Napoleon wasn’t small at all!
He was 5 (French) foot, 2 inches and three lines, which makes him 168,5 Centimeters. That might not be considered tall today but back in 1835, four years after his death, the average soldier was 162 centimeters.
Napoleon was in fact 6,5 centimeters taller that the average of his army!
Why did the myth of the small Napoleon stuck? One reason might be a miscalculation from French foot (32,48) to English foot (30,48cm). Or the English were simply trying to discredit their enemy.
Illustration made for my solo show “Stimmt’s?” in Hamburg. Text by DIE ZEIT journalist Christoph Drösser (originally in German).