Just listened to the very worthwhile - The Napoleonic Quarterly - and among some other myth, alas, one find the général vendèmaire story again.
We had a good discussion already about that at
My conclusion One sees the pitfalls to rely on Anglophone literature alone, best information so far - H.Zivy (a secondary source which is however well discussing and citing primary sources - what a difference to the usual Ango Saxon and German blurb I read so far, Cronin included) - but in French and ignored, thanks John Fortune for the link. Buonaparte was one among several generals, he was neither in command nor second in command. Most likely he was responsible for placing the artillery, not even mentioned in after action reports and newspaper. The rioters - terrorist - or whatever you will call them, were armed people of the sections - they had no artillery - it wasn't a civilian mob, their military value most likely very in-homogeneous. Zivy doubts that the majority of those were royalists, only a few sections were. The number of attackers and defenders vary quite a lot - certainly no 40,000 nor 30,000 - for attackers 8000 - 25,000 (one has to read again Zivy on this) - defenders 5000 - 8000 (Zivy gives strength reports for the defenders and what units were involved) Général vendémiaire - a nickname constructed well after the incident and due to creating pro Boney propaganda - to make him appear to be the savior of the universe, pardon, Convention, pardon French Republic. So no uproar at all justified for Napoleon fan boys to see this as denigration. Nabulieone indeed doesn't see this as insult but as distinction, and why shouldn't he by becoming a national hero by post action propaganda A whiff of grapeshot - British creation - those journalist should have written whiff of canister instead, but even if this is suggested to be anti Boney propaganda - it isn't - wrongly enhancing the importance of Boney in the action. Also why call him captain cannon instead of general cannon?
A pity that again the myth was used without taking at least the chance, even briefly to discuss this.
Now the leads me to a question, Boney seems to have gained quite a lot of this - instead of other defenders of the Repbulic, why was it so? His main role to the success or taking over Josephine?
"Tom Holmberg and others provided some interesting links" Indeed so. Unaccustomed as I am to garnering credit, in the spirit of the age I believe that was me.
The question of myth making is always intriguing but I wonder if the comparative lack of rigour also results from the fact that the action was brief and the result never really in the balance so the commentators just aren't that bothered about interrogating the legend. The boost to Bonaparte's career occurred anyway.
"Outnumbered five to one...." Hm. From 1959. https://archive.org/details/crowdinfrenchrev0000rude/page/171/mode/1up?q=honore Interesting, in the light of Charles Esdaile's wholly reasonable assertion (00.57) that the job of the historian is to challenge myths, that nobody present challenged the blogmaster's attribution of the phrase 'whiff of grapeshot' to Bonaparte. EDIT: Perhaps that should be 'podmaster'