How tall was Napoleon Bonaparte? Was he an average height of that age?
The misconception that Napoleon Bonaparte was short comes from a number of different reasons. Firstly, at the time the British and French had different units of measurement and French feet were longer than the British, which meant that he was 5’ 2’’ in French feet, which translates to around 5’ 6’’ in modern feet which was relatively average for the time.
Many British sources misunderstood these measurements, and used his short height to make fun of the enemy general. The idea of Napoleon being short may also have arisen from his elite bodyguard, who were all over 6 foot and followed Napoleon everywhere, which would make him seem shorter. In all, Napoleon Bonaparte was an average height for the time, but due to a misunderstanding in French measurements, British propaganda, and the height of his bodyguards, the idea spread that he was short.