Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Four: Napoleon III: The Worst Bonaparte

Part Four: Napoleon III: The Worst Bonaparte

Thu, 08 Dec 2022 11:00

Robert is joined by Matt Lieb for the final part of series on Napoleon III.

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This is behind the bastards. The only podcast hosted by the man that Vulture magazine called the Jesus Christ of podcasting. That's right. Look it up. Look it up. It's there. It's there somewhere, probably. Maybe if enough people look it up and harass the reporters over email, they'll have to report on it in a story and then I can take an excerpt out of that article and make it look like they called me the Jesus Christ of podcasting, which would be worth it. Yeah. I mean, that's how you play, you know, the beat the media at their own game. Yeah. If you get them to quote other people's complaints and then you take that complaint, you say, hey, we all learned a lot from Donald J. Trump. Yes, we did. Yes, we did. Can we not do this weird bit you're doing? So it's not a bit. It's my life. It is my life. Anyway, Matt, Matt Leib is here. Hell yeah. Hey, I'm back. Hey, Matt Lee. So glad to be here. Love being on this, this pod. Love talking to you guys. Love, you know, just plugging my podcast and just begging your listeners to just check it out. Not yourself, the wire. The only, the world's only the wire podcast and pod yourself a gun. The world's only the sopranos podcast. Yeah. Check out, pod yourself the wire and check out yourself a gun. I didn't pause for a second because I just saw the worst thing I've ever seen on Twitter. Oh, no, what is it? So Chrissy Yama-Gucci main, aka at Waffle House on Twitter, who's a fan of our show. Big homie. Posted a picture of a decal on somebody's car that says messy buns and loaded guns. And then it's a picture of the American flag. And then says raising lions, not sheep. Yeah. Oh, that's a person who has threatened to murder a barista. That's who that is. That is a person who has pulled a firearm on a Starbucks employee. I was talking to you guys with my friends here. That's amazing. That's a person who has unlawfully detained black people for riding a bike and ask them who's bike is that? Yeah, that is a person who has pulled a block on a FedEx driver who is not as white as they. Speaking of which, you know who would have definitely pulled a block on a FedEx driver. Who? Napoleon III. Actually, probably not. That was not super a problem that he had. But he had a shot one in the mouth. He would have shot one in the mouth. I'll tell you that much. This guy. I tell you one thing about this Napoleon guy. Love some mouth shooting. Real mouth shooter. Napoleon III loves to shoot straight into the mouth. My favorite meme again, the shaking hands meme with Napoleon III and suburban Americans shooting people who absolutely shouldn't be shot. Shooting innocent people in the mouth in a panic. In a panic. Yeah. Yes, there's another hand holding. It's a third one. It's just the cops. Yeah. Look. Lot of fun. It debates about gun control, but Napoleon III is definitely a man whose gun needed more control. A little bit. Just a little bit more. Disarmal. Disarmal. Disarmal. He has a right to bear arms, but not a right to tear mouths. That's right. That's right. That's right. Anyway, yeah, you're doing good. So anyway, Napoleon III. In the space of about a decade, the first 10 years or so he's in power, Napoleon III takes France from being one of the sick men of Europe. It was seen as kind of an ailing power like the Ottomans and a pariah and turns it into what is probably the dominant political and military force on the European continent, right? After the Crimean War, he's got sort of what's seen as like the largest, most cohesive and effective ground army. He's expanded like over the course of the first like decade and change of his reign. He doubles the population of France by conquer. Because he's conquered all of Indochina, he's conquered effectively now parts of Algeria, Western Africa. Like he had some like millions of people to French dominion. Oh, I thought people just like the new empire so much that they were fucking all of them. They were just fucking making a lot more babies. No. Yeah, a lot of more than that. A lot of the Naja tois, you know what I mean? No, a lot of the men. Manaja way more than to off for this guy. Yeah. Because Louis Napoleon, Hornim other fucker. Yeah, that's why they called Napoleon the tois. But first, I did want to talk a little bit about a fun fact I found about him, about how he used his new found wealth and prestige to Lord his position over everyone else. Right. And that's normal for Emperor, you know, sure. You wouldn't be an emperor if you weren't going to do some of that. But due to a quirk of metallurgy and history, he wound up doing this in a very funny way. When the emperor would host other world leaders for lavish balls and high society events, he would have his servants bring out gold, played a dinnerware for them, right? You know? And this was not to honor them. This was specifically to contrast them from him, because he had a much nicer set of dinnerware. And all of his plates and bowls and cups and spoons were made from what was at the time, one of the most valuable materials on earth, aluminum. Oh yeah. Yeah. I love it. Wip it out his aluminum cups so they don't miss. Oh yes. I mean, go out of this town. Oh gosh. Enjoy your gold poppers. I am just going to crack open this cold beer. This cold beer of precious aluminum. Watch me crash it. I'm going to crunch it right on my head. Just shot gunning me. So the general public didn't start to become aware of aluminum till the end of the 1800s. The metal exists all throughout the earth, right? It's been around forever. But due to realities of geology, this silver from clay, as it was called, was generally mixed up with other shit. And we just didn't have the ability to like separate it and gather it in significant quantity. For an example of how valuable aluminum was during the reign of Louis Napoleon, the United States put a six pound aluminum cap on the top of the Washington monument. And this was like a big flex. This was the US being like, yeah, motherfuckers. We had six pounds of aluminum, bitches. What do you got? You got nothing. We're going to wrap this whole thing in foil. It was the largest piece of the metal ever used at that time. Louis Napoleon actually granted a scientist named Henri Deville, a massive public subsidy to study how to gather larger quantities of aluminum. He ordered military standards to be made from aluminum poles for his troops to carry, because he was so enchanted by the site of aluminum. None of this worked very well. But that hardly mattered. The Royal Family War aluminum jewelry, Louis's son had a baby rattle made of aluminum. It was a wild time for what is today the most boring metal honor. They've got like, he's given his, he's given his relatives like aluminum rings. They're throwing their gold in the trash. Fuck this shit. It's got an aluminum. I love aluminum. A little aluminum carriage so that just keeps holding. God damn it. Can we make this stronger? Napoleon III was also notorious for his, can we say coxmanship? His coxmanship. Oh. Yeah. He's a, he's a, he's a, he's a, he's a, he's a fuck guy. Yeah, he's a fuck guy. He's a fuck guy. He's a fuck guy. Now his wife, who he married shortly after taking power and is pretty controversial herself and sucks is the Empress Eugenie. She is a huge prude. Some biographers write that she hated sex. So this is going to be particularly a problem because Louis Napoleon, really likes sex. That's the same thing. And the way he threads this needle is by cheating on her constantly. Yeah, it makes sense. Yeah, it makes sense. See where this is going. Yeah. That's what he's got to do. So because things aren't working out great for Eugenie and because after a while, this is not, there's no romance in their relationship. Sure. Louis Napoleon has to increasingly go further afield in search of love and this is where we get the story of the Countess of Castiglion. Napoleon, Virginia, Elizabetha, Luisa, Carlotta, and Tonyetta, Teresa, Maria, Oldoini, which is. Jesus. No one needs a name that long. Yeah. That's what every name in Mamba number five. Exactly. Yeah. This is their own Mamba number five. Her parents were Tuscan nobles who saw the