Tag Archives: Napoleon Bonaparte
The Chateau de Joux, high in the mountainous region of Franche-Comté close to the Swiss border, was one of the great state prisons of France, along with the Bastille and the Chateau d’If (described by Dumas in The Count of Monte-Cristo). The huge fortress dates back nearly 1,000 years, its medieval walls augmented by Charles V, Vauban and finally by the young Joffre as engineer officer.
Around 9PM on the evening of 4th July 1809 several hundred French infantrymen embarked in a flotilla of small boats and began to make their way across the broad river Danube. Rain was falling in torrents, but this was doubtless a great relief to the troops: together with the gathering dusk, the weather served to shield them, as they supposed, from the guns of a powerful army that had but weeks before inflicted a heavy defeat upon their standards.