March 31 1814: Allies Enter Paris

At 2 a.m. on the morning of March 31 1814, Marshal Marmont signs the final Armistice surrendering Paris to the Allied Armies. Marmont and the French Army are required to leave Paris by 7 a.m. that day. They begin to leave immediately. Paris is under foreign occupation for the first time since 1436, when the English last occupied the city.

Napoleon travelling ahead of his army reaches Juvisy, some 12 miles south of Paris, in the middle of the night. It is too late. The French army is already evacuating Paris. Napoleon withdraws to Fontainebleau, some 35 miles south-east of Paris. If he had arrived a day earlier, he may have been able to rally the troops in Paris’ defence, or have been responsible for leaving Paris in ruin.

At 11a.m, Czar Alexander triumphantly enters Paris together with King Frederick William III of Prussia, and Prince Schwarzenberg of Austria followed by troops from the conquering nations. Russian, Austrian and Prussian troops pass though the Avenue de Champs Elysees. Talleyrand is present to give Alexander the key to the city.

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