fact that they're, she's hot as hell, right? So they decide that since she's so gorgeous, they're going to solve, like, this is a problem, right? You don't really want to have a daughter who's like famously beautiful when you're a high society because like, she's going to get up to some stuff. Yeah. So the only thing her parents are just like, we got to get, we got to deal with this hot daughter problem. We got to marry her off as soon as we can. And so they, they hit you're off at age 17 to a 29 year old. This is not a happy union. They have actually a famously disastrous marriage. And she basically leaves him immediately to move to Paris and become the mistress of the Emperor of France. This leads to a lot of drama, particularly when she wore a dress covered in hearts with new corset. She's famous for this. Just, just, just let him, let him, let him hang, let him hang. While and she, she goes, like, shows up at this fancy ball in this heart covered dress with no corset, well, she's on Louis Napoleon's arm. And Empress Eugenie is there. She's like sitting in the ballroom as the Emperor comes in with this chick on his arm, which is like, you know, people expect an Emperor to sleep around, but that's still kind of like seasons a little bit. Yeah, especially the French. She's not wearing a corset. She's breathing normal. She's breathing normal, not reason. Yeah. Everyone's like, this is a little mean. Yeah. So we don't know why the two stopped dating, which happened in around 1860, but they did break up suddenly. Now all of this is mostly interesting because the Countess is widely considered to be the first supermodel due to her habit of taking and publicizing lurid photos of herself, often wearing things that were considered pornographic in the day. So she would put out pictures of herself in sandals. Oh, she's showing off a tussles. She's showing off a tussles. Yeah, she's showing off them toes. Oh, we're seeing those little toesies. And she's got this access to photographers in part because she's dating the Emperor. And as a result, if you look at the way she's posing, she kind of invents the selfie. Like this is the, she's the first person who has the ability to do this. She like dress up in the morning and be like, I look cute. I'm going to take a picture. I'm going to send it out to everybody, right? Like she, she, she has turned the world media into Instagram. She invented the duck face. Yeah. Yeah. She kind of figured all that out. So that's fun. Anyway, it's probably time to stop talking about court life and get back to everybody's favorite topic, blood-drenched imperialism. Yeah. Oh, God. Isn't it good? You just like to rub it all up in yourself, get it all in your crevices. A nice warm blanket of blood. Yeah. The bloodiest crevice in the French Empire at this point in time is Algeria. Now in March of 1864, again, in like 1858, they had quote unquote, pacified it, right? In March of 1864, tribesmen in the mountains of pacified Algeria launched yet another insurrection. Napoleon III was forced to send 25,000 more soldiers to the colony, just as he was planning to take his first royal trip there to embark on a new phase of investments in the area. All of this came at a bad time. His brother-in-law, a valued advisor, had just died. In an age 57, Louis Napoleon is himself in pretty poor shape. Well, I'm going to give you a little list of all the different ailments this man has. Rumatism, gout, hemorrhoids, a terrible cough from decades of smoking, and a heart condition. So he's just falling the fuck apart. But he decides still, I'm going to go to fucking Algeria and I'm going to fix things up personally in this troubled imperial possession that my predecessors took on. Now, one of the things that's interesting about him, he's a liberal, right? He's a monarchist, but he's a liberal. And then like in desperate. As a liberal, he doesn't think that he doesn't talk about France's imperial possession the way that you get a lot of British empire guys talking about. He talks about, he talks about from this position of like, we're going to, I want this to be an Arab nation and we just want to help them. Right. We're here to like fix things up for them. We're not trying to take money out of them. We're not trying to, we're just trying to like make them a little bit better so they can stand on their own. Right. We're just trying to spread democracy in the Middle East. Yeah, exactly. He's trying to spread democracy in the Middle East. Now I want to read a quote from the shadow emperor that kind of makes it clear the way in which he saw himself here. The Turks had governed Algeria as a province of the Ottoman Empire until 1830 and had done nothing for them, according to Lewis Napoleon's lights. Apart from collecting taxes, the Turks had let them run their own lives, leaving traditional tribal affairs and customs unchanged. They had not encouraged them to abandon tribal life, acquire private property or try to produce agricultural surplus beyond their own tribal needs for overseas sales. All of this was wrong in the eyes of Lewis Napoleon Bonaparte. The Algerians needed guidance in entering the modern world of European civilization. Everything had to change, but it must be done patiently and respectfully. You must be given equal rights. The same rights as the French population. Such an idea, of course, had never even occurred to the most enlightened Algerian. Tribal councils, popularly elected and chosen throughout the centuries, should now be disbanded and along with them tribal chiefs dismantled a tribe in its administration and become like France, he insisted. And yet, Lewis Napoleon specifically forbade the creation of cantonments or reservations. His knowledge of the whole scale transportation and relocation of the American Indians, he said, had cautioned him enough to not repeat that experiment. And that's part, I find that really interesting. This is part of this. That's what he learned from us. Yeah, don't do reservations. Now absolutely, into their way of life and destroy their cultures, they can participate in specifically so that they can participate in global capitalism. The problem is, and again, he sees this as like the Ottomans being foolish. The Ottomans knew how to run an empire, which is that like, yeah, all we needed out of Algeria was Algiers as a training area. We don't really care what other people do as long as they don't fuck with trade. And you know what's easy? Just letting them live their lives. Right, yeah, yeah. You just collect a little bit of tax and fucking move on. It goes reasonably well for the Ottomans. But it's like, it's going to be this fucking nightmare for France and it all comes out of this idea that like, well, their culture is a failure because they're not part of the global capitalist system. They're not producing a surplus to sell. Now the Algerians would say, well, because we have enough food. Yeah, yeah, we don't really need this. What do we want money for? We've got our own thing going on. We're okay. We don't need money. Yeah, we're doing, I can buy stuff. What are you talking about? What do we, what do we need global capitalism for when there's a market right down the street? I have thrown in props, animal skins and all the things that I need, you know? Napoleon III is like horrified by this. And the fact that he, the fact that he, like while he's trying to figure out, how do I dismantle and destroy this tribal structure, the fact that he won't do reservations? Is part of a fun trend in European history in the late 1800s? We talk about this a little bit at the start of this series of, you know, behind the bastards when we did Karl May, who is this German author who wrote cowboy books that Hitler just loved. But there's this trend in, in European culture in the late 1800s where indigenous Americans are glorified and idolized in European popular society, particularly in fiction. And there are a number of reasons for this. Some of it is just that like, yeah, man, it was a real bad genocide that was fucked up, what was done. Yeah. And what it was, it's, you know, is still being done into that. Objectively tragic figures. Exactly. Objectively a tragic thing that happened. But a lot of it also is that there's this growing anti-American sentiment, right? Some of it's because of, you know, the United States doing manifest destiny shit. But a lot of it's also just like, you