Auguste de Marmont

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Auguste de Marmont
Marmont.jpg
Auguste de Marmont, Marshal of France;
portrait by Jean-Baptiste Paulin Guérin
Born(1774-07-20)20 July 1774
Châtillon-sur-Seine, France
Died22 March 1852(1852-03-22) (aged 77)
Venice, Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia
AllegianceFlag of France.svg  France
Rank Marshal of France
Battles/wars French Revolutionary Wars, Napoleonic Wars
AwardsFirst Duc de Ragusa

Auguste Frédéric Louis Viesse de Marmont (20 July 1774 22 March 1852) was a French general and nobleman who rose to the rank of Marshal of France and was awarded the title Duke of Ragusa (French : duc de Raguse).

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

Contents

Biography

Marmont was born at Châtillon-sur-Seine, the son of an ex-officer in the army who belonged to the petite noblesse and adopted the principles of the Revolution. His love of soldiering soon showed itself, and his father took him to Dijon to learn mathematics prior to entering the artillery, and there he made the acquaintance of Napoleon Bonaparte, which he renewed after obtaining his commission when he served in Toulon. [1]

Châtillon-sur-Seine Commune in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

Châtillon-sur-Seine is a commune of the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France. The Musée du Pays Châtillonnais is housed in old abbey of Notre-Dame de Châtillon, within the town, known for its collection of pre-Roman and Roman relics.

French Revolution social and political revolution in France and its colonies occurring from 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

Dijon Prefecture and commune in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

Dijon is a city in eastern France, capital of the Côte-d'Or département in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.

The acquaintance ripened into intimacy; Marmont became General Bonaparte's aide-de-camp , remained with him during his disgrace and accompanied him to Italy and Egypt, winning distinction and promotion to general of brigade. In 1799 he returned to Europe with his chief; he was present at the coup d'état of the 18th Brumaire, and organized the artillery for the expedition to Italy, which he commanded with great effect at Marengo. For this he was at once made general of division. In 1801 he became inspector-general of artillery, and in 1804 grand officer of the Legion of Honour, but was greatly disappointed at being omitted from the list of officers who were made marshals. [1]

<i>Aide-de-camp</i> personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank

An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank, usually a senior military, police or government officer, or to a member of a royal family or a head of state.

Coup détat Sudden deposition of a government; illegal and overt seizure of a state by the military or other elites within the state apparatus

A coup d'état, also known as a putsch, a golpe, or simply as a coup, means the overthrow of an existing government; typically, this refers to an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a dictator, the military, or a political faction.

Battle of Marengo battle

The Battle of Marengo was fought on 14 June 1800 between French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte and Austrian forces near the city of Alessandria, in Piedmont, Italy. Near the end of the day, the French overcame Gen. Michael von Melas's surprise attack, driving the Austrians out of Italy and consolidating Napoleon's political position in Paris as First Consul of France in the wake of his coup d’état the previous November.

In 1805 he received the command of a corps, with which he did good service at Ulm. He was then directed to take possession of Dalmatia with his army, and occupied the Republic of Ragusa. For the next five years he was military and civil governor of Dalmatia, and traces of his beneficent régime still survive both in great public works and in the memories of the people. In 1808 he was made duke of Ragusa. [1]

Battle of Ulm battle

The Battle of Ulm on 16–19 October 1805 was a series of skirmishes, at the end of the Ulm Campaign, which allowed Napoleon I to trap an entire Austrian army under the command of Karl Freiherr Mack von Leiberich with minimal losses and to force its surrender near Ulm in the Electorate of Bavaria.

Dalmatia Historical region of Croatia

Dalmatia is one of the four historical regions of Croatia, alongside Croatia proper, Slavonia, and Istria.

Republic of Ragusa former maritime republic in southeast Europe

The Republic of Ragusa was an aristocratic maritime republic centered on the city of Dubrovnik in Dalmatia that carried that name from 1358 until 1808. It reached its commercial peak in the 15th and the 16th centuries, before being conquered by Napoleon's French Empire and formally annexed by the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy in 1808. It had a population of about 30,000 people, out of whom 5,000 lived within the city walls. Its Latin motto was "Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro", which means "Liberty is not well sold for all the gold".

In the War of the Fifth Coalition, he defeated an Austrian holding force in the Dalmatian Campaign of May 1809 and captured the opposing commander. Breaking out of Dalmatia, he reached Ljubljana (Laibach) in early June. After he defeated Ignaz Gyulai's corps in the Battle of Graz, Napoleon summoned the XI Corps to Vienna. [2] He arrived in time to fight in the Battle of Wagram on 5 and 6 July. [3] In the subsequent pursuit of Archduke Charles, Marmont got his corps into a difficult spot and was rescued only by the arrival of Napoleon with heavy reinforcements. [4] Napoleon made him a Marshal of France, though he said, "Between ourselves, you have not done enough to justify entirely my choice." Of the three marshals created after Wagram, the French soldiers said,

War of the Fifth Coalition conflict

The War of the Fifth Coalition was fought in 1809 by a coalition of the Austrian Empire and the United Kingdom against Napoleon's French Empire and Bavaria. Major engagements between France and Austria, the main participants, unfolded over much of Central Europe from April to July, with very high casualty rates for both sides. Britain, already involved on the European continent in the ongoing Peninsular War, sent another expedition, the Walcheren Campaign, to the Netherlands in order to relieve the Austrians, although this effort had little impact on the outcome of the conflict. After much campaigning in Bavaria and across the Danube valley, the war ended favourably for the French after the bloody struggle at Wagram in early July.

