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Not a French natif but I think this is the so-called "imparfait de narration". E.g. Albert Camus est mort accidentellement en 1960. Albert Camus mourait accidentellement en 1960. This imperfect can be used when putting past events into perspective with a precise indication of time. See my question here Imparfait de narration : Emploi du verbe ...


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These links might help you as well: Napoleon Series Archive 2015 Moustache, le p'tit cabot de l'Empire Dictionnaire Anecdotes Bataille de Bassano Forum Napoléon Ier - Débattre dans le silence des passions La campagne de Russie


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