know, they're, they're new on the scene and they're kind of like gross upstarts, right? Yeah. And they got to avoid like all of the, the hundreds of years of European conflicts, you know, just be over there. Yeah. And it's interesting because they, while they're, there's this aspect of kind of idolization of indigenous Americans, it doesn't come with any real respect for their cultures. And in fact, is often based entirely on fantasy presentations of these cultures. And that brings us back to Napoleon III. Louis Napoleon was adamant that he wanted the Algerians to rule themselves. And he, he would claim that his administration was simply a way to help raise them up to a point where they could exist as a modern nation. But in practice, this was an incredibly bloody process. See, people don't like having their way of life demolished by strangers at gunpoint. Right. So early in 1864, a tribal chief massacred four dozen French soldiers. And the emperors men responded by burning villages and rendering a huge chunk of the Orren province uninhabitable, right? Right. This is, this is the process of bringing them democracy. They killed some of our armed men trying to destroy their tribes. And so we must burn villages. Hey, the tree of liberty's got to be, you know, watered by blood. Yadda Yadda, right? By the blood of the people you're freeing. Yes. Exactly, bro. In his writings on the colony, Louis sketched out grand dreams of democratic rights and institutions for Algerians patterned off the French system. And a lot of this has to do with like, I want this, you know, enlightened electorate. And I want this education system and all this. But most Algerians couldn't read or write, right? Because that's just not a part of their lives. A lot of their culture is passed on in an oral tradition, all that stuff. And as it happens, the system they already lived under was super democratic. It was in fact more democratic than either France, or the United States at the time. Tribal councils, all of each of these different tribes, was kind of governed by tribal councils that were made up of adult men who reached consensus on major decisions. This was a stateless system. These are not nations. And it's, you know, that's to say that it wasn't like, again, it's all men. But so is the United States electorate. So is the French electorate at this point. It's not like anybody's good on that stuff. Right. And it is consensus driven. Rather than like, we have these elections and one party takes power. It's these councils representing all of the families in the tribe, figure out what to do and vote, kind of select representatives of the oldest wisest men in order to help make calls about things like, you know, when we go to fight against another tribe. Or like if somebody encroaches on our grazing lands or what to do if there's a drought. It is a, Robert, they're not wearing wigs. Yeah, they're not wearing wigs while they do it. So it's not democratic. I don't see how this is, this seems worse because like, how are you going to make democratic decisions without like old white men? Without real fucking big ass wigs. Exactly. It's got to be huge and weird. Fucking massive wigs. Exactly, dude. This is a, again, one of the, I find this interesting because this is a stateless system. And it was one that for a long time, Algerians had been relatively peaceful and devoided starving, right? The system like this, you can, you can call these things like primitive if you want, like, and people that the fucking French sure do. But like this works for a lot of people for a very long time in a pretty tough part of the world. Geographically, Algeria is a complicated place to stay alive in. Yeah. It works pretty well. And by all accounts, life was relatively decent there before the French took over. Napoleon's attempts to impose a different way on life and a people who had never seen themselves as part of the same entity was always destined for failure. They didn't see themselves as Algerians because they weren't. They were just like some tribes living in an area. Yeah. They just, someone just gave them labels and they were just like, no, that's not what you're saying about. I think this is another area where like the things he'd been reading about Native Americans had colored his opinion because he, he saw the Algerians as a race in decline, which is definitely how the Europeans looked at indigenous Americans. Even though there was no evidence that they'd been in any kind of trouble under the Ottomans, right? They were not like having serious problems. It was, again, you know, it's not a perfect, I'm not trying to paint this as like a fucking paradise, but like there was no evidence that they were having any particular kind of issues. But Napoleon's going to fix all that. He's going to give them some serious goddamn problems. And we're going to talk about that. But first, Matt. What? You know what Napoleon would love me to use my soundboard right now? That's right, baby. Sorry. No, what? What would he like? Do you like, do you should get a soundboard from a, from Bill and Ted's excellent adventure, stick a stick and a pulley and bone apart on in there? Oh shit. Fuck. Too late for that. But hey, doing post. Yeah. You just remember one of the classic lines from that movie, all of which I have forgotten at this point. Yeah. The guitar sound when they're excited. Mm-hmm. George Carles. And also the sound they make when they come. Yeah, that's right. Think about Keanu Reeves coming and then buy some products. That's the way it sounds, baby. This podcast is sponsored by Gif Well. Hey, it's the holidays. It is a great time to open your hearts and your wallet to help out other people. But if you're donating to a charity this season, how can you feel confident that your donations are making the best impact they could make? Well, you could do hours of research yourself or you could visit There you'll find free research and recommendations about charities that can save or improve the most lives per dollar. 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I'm sure he'd answer. He seems cool. I'm sure he would have an answer. I'm not sure he'd appreciate that specific question. Oh, no, yeah, that's certainly wouldn't appreciate it, but he would have something for it. So Napoleon III's whole goal is to take the Algerian people out of the place they had been living out of their ancestral homelands to pump make. So basically no one owned land in Algeria, right? You had like these. There's our hunting ground. This is where we graze our sheep and if a tribe comes in maybe there would be a conflict over it. Nobody, people didn't have like a paper that said this or like. Yeah, yeah. He basically is going to over the course of his time in power take away all of the lands owned by tribes because there's initially this sense of like, well, what if we give the tribes some land and some of it becomes frances, he's going to get rid of all of that over time because his goal is to force all of these people who are again, perfectly happy, living in the fucking hills and mountains and whatnot of Algeria and force them to move into modern cities with wide French style boulevard's electric power and parliamentary democracy. Now, that'll work out. That'll work out. It doesn't. There's a fucking insurrection. And the first thing Napoleon does when this insurrection happens is he appoints a new leader, a non-military leader because he's like, well, maybe they killed those soldiers because the military was being too aggressive. You know what I'll do? I'm going to put my best guy in charge of things. You know who that's going to be? Greg Napoleon. Yeah. Prince Jerome, the guy who had fucking fled the field and Crimea. Old ex-bad. Yeah, it's me. Yeah, it's me. It's me, Jerry Neppley Paul. Yeah. So he puts gutless Bonaparte in charge, replacing the old military leader of the colony. And again, the military, their solution to problems was mass occurring villages. So I'm not saying like he should have let those guys stay in power. But Prince Jerome is like a high society liberal and he brings with him to Algiers, a coderie of Parisian high society liberals. And he's going to attempt to democratize Algierie. And I'm going to read again from the shadow emperor here. Quote. The brooding plan, that's his other nickname. Personally knew nothing about Algieria. It's history or it's people and had