1810 Napoleon Signed Document Demanding Seizure of the Enemy's Military Archives
Napoleon demands seizure of the enemies military archives in order to augment strategy, also signed by Warminster Duc de Feltre.
Napoleon and war minister Duc de Feltre signed directive, regarding seizure of the enemies, military archives from the war of the fifth coalition.
A 1p document in French signed by French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte as “NP” in the left margin, and also signed by French war, Minister Henri Jacques Guillaume Clarke (1765-1818) as “Duc du Feltre” at lower right. The partly printed, and partly hand written letter from the Duc of Feltre is dated February 23, 1810. Napoleons signature, as well as the margin instructions “return all that is relative to Austria,“ were recorded in Paris, France on February 24, 1810. Numbered in docketed. Expected paper folds and isolated, chipped, edges, else very good to near fine. Minor mounting traces visible verso. 8.125”x11.5”.
French war, Minister the Duke of Feltre asked Napoleon for instructions regarding the seizure of military archives from upper Austria. The French, who had just won the war of the fifth coalition, had requested that the military archives of their erstwhile opponents, the Austrians, be seated to them for examination. The Austrians demurred. Austrian command, led by Franz Freiherr Mauroy de Merville (1759-1816), assured, napoleons, subordinates that Austrian military records could have no bearing on French military strategy. Napoleon disagreed. His terse command prevented any further protest station.
French forces and the German allies had clashed with Austrian, British, Spanish, and Portuguese allied forces during the war of the fifth coalition (April - October 1809), waging battles across central Europe, that spring and summer. The French secured an important victory at the battle of Wagram in July 1809. The treaty of Vienna, signed at Schonbrunn Palace on October 14, 1809, ended the war of the fifth coalition. The Austrian’s were punished with valuable territory from the Hapsburg empire was farmed out to the French, Polish, and Bavarian victors.
The indirect channels, through which the Austrian’s conveyed their message suggests a level of almost unbearable bureaucracy. There were five people involved in this communication: The Austrian Baron de Merville route to French administer/commissary Claude Gauderique Joseph Chambom (1757-1833), who passed it along to French intendant general of the Armee d’ Allemagne [France’s Army in Germany, literally “German army”] Jacques- Pierre Orillard de Villemanzy (1751-1830). Villemanzy talked with French war minister the Duc of Feltre, who then told the Emperor!
Translated in part :
“I have the honor of informing the emperor, according to the opinion, given to me by Mr. Villaemanzy, intendant, general of the army of Germany, that the General Baron de Merville, commander of Austrian troops in upper Austria, asked, buy a note address to the administrative commissioner Chambon, that he would return to his government, the archives of the military command, and upper Austria, which was removed to Lintz [Linz in modern day Austria], in the last campaign, and transported by Passau, to Strasbourg.
M. The Baron de Merville, in his note, a copy of which is attached, [not included in this lot] observes, that these archives do not concern the particular administration of the regiments of upper Austria, and can be of absolutely no usefulness to France.
I request, on this matter, the Emperor’s orders.
Minister of war
Duc de Feltre.”
Henri Jacques Guillaume Clarke served as napoleons war minister between 1807 to 1814. Napoleon was in part able to accomplish all he did buy relying on General Clarke, who handle the military matters ranging from inspection and provisioning to conscription and internal discipline. General Clark was recognized for his great service when he was granted the honorary title of Duc of Feltre in August 1809.
This item comes with a certificate of authenticity from John Reznikoff.