Marengo: Napoleon’s War Horse

This is my second day focusing on the horses involved in wars. Today I am reblogging a post about Marengo, small in stature but oh my!

HorseAddict

There are many mysteries and myths about Napoleon’s horses. The most famous horse was known as Marengo, who carried him to victory in the Battle of Marengo, and the legends have it that he carried him to victory in almost all his other victorious battles as well.

IMG_20171105_1546593 The Battle of Friedland by Emile Jean Horace Vernet ( 1789-1863) The battle at Friedland , on  June 14, 1807, was a resounding defeat for the Russians.

Marengo was a small ( only just over 14 hh) grey of Arabian breeding . He was wounded eight times in his career and survived the retreat from Moscow but was captured at Waterloo (June 1815) and taken prisoner by William Francis Petre who brought him to England  and  sold him to Lieutenant-Colonel Angerstein of the Grenadier Guards.  Marengo died of old age at the age of 38! Quite a long  life for a horse.

His…

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Is it true that Napoleon rode small horses in order to make him appear taller?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I don’t know if that is true or not. There are varying opinions about his height. Looking at him on the horse his legs seem long enough so he may not have been too short. But Marengo was a small horse so if Napoleon was a big man and tall he would have looked ridiculous. However there is a famous painting of him crossing the Alps on a white stallion and in actual fact he rode a mule. Which was more practical for a journey like that. So the artists took liberties in how they presented Napoleon . He had to appear to be the Emperor after all! Arabian horses are sturdy, fast and hot blooded so that would be good for the battles as long as the rider was skilled enough to stay on !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fascinating info. Thank you for the details.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Human who knows to respect the feel of other humans or creatures are amazing humans. So you are

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting, Anne. Amazing to think of being wounded eight times and surviving to a ripe old age.
    I think it likely that in the 19th c., people wouldn’t regard the display of the skeleton as disrespectful. The craze for taxidermy, etc. in those days was more than a fad, it was regarded as part of scientific inquiry and progress, just as every museum acquired Egyptian mummies, skeletons of indigenous people from colonized ares, countless preserved birds and animals, etc..
    Which isn’t to say that I think it’s proper, respectful, or such a nifty idea! I read a book a few years ago, with a memorable title, “Give Me My Father’s Body,” about the Eskimos who were brought to the Natural History Museum in NYC, by Admiral Peary, to be used as a living diorama, and when they died, they were given a mock burial, and then displayed in an exhibit of skeletons. That was around 1899. So displaying a world-famous horse doesn’t surprise me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      This is very interesting and it something I was familiar with. I don’t think it is disrespectful either. It does give Marengo a touch of fame that he would ot have had if he had been buried somewhere in a field. Thanks for giving me this information and perspective of the preservation of a skeleton.

      Like

  4. Emma Cownie says:

    I am very happy to hear that Marengo lived such a long life. I suppose he outlived his famous owner?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think so and he did not have to be exiled to an island. England is not a bad place to be for a horse!

      Like

  5. Marsha says:

    You write and reblog the most interesting posts, Anne. I love this bit of history. The animals don’t get as much credit as they deserve. They lived hard lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Marsha. Marengo survived the retreat from Moscow which must have been a gruelling experience.. He was a survivor. Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Marsha says:

        It must have been grueling. I’d never given it a thought, but the weather, the terrain, and the fact that they were in battle every day must have made their trek challenging to say the least. And it lasted for years. We complain if we have to work more than five days in a row. Of course, I’d rather live in our lifetime than Marengo’s.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Auntysocial says:

    Not gonna lie I had no idea about him until reading this – what a great post.

    I’m now reading up on the Battle of Marengo itself and Napoleon on a little grey charging full throttle like a boss “Wheeeeeeeee!!!”

    Brilliant 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      It is amazing isn’t it? He survived the retreat from Moscow as well. That was a dreadful ordeal for man and horse. Tomorrow I will be reblogging my post about Wellington’s horse and the battle of Waterloo. Thanks for your comment . I’m so glad you found it interesting !

      Liked by 1 person

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