no plans to learn by touring the country or indeed, even to leaving the capital of Algiers. He was only interested in introducing his personal theoretical liberal reforms. But when, for instance, on February 16th, 1859, he announced from France where he had returned in December of 1858, that the natives would be free to sell or acquire land, including tribal land, all sides were up in arms. Strictly defined lands can no longer easily be confiscated by the state. The result, the tribes would eventually break up to disintegrate and disappear. As the totality of their tribes literally constituted Algieria, this meant the entire social structure protecting the members of each tribe, but no longer exist, resulting in a veritable diaspora of tribesmen. And today, one of the big social problems France has is that there's this constant wave of people fleeing Algieria, which has caused a lot of particularly racist in France, how a lot of issues with that. This is where that all starts, right? This is like why they come over to France because the French emperor destroys the entire social structure. Exactly. And suddenly people have like no where to be. That turns out that's a bad idea. Just one of them to wear wigs and have papers that say this my house. That's all. Yeah, and then they came to France and all of the racists were angry about it for forever. So when this uprising starts in 1864, it's clear that Plan Plan has failed. And when he visits Algieria, the emperor brings with him an authoritarian regime to replace Plan Plan's liberal one, which was going to use terrible force to bring peace. He appoints a military officer, Patrice Dimichmaten, who goes on a spree of massacres. Despite this, Algieria's vast size and diffuse population proved difficult to control. The population migrations caused by land reform policies and waves of refugees from the fighting ran up against a horrible drought that hit in 1867 and 1868, devastating local agriculture. Next came a series of earthquakes and then cholera and typhoid epidemics. These disasters had all occurred in the past and had been handled by Algierians through mutual aid. These tribes had ways of, this is the same thing you see in India when the East India company takes over, destroy all these different trading agreements within villages because people had always dealt with bad times and when one village doesn't produce enough food, other villages didn't tend to let them starve to death. Tribes in Algieria work the same way. We take care of each other when things are really bad because that's just better for everybody. Napoleon III has destroyed all of these structures that used to protect people that used to allow folks to deal with this kind of shit in addition to killing a shitload of them. So the chaos of the epi of Napoleon meant that there was nothing in place to protect these people. More than 300,000 Algierians die in a four year period. This is from disease, along with 350,000 who are killed by the military in an ethnic cleansing. This amounts to one third of the Algierian population pre-loyalist. Oh, shit. Yeah, this is like pretty bad genocide. So you know, that's if you're wondering why Algieria has had a rough time of it in the last century or so. A little history to it. Yeah. Might be a little bit of history there. Might be a little bit of context you're missing out on. Might be a super obvi- might be entirely France's fault, right? Oh. I mean, broke, fixed it. They're not wearing wigs. Yeah. Well, now they are. So at around the same time, while all this is going on in Algieria, Louis Napoleon is fucking around in a weirdly similar way in a completely different part of the world. Mexico. Now as I'd said, he spent years, most of the early 1860s, trying to convince Maximilian Habsburg to become the Emperor of Mexico. They're talking about this for years. Now, Maximilian is an interesting dude. Again, he's the younger brother to France, Joseph, the Emperor of Austria-Hungary, who Louis had recently bested in a war. And Max had kind of a fraught relationship with his brother. They were closest kids. But as they get older, his brother thinks that he's gunning for the throne. And so he keeps trying to foist him off on these do-nothing jobs. Maximilian is kind of running Austria and Italy for a while before he gets overthrown, basically. And he's when he's kind of running Austria and Italy, he's trying to be like this liberal, right? Where he's like, well, maybe they'll like being ruled by Austria if I introduce reforms. I'm like, I never works because people don't like to be ruled. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But anyway, no, but you can have some speech. Yeah, not against the Austrian dynasty, but it's like a crazy year. Yeah. Anyway, it doesn't work great. He gets run out of town on the fucking rails. And yeah, Louis, you know, he's got this, his older brother kind of wants him away. And so the fact, the idea, like the Franz Joseph actually winds up backing Napoleon's plan to make him the Emperor Mexico for a while. He's like, send him across the city. Yeah, and get in the fuck out. Well, in part because he can make him sign a contract saying, I give up my right to inherit the Habsburg throne. Oh, very long. Because you can't, you know, be the king of the Emperor Mexico and be the Emperor, you know, in line for the empire of Austria, Hungary. Oh, sorry. The arbitrary rules are arbitrary rules. Yeah. And Maximilian is a very similar kind of guy to plan plan. He's this idealistic naive, arrogant liberal who wants to reform things and be seen as a reformer, but also wants to be the guy running things and wants it all to be done his way. Yeah. And he does, he wants to reform Mexican society in what you might call vaguely center left directions. And doing this means though, defeating the already pretty for the time left wing legitimate government of Mexico, which is a republic currently governed by the elected leader who was an indigenous Mexican man named Benito Juarez. I'm like he's got indigenous ancestry and he's Juarez is a fascinating, fascinating man, a tough son of a bitch. Cool, cool, cool ass dude. He had been elected president after finishing a vicious civil war, beating the conservatives who sought an autocratic dictatorial form of government different from Juarez's republic. So Maximilian, he wants kind of a broadly similar social structure to what the Mexican Republicans are pushing. He just wants to run it, which is one it's not like he's not like that Mexico had this like horrible dictatorship. They had just fought a war and a Republican been elected kind of along the lines that Maximilian thought was good. He just wanted to kill them and do it himself. Yeah, yeah, he's like, okay, but what you guys got this Mexican doing the job? And this is the problem. I'm not going to take an hour. Look at my chin. It's funny. This guy isn't even in bread. What the fuck? People will make a Habsburg chin jokes at Edward Habsburg on Twitter and he'll always respond by like, oh, get another joke guys. And it's like, well, that's the joke because your family ruled the world while like constantly fucking each other and producing kids who like didn't like couldn't functionally rule the countries they were born to inherit and it led to millions of deaths, millions and millions of deaths. Yeah, that's the joke Edward. