A friend told me that Napoleon as a boy wished to join the RN. Considering history I find it hard to believe (and ironic if true). I know he was a fervent Corsican Nationalist at one time, but this seems extreme.
I’ve heard this before, apparently the ship he was going to be assigned to ended up shipwrecked with the loss of all hands. I’ll see if I can find a cite…
Ah, here we go. Apparently early in life he did have naval ambitions, but was selected for the École Royale Militaire in Paris before they came to fruition:
McLynn, (1997), Napoleon, p.23.
As a young man, George Washington wanted to join the Royal Navy, but his mom put the kibosh on that idea: