The article discusses the formation and evolution of the genre of «alternative history» in the field of history writing, politics, cinema and partly of fiction in relation to the era of the Napoleonic wars. The author comes to the conclusion that a special role in the development of «alternative history» belonged to Emperor Napoleon, one of the main purposes of whom was to justify his own, often, wrong decisions and actions, and at the same time to preserve one of the key places in world history. «Alternative» approaches, when referring to the era of Napoleon, initially played a prominent role in the political struggle in France and in other countries, including in Russia. The range of use of these sites of politicians was extremely high – from the functions of the «compensatory» to the presentation of political programs. By the way «alternative» Napoleon became also the favorite option of understanding a broad spectrum of problems of human life – love, choice, life, meaning, content and happiness. An appeal to the «alternative history» of the Napoleonic wars is the most important element of the modern historical, social, political and cultural discourse, and will persist in the short term.