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|Born||9 March 1753|
|Died||14 June 1800 47) (aged|
Place Kléber, Strasbourg, France
|Service/|| French Royal Army |
French Revolutionary Army
|Years of service||1769–1770 (France) |
|Rank||General de Division|
|Unit|| 1st Hussar Regiment |
|Commands held||4th Haute-Rhin Battalion |
Army of Sambre-et-Meuse
Army of the Orient
|Battles/wars|| War of the Bavarian Succession |
|Awards||Inscription on the Arc de Triomphe |
(Southern Pillar, Column 23)
Jean-Baptiste Kléber (IPA: [ʒɑ̃ batist klebɛʁ] ) (9 March 1753 – 14 June 1800) was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars. His military career started in Habsburg service, but his plebeian ancestry hindered his opportunities. Eventually, he volunteered for the French Army in 1792 and quickly rose through the ranks.
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia and several other monarchies. They are divided in two periods: the War of the First Coalition (1792–97) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802). Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.
The French Army, officially the Ground Army to distinguish it from the French Air Force, Armée de l'Air or Air Army, is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces. It is responsible to the Government of France, along with the other four components of the Armed Forces. The current Chief of Staff of the French Army (CEMAT) is General Thierry Burkhard, a direct subordinate of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CEMA). General Burkhar is also responsible, in part, to the Ministry of the Armed Forces for organization, preparation, use of forces, as well as planning and programming, equipment and Army future acquisitions. For active service, Army units are placed under the authority of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CEMA), who is responsible to the President of France for planning for, and use, of forces.
Kléber served in the Rhineland during the War of the First Coalition, and also suppressed the Vendee Revolt. He retired to private life in the peaceful interim after the Treaty of Campo Formio, but returned to military service to accompany Napoleon in the Egyptian Campaign in 1798–99. When Napoleon left Egypt to return to Paris, he appointed Kléber as commander of the French forces. He was assassinated by a student in Cairo in 1800.
The Rhineland is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly its middle section.
The War of the First Coalition is the traditional name of the wars that several European powers fought between 1792 and 1797 against the French First Republic. Despite the collective strength of these nations compared with France, they were not really allied and fought without much apparent coordination or agreement. Each power had its eye on a different part of France it wanted to appropriate after a French defeat, which never occurred.
The Treaty of Campo Formio was signed on 18 October 1797 by Napoleon Bonaparte and Count Philipp von Cobenzl as representatives of the French Republic and the Austrian monarchy, respectively. The treaty followed the armistice of Leoben, which had been forced on the Habsburgs by Napoleon's victorious campaign in Italy. It ended the War of the First Coalition and left Great Britain fighting alone against revolutionary France.
A trained architect, Kléber, in times of peace, designed a number of buildings.
An architect is a person who plans, designs and reviews the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principal purpose. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek, i.e., chief builder.
Kléber was born in Strasbourg, where his father worked as a master builder. He briefly engaged in 1769 in the 1st Hussar Regiment, but resigned to study, from 1770 to 1774, architecture, partly in Paris with Jean Chalgrin. His opportune assistance to two German nobles in a tavern brawl obtained for him nomination to the military school of Munich. From this education, he obtained a commission in the Kaunitz regiment of the Imperial army, he took part in the War of the Bavarian Succession, but did not see major engagements, as he was stationed alternately in the garrisons of Mons, Mechelen, and Luxembourg in the Austrian Netherlands. He resigned his commission in 1783 on finding his humble birth hindered his chances for promotion.
Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department.
A master builder or master mason is a central figure leading construction projects in pre-modern times.
The 1st Parachute Hussar Regiment is an airborne cavalry unit in the French Army, founded in 1720 by Hungarian noble Ladislas Ignace de Bercheny. It is stationed in Tarbes and is a part of the 11th Parachute Brigade.
On returning to France he received the appointment of inspector of public buildings at Belfort, where he studied fortification and military science.
