: The Scarlet Empress) The Doctor later told Izzy Sinclair that he used a sextant to calculate the position of Napoleon's fleet at Trafalgar. (COMIC: Fire and Brimstone) The Fourth Doctor claimed to have "whipped up" an advantageous storm which helped lead England to victory. The Doctor recalled being specifically thanked for his key role in the battle by Nelson himself as he lay dying, with the Admiral's final words constituting a request that the Doctor kiss him. (AUDIO: Gallery of Ghouls)

Peninsular War[]

Main article: Peninsular War

The Peninsular War was fought between the French and the British across Portugal and Spain. During this war, six of Napoleon's marshals, comprising the majority of them, were defeated by Arthur Wellesley one after another, battle after battle, victory after victory. (PROSE: World Game) It was one of the Earth conflicts from which the War Lords took combatants for their War Game. It was given its own zone. (TV: The War Games)

Major General Robert Ross was a veteran of the Peninsular War. (AUDIO: Washington Burns)


In 1812, Napoleon was at the Russian front when he met the First Doctor. (AUDIO: Mother Russia) On that occasion or possibly during another encounter prior to their third incarnation, the Doctor advised "Boney" that "an army marches on its stomach". (TV: Day of the Daleks) Like the First Doctor, Iris Wildthyme met Napoleon on the Russian front in 1812 and claimed that, in spite of what the history books said, he was "anything but small." (AUDIO: The Panda Invasion, Iris Wildthyme and the Claws of Santa)

As Napoleon's forces advanced on the city of Moscow, the Eighth Doctor met Dusha, a local girl who he later found was the emotional half of a Magellan who had been divided and exiled from the future to two different time zones. (PROSE: Emotional Chemistry)

Also in 1812, Napoleon's troops marched on the hometown of Ileana de Santos. (AUDIO: Loups-Garoux)

In 1814, Napoleon was exiled. Meanwhile, in Britain, Arthur Wellesley was made Duke of Wellington. Ultimately, Napoleon returned from exile the following year. (COMIC: The Doctor and the Nurse)


Main article: Battle of Waterloo

The Battle of Waterloo took place on 18 June 1815 in the Belgian province of Waterloo. (AUDIO: The Curse of Davros, TV: Human Nature) It saw the defeat of the reconstituted French imperial army of Napoléon Bonaparte by the British under the Duke of Wellington and the Prussians under Marshal Blucher. The time-manipulating Players tried to subvert this by assassinating the Duke before the battle and then issuing false orders to the Prussian reinforcements. These attempts were thwarted by the Second Doctor and his companion Serena.

An Imperial Dalek, (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) like those that become involved in the Battle of Waterloo (AUDIO: The Curse of Davros)

Serena sacrificed herself to take the shot that would have killed the Duke. The Doctor later posed as Napoleon- the two being superficially similar enough for the Doctor to pass himself off as Napoleon to the average French soldier who had never met their Emperor directly but only seen him at a distance- to pass safely through French territory and deliver the message to the Prussians. This defeat marked the end of the French Empire. Bonaparte was deposed as Emperor for the second time and once again exiled. (PROSE: World Game)

As part of a plan to conquer Earth, Davros attempted to alter the outcome of the Battle of Waterloo by providing Napoleon with Dalek weapons, but when Napoleon learned of Davros' true agenda from the Sixth Doctor, he deliberately allowed himself to lose to save humanity from being conquered by the Imperial Daleks. (AUDIO: The Curse of Davros)

Aftermath and legacy[]

Following his defeat, Napoleon died in his early fifties, a bitter and lonely exile. (PROSE: World Game)

"Waterloo" became a byword for defeats. For example, the Fourth Doctor told the Sontaran Marshal that his defeat was "your Waterloo". (TV: The Sontaran Experiment)

On Paternoster Row, there was a monument to those who died during the Napoleonic Wars. (PROSE: The Spectre of Paternoster Row)

While teaching at Farringham School for Boys in November 1913, John Smith gave a lesson on Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. (TV: Human Nature)

In a history project for school in 2009, Clyde Langer and Luke Smith were required to show the battle strategies by Wellington and Napoleon at Waterloo. The pair re-enacted the battle on Mr Smith. (TV: The Last Sontaran)

The First Doctor's companion Vicki Pallister, a native of the 25th century, was unfamiliar with the history of the battle and that of Trafalgar Square. On a visit to London in November 1605, she expressed an interest in visiting the square. When the Doctor told her that the Battle of Trafalgar would not occur for another 200 years, she assumed that he meant that a battle had been fought in Trafalgar Square in 1805. (PROSE: The Plotters)

Alternate timelines[]

In an alternate timeline where the Players assassinated the Duke of Wellington before the Battle of Waterloo, the French forces won. The Countess convinced Napoleon to continue his plans for the expansion of France regardless of the strain that he put on his men. As a result, the empire which he had created had collapsed by 1865. The countries which he had conquered reverted to smaller kingdoms. They engaged in minor conflicts with each other. This timeline was negated when the Second Doctor learned how the Duke had died. He travelled back to the night of his assassination to avert it. (PROSE: World Game)

Behind the scenes[]

According to The Terrestrial Index, a non-narrative source, the Napoleonic Wars may have been exacerbated when the Nemesis statue passed Earth in 1813. (REF: The Terrestrial Index)