The 20 Best Documentaries About Napoleon And The Napoleonic Wars

Nov 22, 2023 | Best Of, History, Military/War

The 20 Best Documentaries About Napoleon And The Napoleonic Wars

Napoleon I, also known as Napoleon Bonaparte, was a prominent military and political leader who rose to power during the French Revolution. He became the first Emperor of France in 1804, establishing the First French Empire and expanding its influence throughout Europe. Despite his ultimate defeat and exile, Napoleon’s legacy continues to spark fascination and debate among historians. In this article, we will explore various documentaries that delve into the life and impact of this iconic figure. From his ambitious rise to power to his downfall at the Battle of Waterloo, these documentaries offer a unique perspective on one of history’s most enigmatic figures.


1. Napoleon – BBC (2015)

Experience the incredible life of Napoleon Bonaparte through the eyes of historian Andrew Roberts. Discover a side of the legendary leader that few have seen before, as Roberts delves into his personal letters and brings to light his genius as a military commander and captivating leader.




2. Napoleon: The Man Who Ruled the World (2001)

Napoleon Bonaparte was a formidable figure in the 18th and 19th centuries, shaping world affairs with his ambition and military prowess. Despite his ultimate defeat, he left a lasting impact on Europe and beyond. This documentary offers an enlightening glimpse into the life of this influential leader, whose legacy continues to reverberate through history.




3. The Great Commanders E03: Napoleon Bonaparte (2003)

The Great Commanders is a captivating exploration of six legendary military leaders: Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Horatio Nelson, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ulysses S. Grant, and Georgi Zhukov. These remarkable individuals left an indelible mark on the world through their cunning tactics and strategic brilliance.




3. The Napoleonic Wars – Epic History TV (2023)

Follow the legendary French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte as he battles for control of Europe in a decade-long war filled with brilliant military tactics, dramatic turns of fate, and stories of bravery and selflessness. Epic History TV delves into every aspect of this historic conflict, guiding you through each campaign and battle with meticulous detail.




4. Napoleon Bonaparte (2018)

Napoleon Bonaparte’s military campaigns are a significant part of his legacy, and this five-part collection delves into the most crucial moments of his military career. From his disastrous campaign in Russia to his triumphant victory in Egypt, these episodes provide a comprehensive look into Napoleon’s strategic genius and battlefield tactics.




5. Napoleon – The Beginning of the End (2022)

In a pivotal meeting that would shape the course of history, Napoleon Bonaparte came face to face with Metternich, Austria’s formidable leader and trusted advisor to the Emperor. This momentous encounter between two great figures marked the turning point for Napoleon’s reign and ultimately led to his downfall. An event etched into the annals of time, captured in this compelling documentary.






6. Napoleon: The Russian Campaign (2015)

Discover the true story of Napoleon’s ambitious campaign to conquer Russia, through first-hand accounts from soldiers on the frontlines, witnesses to his strategic maneuvers, and even the notorious emperor himself. “The Russia Campaign” is a captivating and insightful docudrama that delves into one of history’s most infamous military campaigns.




7. Napoleon Bonaparte: The Egyptian Campaign (2017)

In the late 1700s, a large fleet set out from France on a top-secret mission. Along with tens of thousands of soldiers and sailors were over 100 esteemed scholars, handpicked by General Napoleon Bonaparte himself. After keeping their destination under wraps until the very last minute, it was finally revealed to be Egypt – an ancient land steeped in mystery and fascination during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe.




8. The Campaigns of Napoleon: The Napoleonic Wars

Experience the rise and fall of one of history’s most controversial figures – Napoleon Bonaparte. This captivating documentary chronicles his meteoric ascent to power, his strategic triumphs on the battlefield, and his ultimate downfall. Unravel the enigmatic persona of this influential leader and discover the turbulent events that shaped a legend.






9. Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon (2013)

Experience the turbulent and transformative 25 years between the French Revolution of 1789 and the Bourbon Restoration in 1814. Explore how this revolutionary era forever changed the course of politics, religion, and society not only in France but across Europe.




10. Napoleon: Destiny & Death (2021)

Napoleon’s legacy continues to fascinate and capture our imagination. His daring military strategies, political prowess, and ultimate downfall have made him a figure of great historical significance. Yet, beyond the grand battles and political maneuverings, there lies a complex human being, filled with passion, ambition, and ultimately vulnerability.






11. Napoleon: in the Name of Art (2018)

As we commemorate the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s passing, this documentary delves into the intricate connection between the former emperor and the realms of culture and art. Through a unique lens, we uncover the multifaceted relationship that shaped both Napoleon’s legacy and his impact on society.






12. Napoleon and the Women (2014)

Uncover the captivating story of Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the greatest military leaders in history. This compelling documentary delves into his life and relationships, revealing the man behind the legend.







The Best Free Documentaries About Napoleon And The Napoleonic Wars


1. The Rise Of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte | History Hit | Timeline

Witness the ascension of one of history’s most formidable military leaders – Napoleon Bonaparte. He would go on to conquer Europe and become a defining figure of the early 19th century. Join renowned historians Dr Michael Rowe, Professor Pamela Pilbeam, and Professor David Andress as they delve into the captivating story of Napoleon’s rise to power.


2. The Complete History Of The Napoleonic Wars | History Of Warfare | Timeline

Discover the extraordinary life of Napoleon Bonaparte, a man who rose from obscurity to become one of history’s most influential leaders. Through reenactments, authentic imagery, and insightful commentary, this film chronicles his meteoric rise to power and ultimate downfall in the tumultuous Napoleonic era. From his early victories to his catastrophic defeat at Waterloo, witness the triumphs and tragedies of one man’s pursuit of greatness.


3. The Rise & Fall Of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte | The Man Who Would Rule Europe | Timeline

This captivating documentary delves into the enigmatic life of one of history’s most remarkable figures – Napoleon Bonaparte. With thorough research and engaging storytelling, this presentation offers a fascinating glimpse into the man behind the myth, tracing his journey to his rise as Emperor and ultimately, his downfall at Waterloo and exile on Elba.


The Napoleonic Wars wreaked havoc on Europe like never before. This is the tale of the early years, when Napoleon Bonaparte reigned supreme as Emperor of France and a force to be reckoned with across the continent. However, beneath his triumphant exterior lay the beginnings of his ultimate downfall.


Napoleon Bonaparte, a name that resonates with power and control, rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most formidable military leaders in history. Born in Corsica in 1769, his path to greatness was not an easy one. Surviving the turbulent years of the French Revolution, he would eventually be crowned as ‘Master of Europe’.


6. How Did Napoleon Become Emperor Of France? | Man Who Would Rule Europe | Timeline

In 1800, Napoleon was at the height of his political power as First Consul. Despite this, he remained distant from the common people and narrowly escaped assassination that same year. This event provided him with an opportunity to eliminate those who opposed him politically. Let’s delve into the details of this pivotal moment in history.


7. Napoleon PBS Documentary

Napoleon Bonaparte, the man who would eventually become one of the most well-known figures in history, was born on the island of Corsica in 1769. PBS documentary


8. Napoleon’s Downfall: Invasion of Russia 1812

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

Thomas B.