'I am going to blow up the Kremlin': Encoded letter from Napoleon sold at auction


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The Independent Online

A letter sent in 1812 by Napoleon Bonaparte vowing to blow up the Kremlin has sold at auction for more than 10 times its estimated pre-sale price.

The Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in Paris bought the document, in secret code, for €187,500 (£197,000). The pre-sale estimate was €15,000. Auctioneers said the letter, written to the French Foreign Minister Hugues-Bernard Maret, revealed the strains on Napoleon of his calamitous Russian invasion. One line said: "At three o'clock in the morning, on the 22nd I am going to blow up the Kremlin." He carried out his threat.