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's that's what makes it funny. Oh, yeah, that's what I have a joke about my genocidal fucking bloodline. Fucking Habsburgs God, you you are never wrong in shit talking a Habsburg. Always go after them. Always go after Habsburgs. So you know, you know, who learned that lesson well, Gafferlo Princep. Oh, hello. Oh, yes, you do. Oh, God, we love a Habsburg dropping king. We love a good dead fronks for the men joke. Yeah, good stuff. So anyway, Maximilian, he has all these political theories that he wants to test out. He's thinking about if you like again, and I really do the book, The Last Emperor of Mexico by Edward Chocross. Fucking good book, incredibly readable. I had I finished it in just a couple of days because I couldn't put the thing down really, really well written book. It one of the points that he makes is that or at least the way in which I interpret Maximilian as being based on the way he portrays him in the book is a guy who has all these little fun theories about how he might want to run a country and he almost approaches being the Emperor of Mexico is like playing a game of civilization. Yeah, he's excited to try a new thing out in his game. But he does, he draws a hard line with Lewis Napoleon, which is that he won't agree to go to Mexico and try to be the Emperor unless the Mexican people themselves acclaim their desire to be governed by him. Now, this was never going to happen. One thing, Mexico is very large and most of the people living there have absolutely no connection to like global culture. Yeah, exactly. Go to somebody in the fucking Chihuahua and be like, hey, do you want a half-sperig emperor? Dude, what the fuck, man? I got stuff going on. What are you talking about? The idea that these guys would be able to rule a land mass based on borders that they just kind of invented is great. I mean, to be honest, it's never worked out well for the Mexican government. No one has ever been good at governing Mexico. No one can figure it out. So basically what happens is that Napoleon III works with a cadre of defeated conservative Mexican officers to trick Max into thinking that his reign is supported. And then he sends a French army into Mexico to conquer it from the legitimate government. Now, this first army gets its ass kicked because Benito Wares, pretty good military commander. But also, again, the Mexican state has just finished several civil wars. It's battered. They don't have a super functional military compared to the French military, which a lot of people will say is the best in the world in this period of time, or at least one of them. So Louis Napoleon sends a much larger army next, which succeeds in smashing all resistance and conquering Mexico. But it conquers Mexico the same way the US conquers Afghanistan. They conquer a bunch of cities leading to the capital and kind of control the roads, right? But that's all they have. Because they only send like 50,000 men, I think, at the height, which is, again, Mexico's quite big. Yeah, yeah, no, it's a big, big place. Cisable nation. Yeah, what a land. So they're able to, and the French can beat because they've got a modern army, modern guns, the Mexican military doesn't really have a lot of that stuff. They can beat any field army that arrays itself against their main force. But that main force can only be in like one area at a time, and they can't with splitting the army up. Number one, sometimes you're going to lose groups of the army, right? Because you can't beat 100 French soldiers or something. And then the other problem is that like you can't hold anything but the cities in the roads. Now they do try to build up a Mexican army, like an imperial army. There's an imperial Mexican army. It is of debatable competence. Again, think of Afghanistan. This is actually very similar to fucking Afghanistan. And it costs very quickly skyrocket. Now Napoleon III, basically his business plan here had been, well, conquer Mexico. We'll stick this guy on the throne. You know, pretty soon he'll be able to, he'll just take over the Mexican army and they'll keep the peace. And then France will get to basically, to get its pick of all of the resources in Mexico. Yeah, get all that silver, dude. There's a lot of good shit in Mexico. Yeah. And then we, this will work out. We need a couple of years of costs and then it'll be worth it. He is as good a businessman as Elon Musk. Yes, that's how the shit works. It's been $44 billion and he's going to go, now everyone gets a blue check tomorrow. Yeah, the Mexican people here are Twitter and they're about to do what Twitter did when Musk took over, which is start a massive grassroots rebellion against the empire. Everyone just has fake accounts saying they're a Habsburg. Just a shitload of Habsburg accounts. So Max Emilian enjoys fairly little popular support. He is handicapped by the fact that again, he's a liberal. So he keeps pushing through these liberal reforms and announcing these very liberal laws. But his entire base of support are like, Ghoulish right wingers. So the people who he is trusting to back him hate the way he wants to run the country. And when he does things that like Benito Juarez's supporters probably would have liked in a different circumstance, his primary backers desert him. And so he has to like crack down on the people of Mexico in order to like get their support back, which fuels the rebellion. It's just a doomed situation. Yeah, he's threatening an unthreadable needle. Yeah, it's not even a needle. He's just like sticking a string into a solid nail. Yeah. Why would it go through? I can't get anything through this fucking needle. This is bullshit, dude. This shouldn't be as hard. So the fuckery reaches its peak under what becomes called the black decree, or Bando Negro, of 1865, in which all captured Republican soldiers are to be executed without trial. Now, do you think this lowers the tensions? Yeah, I think it definitely just completely equalizes it. Everyone's like, oh man, fuck, I guess we won't do this no more. So what happens, the what this actually results in, is the Republicans are like, well, in whenever we capture French soldiers and Mexican imperial soldiers or government officials, we will kill them without trial. And of course, this leads to the slaughter of thousands and thousands of people. Just nightmare-ish blood left. When Max had headed over to take command of the government, Louis Napoleon had promised him that all the resources of the French state would be dedicated to seeing the success of his imperial project. But costs quickly outstripped what Louis had been willing to pay. And since the imperial government didn't control much actual territory, exploiting Mexican resources for a French profit proved impossible. In 1866, all of this came to a head for several reasons. One, the US Civil War ended. The reason why Louis Napoleon had timed sending Max Million over there was that the US was fighting a civil war. And he was like, this will keep Machuipide for a while. They won't be able to get involved. But his plan was to make a fire break for US power, right? Well, they're busy fighting themselves. I will establish control over Mexico using Max Million. And then by the time they finish, this will just be done and they won't be able to stop it. Now, so the US Civil War ends. And now the US is no longer distracted. The Union starts sending weapons across the river to Benito Juarez. Because we're like, well, we don't really like this at all. And there are constant worries. It's a legitimate worry that the Americans might just invade and attack the French army in Mexico, which we could have done. And it would have been the only time US troops entered Mexico for a reason that wasn't fucked up. Yeah, for a cool one. Yeah, we almost invaded Mexico for a good reason. Oh, we didn't. We didn't. We continued our streak of only fucking over Mexico. Yep. A proud and time honored American tradition of Americans fucking with Mexico stealing land and destroying entire political structures. This is kind of the one time in which we were almost nice to Mexico. Oh, man. So close. And we will talk about what happens next. But first, you know who is nice to Mexico? Me. That's right. Matt Leib, our primary sponsor. Let me show you. Let me show you. This whole podcast is paid for by Matt Leib. That's right. He just keeps getting credit cards. I just listen. I am in a lot of debt right now. But if people can get their bastards content, I'm willing to pay. So thank you, man. So thank you, man. So thank you, man. So thank you, man. I'm on product. Matt Leib. By me. He's just sending money so he can keep financing this debt. Help. This holiday season, the best deal in wireless can only be found. It meant mobile. Right now, when you switch to bent mobile and buy any three month plan, you'll get another three months for free. As the first company to sell premium wireless service online only, Mint Mobile lets you order and activate from home with ESIM while saving tons on phone plans starting at just $15 a month. Mint Mobile's best offer of the year is here for a limited time by any three month plan and get three more months for free. By going online only with ESIM and eliminating the traditional cost of retail, Mint Mobile passes significant savings on to you. So you can use your own phone with any Mint Mobile plan and you can switch easily and effortlessly with