Belfort is a city in northeastern France in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté région, situated between Lyon and Strasbourg and approximately 25 km (16 mi) from the French-Swiss border. It is the biggest town and also the administrative centre of the Territoire de Belfort département. Belfort is 400 km (250 mi) from Paris, 141 km (88 mi) from Strasbourg, 290 km (180 mi) from Lyon and 150 km (93 mi) from Zürich. The residents of the city are called "Belfortains". The city is located on the Savoureuse river, on a strategically important natural route between the Rhine and the Rhône – the Belfort Gap or Burgundian Gate. It is located approximately 16 km (10 mi) south from the base of the Ballon d'Alsace mountain range, source of the Savoureuse. The city of Belfort has 50,199 inhabitants. Together with its suburbs and satellite towns, Belfort forms the largest agglomeration in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region with an urban population of 308,601 inhabitants.
In 1792 he enlisted in the Haut-Rhin volunteers. Thanks to his military knowledge, he at once gained election as adjutant and soon afterward as lieutenant-colonel.At the defense of Mainz (July 1793) he so distinguished himself that though disgraced along with the rest of the garrison and imprisoned, he promptly won reinstatement, and became in August 1793 a général de brigade. He won considerable distinction in the suppression of the Vendéans, and two months later gained promotion to général de division. In these operations began his intimacy with Marceau, with whom he defeated the Royalists at Le Mans and Savenay. When he openly expressed his opinion that the Vendéans merited lenient measures, the authorities recalled him; but re-instated him once more in April 1794 and sent him to the Armée de Sambre-et-Meuse.
Haut-Rhin is a department in the Grand Est region of France, named after the river Rhine. Its name means Upper Rhine. Haut-Rhin is the smaller and less populated of the two departments of the former administrative Alsace region, especially after the 1871 cession of the southern territory known since 1922 as Territoire de Belfort, although it is still densely populated compared to the rest of metropolitan France.
In the Siege of Mainz, from 14 April to 23 July 1793, a coalition of Prussia, Austria, and other German states besieged and captured Mainz from revolutionary French forces. The allies, especially the Prussians, first tried negotiations, but this failed, and the bombardment of the city began on the night of 17 June.
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house of French origin, a branch of the Capetian dynasty, the royal House of France. Bourbon kings first ruled France and Navarre in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma. Spain and Luxembourg currently have monarchs of the House of Bourbon.
He displayed his skill and bravery in the numerous actions around Charleroi, and especially in the crowning victory of Fleurus (26 June 1794), after which in the winter of 1794 – 1795 he besieged Mainz. In 1795, and again in 1796, he held the chief command of an army temporarily, but declined a permanent appointment as commander-in-chief. On 13 October 1795 he fought a brilliant rearguard action at the bridge of Neuwied, and in the offensive campaign of 1796, he served as Jourdan's most active and successful lieutenant, with his victory at Siegburg on 1 June that year enabling Jourdan to get the bulk of the French force across the Rhine.
After the retreat to the Rhine, he again declined a chief command, he withdrew into private life early in 1798. He accepted a division in the expedition to Egypt under Bonaparte, but suffered a wound in the head at Alexandria in the first engagement, which prevented his taking any further part in the campaign of the Pyramids, and caused his appointment as governor of Alexandria. In the Syrian campaign of 1799, however, he commanded the vanguard, took El-Arish, Gaza, and Jaffa, and won the great victory of Mount Tabor on 15–16 April 1799.
When Napoleon returned to France towards the end of 1799, he left Kléber in command of the French forces. men against 60,000 Turks, Kléber's forces utterly defeated the Turks on 20 March 1800. He then re-took Cairo, which had revolted against French rule.In this capacity, seeing no hope of bringing his army back to France or of consolidating his conquests, he negotiated the Convention of El-Arish (24 January 1800) with Commodore Sidney Smith, winning the right to an honorable evacuation of the French army. When Admiral Lord Keith refused to ratify the terms, Kléber attacked the Turks at the Battle of Heliopolis. Although he had only 10,000
Kléber, son of an operative mason and a prominent freemason himself, was attestedly instrumental in bringing freemasonry to Egypt. While he was negotiating with Sidney Smith in January 1800, Kléber opened a masonic temple in Cairo and thus created the Isis lodge (La Loge Isis), serving as its first master.
Shortly after these victories, while Kléber was walking in the garden of the palace of Alfi bika, he was knifed by Soleyman El-Halaby, an Arab Syrianstudent living in Egypt. The assassin appeared to be begging from Kléber, but then took his hand and stabbed him in the heart, stomach, left arm, and right cheek, before running away to hide near the palace. He was soon caught, with the dagger which he had used to kill Kléber, and was later executed. The assassination happened in Cairo on 14 June 1800, coincidentally the same day on which his friend and comrade Desaix fell at Marengo. The assassin's right arm was burned off, and he was impaled in a public square in Cairo and left for several hours to die. Suleiman's skull was shipped to France and used to teach French medical students what the French authorities claimed was the bump of "crime" and "fanaticism".
After his assassination, Kléber's embalmed body was repatriated to France. years until Louis XVIII granted Kléber a burial place in his home town of Strasbourg. He was buried on 15 December 1838 below his statue located in the center of Place Kléber. His heart is in an urn in the caveau of the Governors beneath the altar of the Saint Louis Chapel in Les Invalides, Paris. Kléber's name is inscribed in column 23 on the southern pillar of the Arc de Triomphe.Fearing that his tomb would become a symbol of Republicanism, Napoleon ordered it held at the Château d'If, on an island near Marseilles. It stayed there for 18
Kléber emerged as undoubtedly one of the greatest generals of the French revolutionary epoch. Though he distrusted his powers and declined the responsibility of supreme command, there is nothing in his career to show that he would have been unequal to it. As a second-in-command no general of his time excelled him. His conduct of affairs in Egypt, at a time when the treasury was empty and the troops were discontented for want of pay, shows that his powers as an administrator were little – if at all – inferior to those he possessed as a general.
Between 1784 and 1792, Kléber designed a number of buildings both on public and private commission. Perhaps the most notable is the current town hall of Thann, Haut-Rhin (1787–1793), which was originally designed as a hospital but turned into an administrative building before its completion.Other surviving buildings are the château of Grandvillars (often erroneously spelled "Granvillars"), built around 1790 and the canoness houses of the Benedictine abbey of Masevaux (1781–1790). Nine of these houses had been planned but due to the French Revolution, only seven were built. The Musée historique de Strasbourg features a room dedicated to Jean-Baptiste Kléber that also displays a number of his sketches and architectural designs.
The Château d'If is a fortress located on the island of If, the smallest island in the Frioul archipelago situated in the Mediterranean Sea about 1.5 kilometres offshore in the Bay of Marseille in southeastern France. It is famous for being one of the settings of Alexandre Dumas' adventure novel The Count of Monte Cristo.
François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers was a French general of the Revolutionary Wars.
Jean Lannes, 1st Duc de Montebello, Prince de Siewierz, was a Marshal of the Empire. He was one of Napoleon's most daring and talented generals. Napoleon once commented on Lannes: "I found him a pygmy and left him a giant". A personal friend of the emperor, he was allowed to address him with the familiar "tu", as opposed to the formal "vous".
Louis-Alexandre Berthier, 1st Prince of Wagram, Sovereign Prince of Neuchâtel, was a French Marshal and Vice-Constable of the Empire, and Chief of Staff under Napoleon.
Jean-Baptiste Drouet, Comte d'Erlon was a marshal of France and a soldier in Napoleon's Army. D'Erlon notably commanded the I Corps of the Armée du Nord at the battle of Waterloo.
The Battle of Abukir was a battle in which Napoleon Bonaparte defeated Seid Mustafa Pasha's Ottoman army on July 25, 1799, during the French campaign in Egypt. It is considered the first pitched battle with this name, as there already was a naval battle on August 1, 1798. No sooner had the French forces returned from a campaign to Syria, than the Ottoman forces were transported to Egypt by Sidney Smith's British fleet to put an end to French rule in Egypt.
Jacques-François de Menou, baron of Boussay, later Abdallah de Menou was a French statesman of the French Revolution and general of the French Revolutionary Wars.
The French campaign in Egypt and Syria (1798–1801) was Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign in the Ottoman territories of Egypt and Syria, proclaimed to defend French trade interests, seek further direct alliances with Tipu Sultan, weaken Britain's access to India, and to establish scientific enterprise in the region. It was the primary purpose of the Mediterranean campaign of 1798, a series of naval engagements that included the capture of Malta.
