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Rare Napoleon Kremlin letter up for auction

In the rare letter, Napoleon vows to blow up the Kremlin after his invasion of Moscow in 1812.

Napoleon kremlin letter 2012 11 30Enlarge
A photo taken in Paris shows a coded letter signed by French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The document in which Napoleon Bonaparte vows to blow up the Kremlin will go under the hammer on Dec. 2012, 200 years after the French invasion of Russia. (KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

A rare coded letter in which Napoleon Bonaparte vows to blow up the Kremlin is going on the auction block.

"At three o'clock in the morning, on the 22nd I am going to blow up the Kremlin," the famed French general wrote in a letter dated Oct. 20, 1812 and signed "Nap" in his hand.

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Written the day after his retreat from Moscow, the letter shows Napoleon at one of his weakest moments before the beginning of a disastrous westward retreat by French forces, according to The Associated Press.

The document, written in Napoleon's infamous numeric code, goes on sale Sunday at France's Fontainebleau Auction House, the AP reported.

It is currently part of a private collection.

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"Letters written by Napoleon from Russia are rare," Alain Nicolas, an expert for the auctioneer Ocenat, told AFP. "Many were lost, probably intercepted by the Russians."

The letter, which is accompanied by a second decoded sheet, is expected to fetch up to $19,500, Reuters reported.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/121130/napoleon-kremlin-letter-auction