ESIM. For a limited time by any three month Mint Mobile plan and get three more months free by going to slash behind. That's slash behind. So cut your wireless bill to $15 a month at slash behind. Hi, everyone. I'm Lauren Brite Pacheco, host of Symptomatic, a medical mystery podcast from I Heart Radio. Each week we unravel the medical mystery of a person's baffling symptoms and explore how their lives were turned upside down in search of answers. That's one of those ones that it's tough to revisit. So trauma is the only word I could probably use for that. That really scared me because if I had my kids in the car, you know, anything could have happened. I knew at that point that I needed to figure out what was going on with me. I could no longer ignore what I was going through. I had to find answers. You can listen to Symptomatic, a medical mystery podcast on the I Heart Radio app or wherever you get your podcasts. It's gifting season and you have no idea what to get that special cook in your life. Want to know what I'm giving this year? Meter, a smart meter thermometer that keeps an eye on your cook and even alerts you in the meter app when it's ready to come out of the oven. Oh, and it works on the grill too. Meter makes meat juicy and perfectly cooked every time. So add meter to your list. It's the perfect gift for the perfect meal. Use code podcast 10 to get 10% off at meter dot com. We're back. So at the same time that his that Maximilian's Mexican Empire is collapsing, shit in Europe starts to go wrong with the Prussian auto von Bismarck launching a war against Austria. Napoleon in a secret meeting with Bismarck agrees not to defend Austria's friends Joseph and part of the so Bismarck is like, Hey man, I got to war with Austria. You don't really like this guy. You thought I'm an award. Just let me do it once. I'm going to take some shit and you know what? You'll get some territory, right? So this territory is kind of like on the border of like Italy and France and all this stuff. You'll get some of that. You know, it'll work out great for you. You know, you just got to let me deal with them and I'll give it to you. Like trust me, you know, it'll be good. Trust me. I'm auto von von von. I'm auto von Bismarck. Most trustworthy man in Europe. So Bismarck, like Napoleon decides to do this because number one, how am I going to get some land out of it? That'll be good. And number two, this is going to be years, right? Austria and Germany fighting each other. They're basically equal. You know, they'll be locked into this brutal way. It'll weaken both of them and then France will be even stronger. There's no way this will get done quickly. Yeah. Seven weeks say. It is over almost immediately because what auto von Bismarck has done is invent Germany. And if you know one thing about Germany, pretty good at war. Pretty good at war in Western Europe. Yeah. Like the way ours is baseball, theirs is doing war. Yeah. In Western Europe, once they go east, it gets a lot messier for them. No one can figure that out. But Russia and in Western Europe. Yeah. So as you said, they basically win this war against Prussia immediately. And then as soon as they do, Napoleon's like, so how about that territory that you guys said I could get? And the fucking Bismarck said, what was that? Huh? Oh, you didn't always, I said psych afterwards. Yeah. You know what I hear when I say psych? And going into this prior to the start of that war with Austria, the kind of assumption everyone else would have made is that like France was the premier land power in Europe. But part of what Napoleon III and everyone else realized when he get, when Prussia goes to war with Austria is that like, they got like 700,000 guys they can call up. And they're like, they're pretty good at this. This is actually a very frightening situation. I've just realized and tens of thousands of my best soldiers are in Mexico. Oh, yeah. Oops. Yes. Fuck. I didn't realize that you guys would get like really good at this. This is all gone terribly for me. So so he a Napoleon, Louis Napoleon is suddenly much less interested pouring men and resources into Mexico. He begins pressuring Maximilian to abdicate. But Max doesn't want to leave his empire. He's dedicated to it. The brave men fighting for him. He's very delusional is what's actually happening. I learn Spanish in everything. Like, you know, I'm usually leave now. I have a castle in everything. Yeah, I have a Hacienda and I abla a Spaniard. Yeah. I don't understand why I have to leave now. People love me. It is very funny because he like tries to eat a Mexican meal as soon as he arrives and he gets sick because it's too hot. Like, man, you can't eat fucking chilies and you think you're going to be the emperor of Mexico. My God. My God. He's on hot ones. Yeah. What a bitch. Yeah. So Louis Napoleon, yeah, is about to abandon him. I'm going to quote from the emperor of Mexico, the last emperor of Mexico again here. In August, Napoleon III tried to claim the territories that Bismarck had promised, but the Prussian chancellor responded with a diplomatic equivalent of laughing in the French Emperor's faces, pointing out that the Prussian army was already mobilized. Now it was war not only on the other side of the Atlantic that Napoleon III had to worry about now, but across the Rhine where Bismarck martyled the forces of German nationalism behind a militaristic regime. France was in a state of feverish crisis and attacks on Napoleon III's policy towards pressure were right, even Napoleon III's wife, Eugene, berated him for being outwitted by Bismarck. The last thing the French Emperor wanted was an unpleasant reminder of another unpopular foreign policy disaster. He tried to delay meeting with Carlotta, pleading illness he urged her to visit her brother in Brussels first, but Carlotta had already telegrammed the courts at Brussels in Vienna, informing them that she would not be visiting because of the refusal to send more volunteers. Ignoring the French Emperor's excuses, she proceeded to Paris. So Napoleon III has Eugene, tried to stop Carlotta from meeting with him, but she will not be dissuaded. And she eventually gets her audience with Napoleon III and she's been over in Mexico for a while. And while she's been over, things have gone a lot worse for him and he's gotten sick and old. So she sees this guy that all of her and her husband's hopes, Leon continued French support, they cannot hold onto their empire without France. She suddenly realizes that he's fucked, like he's old and broken and she loses her mind. She spends like the rest of her husband's reign locked into castle and it was completely out of her mind. She had been so invested in the idea of being the Empress and as soon as it becomes clear we're doomed. She can't function anymore. It's very funny. Like fuck her and fuck him. That's a million meanwhile being equally deranged, tries to continue the fight as French troops began to withdraw and I will give him credit for this, unlike Plomplon. He kind of ends on a courageous note, like he leads his army into a disastrous battle where they're under siege in the city for weeks. They win a couple of like battles where they like push out against the Mexican army and he like stays there until the bitter end in this really nasty situation. So there's a degree of at least physical courage he has while still being completely deranged. Um, he gets captured and executed. They fucking shoot his ass. They firing squad and they Benito Juarez. Again, the whole world guff all of the governments of the world start like begging Mexico to start sending people to Benito Juarez saying, please don't kill him. Don't kill him. He's a Habsburg, you know, Habsburg, the American presidents like guy don't do this. Don't do this. But Benito Juarez being rad as shit is like, look man, he was the emperor. He passed the black decree. All captured soldiers get executed. I'm not going to hold him do a different standard than the tens of thousands of men he had killed like fucking hell. He don't arrest kind of sick. The coolest, the goat. Maximilian died cursing Napoleon III for failing to come to his aid. Very funny. The second French intervention in Mexico lasted five and a half years and caused as many as 70,000 deaths, all of which happened at the instigation of Napoleon III. So by 1870, Louis Napoleon is a sick man and steep decline. France is still