Louis Charles Antoine Desaix was a French general and military leader. According to the usage of the time, he took the name Louis Charles Antoine Desaix de Veygoux.
The Place Kléber is the central square of Strasbourg, France.
The Battle of Heliopolis was a French victory by the armée d'Orient under General Kléber over the Ottoman army at Heliopolis on 20 March 1800.
The military career of Napoleon Bonaparte spanned over 20 years. As emperor, he led the French Armies in the Napoleonic Wars. He is widely regarded as a military genius and one of the finest commanders in world history. He fought more than 70 battles, losing only eight, mostly at the end. The great French dominion collapsed rapidly after the disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812. Napoleon was defeated in 1814; he returned and was finally defeated in 1815 at Waterloo. He spent his remaining days in British custody on the remote island of St. Helena.
The Army of the West was one of the French Revolutionary Armies that was sent to fight in the War in the Vendée in western France. The army was created on 2 October 1793 by merging the Army of the Coasts of La Rochelle, the so-called Army of Mayence and part of the Army of the Coasts of Brest. In 1793 the army or its component forces fought at Second Châtillon, First Noirmoutier, La Tremblaye, Cholet, Laval, Entrames, Fougères, Granville, Dol, Angers, Le Mans and Savenay. After the main Vendean army was crushed, the revolt evolved into guerilla warfare and there were few pitched battles. In 1794 Louis Marie Turreau tried to suppress the rebellion with extremely brutal methods using the infamous infernal columns. Calmer heads finally prevailed and Turreau was recalled. On 6 January 1796, the army was absorbed into the newly-formed Army of the Coasts of the Ocean. The Army of the West came into existence a second time on 17 January 1800 and was finally suppressed on 21 May 1802.
Jean Léchelle or Jean L'Échelle briefly commanded a French army during the French Revolutionary Wars. Having served in the French Royal Army as a youth, the outbreak of the French Revolution found him employed as a fencing master. He was elected to lead a volunteer National Guard battalion which fought at Valmy and Jemappes in 1792. He earned promotion to general officer after distinguishing himself at the Siege of Valenciennes and saving a representative from an angry mob. He won such favor with the politicians and the war office that he was rapidly catapulted into command of an army in the War in the Vendée. After the capable battalion leader demonstrated his total unfitness for the post of army commander, he was just as quickly arrested and thrown into prison where he died, a probable suicide.
Jean Ambroise Baston de Lariboisière, also Count de Lariboisière, was a general of artillery of the First French Empire. He fought in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars and died of fatigue at Königsberg in East Prussia on 21 December 1812, during the Grand Army's retreat from Moscow.
François-Étienne de Damas was a French general.
Count of the Empire Pierre-Louis Dupas was a French soldier who rose to prominence during the French Revolutionary Wars, was noted for his association with Napoleon Bonaparte, and rose to the top military rank of General of Division during the Napoleonic Wars. A fiery commander, often noted for bravery, Dupas was often wounded in action, triggering physical infirmities, which eventually forced him to retire from active service, at first temporarily, in 1809 and then permanently, in late 1813.
Kör Yusuf Ziyaüddin Pasha, also known as Yusuf Ziya Pasha, was an Ottoman statesman of Georgian origin, who twice served as the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire in 1798–1805 and 1809–1811. Before, between and after his terms as grand vizier, he served numerous posts as governor of various provinces and districts throughout the empire. As grand vizier, he commanded the Ottoman ground forces against the French Army in the Ottoman reconquest of Egypt and later served as a commander in the Ottoman wars with the Russian Empire.
Marc Bédarride was a French writer, military officer and Freemason. He served the First French Empire during the French Revolutionary Wars under Napoleon Bonaparte in Egypt and later in the Italian Peninsula. Although born in France, the conquests of the War of the Second Coalition brought him to the Italian Peninsula where his chief legacy was the founding of the masonic Rite of Misraim in 1813.
The Convention of El Arish was signed on 24 January 1800 by representatives from France and the Ottoman Empire in the presence of a British representative. It was intended to bring to an end the French campaign in Egypt and Syria, with the repatriation of French troops to France and the return of all territory to the Ottomans.
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