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  • Napoleon and Hitler Coincidences October 14, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary , trackback


    Personally Beach has always found the ‘coincidences register’ the most irritating of all genres. Typically, an historically illiterate conspiracy freak, notices some interesting parallels between two different events or more usually individuals. He or she, then, sends out a communication pointing out the ‘striking’ parallels. Then, other readers note other parallels (occasionally making them up) and, boom, before you know it, we have a giant snowball of coincidences and proof of divine will. Five hundred words proving that Genghis Khan and Obama live(d) similar lives and face(d) similar fates etc etc. The most famous example has to be the Kennedy-Lincoln Coincidences, which Wikipedia has labeled, on a very good page, as an urban legend. Both men died at a place with the initials PH; both men defeated an incumbent; both men were smiling before they were assassinated…  ‘Urban legend’ doesn’t perhaps do this genre full justice. If you take two lives you could pretty quickly run up enough stats, years and facts to find a number of coincidences: that is before you start inventing stuff. This is particularly true of two men who become president and were assassinated.

    Beach always assumed that the coincidence register was a weak-minded product of the internet age: the kind of thing we used to get in our emails when AOL dominated. But he recently, in that excellent book Stokker, Folklore Fights the Nazis, on the Norwegian occupation, came across a Second World War example. Someone in Norway (or elsewhere) had noticed that there are certain parallels between Hitler and Napoleon’s career. These are, remember, two world destroyers who wreck Europe, so that this is only to be expected. However, it is interesting that here the information was used to suggest that Hitler’s fall was imminent. This is a prophetic coincidence register then:

    1918 German Revolution

    1789 French Revolution


    1933 Hitler becomes Chancellor

    1804 Napoleon becomes Emperor


    1938 Hitler took Austria

    1809 Napoleon


    1941 June 22, Hitler invades Russia

    1812 June 23, Napoleon


    1943 ?

    1814 Napoleon’s fall in Russia


    Is anyone able to give examples of earlier coincidence registers? drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com