powerful and in fact wealthier than ever, but its military is geared toward the kind of colonial wars they've been fighting in Mexico. Think about how the US military specialized for Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a small professional force capable of besting insurgents and holding cities. The problem was Russia had focused on becoming a land power with a massive base of the French military on paper that can maybe get 400,000 troops together and that's going to be hard for them. It's going to take them some time to get everybody like in the same place. The Prussian military can in the space like a week or two have 700,000 men armed in marching. They are very, very good at this. They figured out this war thing. They figured out this war thing. And Otto von Bismarck makes it his goal during the late 1860s. I want to have a war with France. Number one, we lost a couple against Napoleon and that still wrangles us. Number two, I want some of this territory that's currently France, but that's right on the edge of Germany. I want to take that shit and I'm going to make a Germany. So Bismarck starts jinking and pushing to find a way in which to justify having a war with France. He needs a pretext. He needs a pretext. And specifically he wants France to start the war. Yes. That's the thing that he wants most. So in 1867, the same year, Maximilian gets shot to death in Mexico. Prussia forms the North German Confederation, the immediate precursor to the nation of Germany. Now everything comes to a head over the question of who will be the next king of Spain. For a brief period of time, the king of Prussia, who's Bismarck works for the king of Prussia, right? Germany's not a thing yet. The thing Germany becomes the thing based around the scaffolding of Prussia or is scaffolded around the core that is Prussia. The Prussian king puts forward a German prince to be the king of Spain and is like, hey, maybe this guy could do it. And the emperor of France is terrified by this, right? Luis Napoleon is like, well, if that happens, then France is going to be surrounded on both sides by states led by German emperors. I'm not going to let that happen. And the Prussian king who also doesn't really want war, Bismarck is orchestrating this. Is like, okay, hey, hey, you know, just an idea, just an idea, just an idea, just an idea. Just don't want to pitch it out of here. Just don't want to pitch it out of here. No bad suggestions or no bad ideas. So this gets rescinded, which should have been a big win for Napoleon III, but he's still really worried that the Prussians are going to try something. So he sends out his foreign minister and this guy, Count Benadetti, is the same as everyone else that Napoleon III picks for a job, shit eatingly and competent, right? If we know one thing about the man, he is not good at picking people. Yeah, it's just all of his drinking buddies. It's just like, hey, better dummy. You do it. Yeah, you get in there, Benny. Yeah, you got it. You got it, Benny. You got it. You got it. You got it. Yeah. So he sends Count Benadetti over to the King of Prussia, who's like, at a fucking bath, you know, he's doing like a big spa day to ask him to promise not every to put a German prince on the throne. And the conversation goes pretty well. Obviously, the King of Prussia doesn't want to war with France over this. But all of on Bismarck decides to do a little bit of fake news and spin this up as a diplomatic incident in which the French ambassador had been kicked out of the King's presence, never allowed, never to be allowed back again. This was not true. But Bismarck knows like all the matters is getting this bad news out there. Quote. By July 14th, the news is on the newspapers desk all over Europe. As soon as the news of the supposed diplomatic incident is published, the streets of the French capital are taken over by demonstrations against the Germans. The windows of the Prussian embassy are smashed by rioters. Meanwhile, in Germany, Bismarck fans the flames of nationalism by distributing for free copies of newspapers with his own version of the event in order to make it look like Benadetti was pestering the King with haughty demands. By the 15th of July, the French government is in turmoil and must compose with the allies clamoring for war and the suspicion of the opposition. There is a last attempt to ask clarifications from the Count Benadetti, but the telegram arrives too late and the careful examination of the diplomatic papers asked by the opposition is refused. And so basically, there's this, you know, Bismarck puts out this fake news that they insulted our national honor. Yeah, and this is called the M's dispatch. This like this diplomatic cable that goes out that like Bismarck fucking fucks with. You got to be real confident to be like, I'm going to make this kind of, you know, country clamor for war with us. And it works. The French people do. And Louis Napoleon, he is old and he is sick and he does not think this is a good idea. But all of these generals, the same ones who've convinced him, you know, to invade Indochina, say it's a good idea. And most importantly, his wife, Eugenie is like, if you don't do this, you're fucking coward. Yeah. This is how I come. Yeah. This is, I don't want to fuck you, but I want you to go to war against fucking pressure. I don't have sex. This is how I do it. They have a son at this point. Your son will have nothing to inherit if you don't go to war against Germany right now. You know, what kind of example are you putting for your son if you don't start a pointless war against the new great land power in Europe? So Louis Napoleon being fundamentally a coward in a lot of ways, declares war on Germany. Smart. This goes pretty bad. So for one thing, on paper, he's supposed to be able to get about 400,000 dudes together, which even though the Prussians outnumber that, you're on the defense. You've got castles and fortresses. You can win a war, a defensive war that way, especially if that's just kind of your first way. But he actually has trouble getting more than like a quarter of a million dudes together. The other problem is that. So you know how he forgot to bring artillery to the Crimean War? Yeah, yeah, I remember that. Never learns that lesson. So. I knew I forgot something. The artillery that the French bring into the Franco-Prussian War is the same artillery. In some case, literally the same guns that Napoleon had brought into battle in 1812. Oh boy. Yeah. Meanwhile, the Prussians have breached loading steel cannons with modern artillery. Yeah. They got shells and stuff. They're not just firing balls. They're not just shooting heavy balls real fast. Basically, the French cannons are like hucking a Mazda Miata, like pretty fast. And the German cannons are actual cannons. Yeah. The other thing that's approach... So the French aren't entirely like... It's not like they're entirely like behind the curve militarily. They've just been optimizing for these little, these little brush fire wars. So one thing they have on their side, the French regular forces, these colonial troops, have the best rifle in the world at the time. The Germans are astonished at how well this fucking gun works. It's a great, great infantry rifle. Very few of their soldiers actually have it, right? The actual territorial French army just has old-ass musket. So anyway, he goes... And he goes with this army to command it in the field. Because again, Eugenie basically tells him that he's a fucking cuck if he doesn't go with his army in battle. And he is dying of hemorrhoids, right? His fucking gallbladder is exploding. He's got gallbladder exploding. He can't sit. He can't stand. Yes, certainly he can command a field. He can barely move. He's got his teenage boy with him. And they have this one little battle where they move into Prussian territory and kill 60 guys. He gets his air close enough that a bullet whizzes over his head. He's like, there you go, you did it. You've been blooded in combat. And then they try to do a battle in a place called Sedan. And this is not a military history podcast, but it doesn't go well. In short, they get their asses absolutely handed to them. For all of military history since the age of Hannibal, one of the things that like generals will talk about is doing a can I, right? Can I is this famous battle where there's this 100,000 man Roman army and