Napoleon Bonaparte’s famous quote, “An army marches on its stomach,” captures the essence of a military campaign. In 1795, while Bonaparte was emerging as a leader, French armies were fighting across Europe to protect the young Republic, which had been established in 1792 with the deposing of King Louis XVI on Sept. 21 from the established European powers.Share
It was a significant challenge to equip and feed its soldiers and sailors, with starvation and sickness often more effective enemies than the Austrian, Dutch, English and Spanish armies they faced. To foster the development of a safe way to preserve food that could be easily transported, the French military offered a 12,000-franc (the new currency introduced that year to replace the livre, a franc was the equivalent of 4.5 grams of silver) prize.
Nicolas Appert, who was born Nov. 17, 1749, in Châlons-en-Champagne, Marne, France, responded to the challenge. (Read entire post.)