Jean-Andoche Junot

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Jean-Andoche Junot
Duke of Abrantes
General Jean Andoche Junot.jpg
Military Governor of Paris
In office
1803 – 1804

Jean-Andoche Junot, 1st Duke of Abrantes (French pronunciation:  [ʒɑ̃ ɑ̃dɔʃ ʒyno] , 24 September 1771 – 29 July 1813) was a French military officer during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Junot was born in Bussy-le-Grand, Côte-d'Or, son of Michel Junot, a farmer (1739–1814), and wife Marie Antoinette Bienaymé (1735–1806). His father was the son of François Junot (?–1759) and wife Edmée Laurain (1703–1784), while his mother was the daughter of Guy Bienaymé and wife Ursule Rigoley. Jean-Andoche went to school in Châtillon. He was studying law in Dijon when the French Revolution started. After joining a battalion as volunteer, he was twice wounded and also made sergeant. He first met Napoleon Bonaparte during the siege of Toulon in 1793, when he became his secretary (aide de camp).

Junot as a grenadier in 1792, by Felix Philippoteaux (1834) General Jean Andoche Junot.jpg
Junot as a grenadier in 1792, by Félix Philippoteaux (1834)

Italian campaign

He distinguished himself in Italy but received a serious head wound at the Battle of Lonato, which some claim led to a permanent change in his character, reduced the quality of his judgement and made him rash and temperamental. He was made a general of brigade at the beginning of the Egyptian campaign but was injured in a duel and captured when he was returning as an invalid to France. He later participated in the coup of 18 Brumaire. He married Laure (Laurette) Martin de Permond, a long-time friend of the Bonapartes, in 1800. He was briefly ambassador to Portugal before hurrying back to serve under Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz (2 December 1805).

Peninsular War

Junot's major command was during the Peninsular War, when he commanded the 1807 Invasion of Portugal. Setting out in November from Salamanca, with the promise of a ducal title and a marshals baton, his vanguard accomplished a bloodless occupation of Lisbon on 30 November. For this feat, he was granted the ducal victory title of Duc d'Abrantès and was made Governor of Portugal, though he was not given the baton.

However, when a British expeditionary force landed, Junot was beaten at the Battle of Vimeiro on 21 August 1808, and he was cut off from France. Only the signing of the advantageous Convention of Sintra allowed him to avoid capture, taking with him "the weapons and baggages" and pillage the army had managed to gather—an expression that later became famous in Portuguese usage. He went back to France in October, narrowly escaping a court martial. He returned to the Iberian peninsula in 1810 in command of the VIII Corps, under Marshal André Masséna, and was badly wounded.

Later years

In the Russian campaign Junot's record was erratic. He was blamed for allowing the Russian army to retreat following the Battle of Smolensk (17 August), but at the Battle of Borodino (7 September 1812) he commanded the 7th Corps competently. Junot's performance at Smolensk infuriated Napoleon to the point that he vowed never to grant Junot a baton.

In 1813 he was made Governor of the Illyrian Provinces but his growing mental instability, caused by his fall from favor, led to him being returned to France, to be placed under the surveillance of his father. Suffering from delirium he slashed at his broken leg and died of infectious complications several days later. Many think he committed suicide in Montbard by leaping from a window.

Family and relations

He had two daughters and three sons:

During the peninsular war, he had a relationship with Juliana de Almeida e Oyenhausen, daughter of Leonor de Almeida Portugal, 4th Marquise of Alorna.

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References

  1. Dubief, Sylvian. "Le général Junot en Egypte". napoleon.org (in French). Foundation Napoleon. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  2. Zamoyski, Adam (2018). Napoleon: the man behind the myth. London: William Collins. p. 192. ISBN   978-0-00-811609-5.
  3. Louis Andoche Junot D'abrantÈs

Further reading

Military offices
Preceded by Military governor of Paris
1803–1804
Succeeded by