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Dis Colon Rectum. 1988 Apr;31(4):303-5.

Piles of defeat. Napoleon at Waterloo.

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Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905.


Major events of history have frequently turned on seemingly trivial matters. One such situation involves Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo. Napoleon was not feeling well on the day of the battle of Waterloo, despite fighting well at Ligny, a few days before the last, dramatic June 18 battle. There is considerable indication that Napoleon was bothered by very painful thrombosed hemorrhoids. Did this affect his generalship that day? What is the evidence that Napoleon was afflicted with thrombosed hemorrhoids? What contribution could this factor have made to the French defeat at Waterloo?

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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