The Dalmatian Campaign saw several battles fought between 30 April and 21 May 1809 by Auguste Marmont's First French Empire soldiers and Andreas von Stoichevich's Austrian Empire troops. The Austrians drove the French from their positions on the Zrmanja River at the end of April. But in mid-May, the French counterattack forced back the Austrians. The defenders offered stout resistance, but ultimately Marmont broke out of Dalmatia and joined Emperor Napoleon's army near Vienna with over 10,000 men. The campaign was fought during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Dalmatia is part of the modern-day nation of Croatia.

Ljubljana Capital city in City Municipality of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana is the capital and largest city of Slovenia. It has been the cultural, educational, economic, political, and administrative centre of independent Slovenia since 1991.

MacDonald is France's choice
Oudinot is the army's choice
Marmont is friendship's choice. [5]

Jacques MacDonald Marshal of France

Étienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre MacDonald, 1st Duke of Taranto was a Marshal of the Empire and military leader during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Nicolas Oudinot Marshal of France

Nicolas Charles Oudinot, 1st Comte Oudinot, 1st Duc de Reggio, was a Marshal of France. He is known to have been wounded 34 times in battle. Oudinot is one of the Names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, Eastern pillar Columns 13, 14.

He was appointed governor-general of all the Illyrian provinces of the empire. In July 1810 Marmont was hastily summoned to succeed Masséna in the command of the French army in the north of Spain. His relief of Ciudad Rodrigo in the autumn of 1811 in spite of the presence of the British army was a great feat, and in the manoeuvring which preceded the battle of Salamanca he had the best of it. But Wellington more than retrieved his position in the battle, and inflicted a severe defeat on the French. Marmont and his deputy commander Comte Jean-Pierre François Bonet were both struck by shrapnel very early in the battle. Marmont was gravely wounded in the right arm and side and command of the battle passed to Bertrand Clausel. He retired to France to recover. [1]

In April 1813 Napoleon gave him the command of a corps, which he led at the battles of Lützen, Bautzen and Dresden. He then fought throughout the great defensive campaign of 1814 until the last battle before Paris. Marmont's forces fought a fighting retreat back to the commanding position of Essonne, inflicting high casualties on the enemy.[ citation needed ]

Marmont then took upon himself a political role, seeking to halt what he now saw as a pointless prolonging of a war which France would now assuredly lose. Marmont contacted the Allies and reached a secret agreement with them. As the Allies closed on Montmartre, Marmont—together with marshals Mortier and Moncey—marched to a position where they were quickly surrounded by Allied troops and then surrendered their forces, as had been agreed. [6]

Bourbon Service

Viaggio in Sicilia, 1840 Viaggio in Sicilia 2.jpg
Viaggio in Sicilia, 1840

Marmont stayed loyal to the restored Bourbon king Louis XVIII during the Hundred Days, and following Waterloo voted in favour of the execution of Marshal Ney.

He was made a peer of France and a major-general of the royal guard, and in 1820 a knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit and a grand officer of the Order of St Louis. He was the major-general of the guard on duty in July 1830 during the July Revolution, and was ordered to put down with a strong hand any opposition to the ordinances. Himself opposed to the court policy, he yet tried to do his duty, and only gave up the attempt to suppress the revolution when it became clear that his troops were outmatched. This brought more obloquy upon him, and the Duke d'Angoulême even ordered him under arrest, saying: [1]

Will you betray us, as you betrayed him?

Marmont accompanied the king into exile and forfeited his marshalate. His desire to return to France was never gratified and he wandered in central and eastern Europe, settling finally in Vienna, where he was well received by the Austrian government, and, strange to say, made tutor to the duke of Reichstadt, the young man who had once for a few weeks been styled Napoleon II. [1] Despite his long friendship with Napoleon, by this time the verb "raguser"—derived from his title, the Duke of Ragusa—was a household word in France: it meant "to betray". He died at Venice in March 1852, the last living Napoleonic Marshal.

Works

In his last years, Marmont spent much of his time working on his Mémoires, which are of great value for the military history of the time. [1]

His works are:

Family

In 1798 Marmont married Hortense de Perregaux, the daughter of Jean-Frédéric Perregaux, a Swiss (and Protestant) banker, later a founder and regent of the Banque de France, and Adélaïde de Praël de Surville, herself the natural daughter of the banker to the court of Louis XV, Nicolas Beaujon. They had no children and were divorced in 1817. She outlived him by five years, dying in Paris in 1857.

Evaluation

Marmont is perhaps one of the most controversial marshals created under the Empire. His reputation was tarnished by the betrayal of Napoleon and his defeat at Salamanca. However, on the whole Marmont's military career was quite impressive. He was perhaps the most educated of the marshals and one of the few to write a thesis on the art of war. He was a talented strategist, understanding the art of command and the movement of troops. He performed wonderfully in Dalmatia making what John Elting calls "a remarkable 300 mile march through frequently roadless country, scattering two Austrian forces, but clinging to his independent status..." [7] Perhaps even more impressive is his study and evaluation of the Spanish theater of the war. He studied Wellington's nature of war, refusing to give battle against the English unless the ground was of Marmont's choosing.[ citation needed ] This led to a series of maneuvers where Marmont frequently had the upper hand. Marmont understood the importance of cooperation in the Peninsula by supporting his fellow marshals. Tactically Marmont was deadly and quick to strike, but prone to sloppiness which caused him his two defeats.[ citation needed ]

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Marmont, Auguste Frédéric Louis Viesse de"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 744–745.
  2. Arnold, 113-115
  3. Arnold, 116
  4. Arnold, 174
  5. Arnold, 176
  6. Steven Englund, Napoleon: A Political Life (2005) p 415-6
  7. Eltling, John R. Swords Around a Throne: Napoleon's Grande Armee. New York: The Free Press, copyright 1988. 140.

Sources

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