Was Napoleon Bonaparte Really So Short?

Because of numerous paintings, movies and cartoons, we often imagine Napoleon Bonaparte as unusually short man, even when compared to his contemporaries. However, the myth that Napoleon was short stems primarily from the fact that he was measured 5 feet 2 inches few years before his death. However, this was his height in  French feet and french inches, which were little bit larger than imperial units.

Napoleon Bonaparte

In modern units, Napoleon was actually 5 feet 7 inches tall. When compared to average height in today’s France, it really isn’t much, however, in 19.th century, average male height was less than 5 feet 5 inches. That means Napoleon Bonaparte was actually quite tall for his time.

Although Napoleon was sometimes considered short even during his lifetime, this stems solely from the fact that he was always accompanied by bodyguards, who had to be taller than the average. When compared to his guards, he logically looked smaller, thus earning him the nickname ”The Little Corporal”.

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