Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington
The rivalry between England and France goes back thousands of years, but perhaps its most intense peak occurred during the early 19th Century. Emperor Napoleon aggressively expanded French borders into much of Europe, but he was foiled time and time again by the Duke of Wellington, a patient English statesman and soldier. Both commanders deeply admired each other, and Wellington even saved his enemy from execution after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. Still, their rivalry outlived the war. Wellington rubbed his victory in by sleeping with Napoleon's former mistresses, and Napoleon bequeathed assassination money to Wellington's enemies.