Every child is taught that Napoleon Bonaparte was indisputably great at military campaigning; but we’re guessing your high-school history teacher didn’t school you on Napoleon’s obsession with roasted chicken.
The great military leader didn’t stick to regular mealtimes, instead choosing only to eat when hungry—but his meals always had to have bread and chicken. NPR’s Nina Martyris writes,
Bonaparte’s palace was the O.G. Zankou.
France’s greatest warlord loved to eat with his fingers rather than a fork or spoon, and couldn’t possibly have cared less about drinking fine wine. But mess with his chickens and you were likely to get your carcass handed to you on a serving platter.
What about his Grande Armée? Unfortunately for them, Napoleon didn’t enjoy sharing his seemingly endless poultry supply. In fact, the army’s provisions supply system was so notoriously unreliable, PBS writes, that “soldiers learned by experience that marauding was often a more reliable source of food, horses and other provisions than the army’s supply system.”
And so Napoleon left his armies to scrounge for their meals while he sat in his palace sucking on poultry bones. But what about Bonaparte’s famous statement, “An army marches on its stomach”? According to NPR, there’s no record of him ever saying such a thing.