Born in Corsica, Napoleon trained as an artillery officer in mainland France. After a few years he rose to prominence under the First French Republic. He distinguished himself as a military commander fighting in Italy. In 1799, Bonaparte staged a coup d'état and ended up in the position of First Consul; and five years later he crowned himself Emperor of the French. In the first decade of the Nineteenth Century, he turned the armies of the French Empire against every major European power and dominated continental Europe, through a series of military victories – epitomised in battles such as Austerlitz. He maintained France's sphere of influence by the formation of extensive alliances and the appointment of close friends and family members to rule other European countries as elite French states. It appeared that with Napoleon's tactical genius the French were invincible. And this proved to be true as they progressed to win a series of important military victories. .
Little is known about Napoleon's early life, but we do know that he was the son of a poor, Corsican nobleman, Napoleon attended French military school in Paris and was considered a smart student that began showing signs of leadership swiftly. At only 16, Napoleon entered the French forces as a second lieutenant, leading an artillery detachment. During the turmoil of the early years of the French Revolution, Napoleon rapidly rose through the military ranks. And through some additional help from inside the military, he found himself as commander of the French republican forces at the Siege of Toulon in 1793. This was the first conflict in which Napoleon displayed his greatness. Within the battle, the city was overtaken by Royalists and British forces within the city (that were afraid their monarchy would collapse). As a result of his successful leadership in battle, Napoleon was immediately promoted to the rank of brigadier general, and then two years later, he was appointed Commander of the Army of the Interior in October of 1795.