Hannibal surrounds it completely and then just spends a day butchering everyone slowly to death and excited. It's one of the most famous victories in all of military history. The Germans do a can I at Sedan. They surround the entire French military and kill quite a few of them. And this is actually kind of one of the last acts of heroism of Lewis Napoleon. Maybe the only one I guess would probably be to say is that his generals are like, no, no, no, we've got to fight until relief comes. We've got to keep it going. He looks out at what's happening. It's like there's 90,000 men here and the Prussians will kill them all. If we keep fighting, they will kill everyone here unless I personally surrender. Yeah. Now this is it the first thing he does. In fact, he attempts to get himself killed by Prussian fire multiple times before he does this. He does, he does go for suicide again. That is our boy. And it gets, he fails at getting shot. He cannot kill himself. He does get his aid to camp gets killed and like two of them get wounded when he just kind of like stands in front of these Prussians guns, but he doesn't get hurt at all. So he tries to kill himself. He accidentally shoots two more people now. He shoots another French soldier right in the fucking throat. Very funny. So yeah, he eventually goes to the Germans and is like, hey, you know, the Emperor of France and they're like, yeah, and he's like, he's me. And they're like, seriously? Yeah. They have no idea that he's there. They don't know that he. So this is a real dub for the Germans. Oh, sure. Yeah. Oh, sure. We got to the Emperor. And he's like, when he surrenders the, the like basically one of the conditions he does inters that he is surrendering his army. He's not surrendering for the nation of France. And very quickly after that, the French respond by having a revolution while they're fighting and losing this war. And he is no longer the Emperor of France. He spends some time in custody of the Prussians. They lock him up, but like rich guy style, you know, he's in like some sort of castle. Yeah. Nice, nice prison. He's right. He's fucking, you know, he's living his worst life. Yeah. He's living his worst life. His, his family has to deal with the fact that they are no longer running France. France kind of falls apart. The Germans lay siege to Paris. Oh, yeah. People are eating rats. People are eating rats. It is ugly. He does not leave the people of France very well induced towards Napoleon III. Although he never gives up hope of proclaiming another empire. Like he, because he flat, he goes back to exile in England and he spends the last couple of his years. He is actively working on another plan to return the France and take over the monarchy yet again. But then he dies in 1873 just before he can try his fourth coup attempt. And that would have been, honestly, I think, I think that time he'd have gotten it right. I think he would have gotten it right that time. I think it would have worked out. Everything would have been good. France could have been saved. One of the sad things is he gets like attacked a lot by the French and by like particularly conservatives in France for surrendering at sedan. His last words are we weren't cowards at Sedan, were we? Which is like, no, I do, that was like the only thing you did that wasn't brave. The only thing you did that was actually putting other people's lives before you load your own. Yeah, that was like the first time like that empathy bone that your dad tried desperately to instill into you. Yeah, really, really gave everything he could, still being an absent father to push it to you. I mean, you know, hey, at that time, that was the best kind of fathering you can have. This is he is Lewis Bonaparte is the best father we've talked about on this show. 100% I feel confident saying that. Yes, just based on those like letters alone, you're just like, oh yeah, you know, he's sure he wasn't there and was like, I don't love you. And I think you're dumb and say it to his face. And you know, I think what did he say? Read your book, hated it. He did it, hated it. Stupid book. How dare you think you could write this? Still, best dad. Best dad. World's best dad so far on the show. Yeah. Well, Matt, that's the podcast. Well, that is a wonderful story of a great, great fail son. And the fail list of sons, the fail list of sons. I mean, you've got to hand it to him. He was able to actually achieve just enough to fail spectacularly, you know, getting captured is just, wow, chef's kiss. Yeah, that's a beautiful way to end your empire. Being captured and giving everyone Germany. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, inventing modern Germany. Yeah, yeah. That's a, hey, how's that going to go for the future? You think you're good? You know, I actually stopped reading my German history textbook in August 1, 1914, but it's going well. Yeah, so far so good. Yeah, I would love to meet whoever the current Kaiser is over there. Yeah, I'm sure he's cool and has been in power and stability and peace. That sounds like the Germany I probably know. Oh God. What a, you know, this was a fun one. Yes, it wasn't about Nazis, but it was about proto-fascism. Yeah, I love that. It is cool. It's cool and good. Matt, can people find you anywhere? You can find me on the world's only the wire rewatch podcast, pod yourself the wire, or the world's only sopranos podcast, pod yourself a gun. And once again, we're doing a live show at SF sketch fest Saturday, January 28th at 10 PM over at the piano fight theater. Go to SF and please buy tickets because it would be embarrassing if no one came. It would be embarrassing. Go there. Now find Matt Leib at SF sketchfest. You can see me in person. You can assassinate me. Yes. Sell your possessions. Fly to San Francisco. Live on the streets in the weeks leading up to the event. You know, you should and then kill me murder him. Murder me, please. And also, yeah, give us five stars in review. That's really all I want. Look, and, you know, there's enough listeners out there on this podcast that I should be able to break a thousand. Come on. There we go. All right. Yeah, those are my plugs, guys. I love you. I love you too. I love you. I love you more than my five week old daughter. Yeah. I don't think that's true. True, but I want you to think it's true. Yeah. There you go. Gaslight me. Mommy. Yeah. Gaslight me, daddy. We have a behind the bastards live stream event coming up with Margaret Kiljoy on December 8th at 6 p.m. Pacific using it ticket. Wow. Flash BTB. Heroic. Erotic. You pull it out. Yep. I'll be there watching on the live stream. You don't you don't have to do that. I'm gonna and I'm going to be in the comments section going kill me kill me kill me. Do it. Do it. And no one will be able to do it. I'm like Napoleon III in that way. And we are done. Boom. Shock a lot. Behind the bastards is a production of Cool Zone media. From more from Cool Zone media, visit our website or check us out on the I Heart Radio app Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. It's gifting season and you have no idea what to get that special cook in your life. Want to know what I'm giving this year? Meter, a smart meter thermometer that keeps an eye on your cook and even alerts you in the meter app when it's ready to come out of the oven. Oh, and it works on the grill too. Meter makes meat juicy and perfectly cooked every time. So add meter to your list. It's the perfect gift for the perfect meal. Use code iHeart10 to get 10% off at My name is John Thomas. I've increased my portfolio by 10 figures investing in the tech sector. 2023 is set to become the fitness technology revolution in the history of the world. Many of my clients will become multi-millionaires. These five companies will easily recoup your 2022 losses and a lot more. Go to top five Download my free report, that's top five What do a suicide pact, a false messiah and Napoleon have in common? Nothing. Each one is a seriously crazy story from Jewish history and we're going to be exploring them together. I'm Schwab. And I'm Ya'el. And we're the hosts of a new podcast called Jewish History Unpacked that is exploring some of the wildest stories in Jewish history. With the help of some experts, we'll get clarity on what actually went down hundreds and even thousands of years ago. Check out Jewish History Unpacked wherever you listen to podcasts.