Louis Lazare Hoche
|Born||24 June 1768|
|Died||19 September 1797 (age 29)|
Wetzlar, Holy Roman Empire
|Years of service||1784–1797|
|Rank||Général de division|
|Commands held|| Armée de la Moselle |
Armée des côtes de Brest
Armée des côtes de Cherbourg
Armée de Sambre-et-Meuse
|Battles/wars|| French Revolutionary Wars |
War in the Vendée
|Awards||Names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe|
|Other work||Minister of War|
Louis Lazare Hoche (24 June 1768 – 19 September 1797) was a French soldier who rose to be general of the Revolutionary army. He won a victory over Royalist forces in Brittany. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 3. Richard Holmes says he was "quick-thinking, stern, and ruthless...a general of real talent whose early death was a loss to France."
The following is the list of the names of the 660 persons inscribed on the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris. Most of them are generals who served during the First French Empire (1804–1814) with additional figures from the French Revolution (1789–1799). Underlined names signify those killed in action.
Born to poor parents near Versailles, he enlisted at sixteen as a private soldier in the Gardes Françaises . He spent his entire leisure in earning extra pay by civil work, his object being to provide himself with books, and this love of study, which was combined with a strong sense of duty and personal courage, soon led to his promotion.
The French Guards were an infantry regiment of the Military Household of the King of France under the Ancien Régime.
When the Gardes françaises disbanded in 1789 he had reached the rank of corporal, and thereafter he served in various line regiments up to the time of his receiving a commission in 1792. In the defence of Thionville in that year Hoche earned further promotion, and he served with credit in the operations of 1792–1793 on the northern frontier of France, including serving as aide-de-camp to General le Veneur. When Charles Dumouriez deserted to the Austrians, Hoche, along with le Veneur and others, fell under suspicion of treason. However, after being kept under arrest and unemployed for some months, he took part in the defence of Dunkirk, and in the same year (1793) he was promoted successively chef de brigade , général de brigade, and général de division. In October 1793 he was provisionally appointed to command the Army of the Moselle, and within a few weeks he was in the field at the head of his army in Lorraine. He lost his first battle at Kaiserslautern during 28–30 November 1793 against the Prussians, but even in the midst of the Reign of Terror the Committee of Public Safety retained Hoche in his command. In their eyes, pertinacity and fiery energy outweighed everything else, and Hoche soon showed that he possessed these qualities.
Thionville is a commune in the northeastern French department of Moselle. The city is located on the left bank of the river Moselle, opposite its suburb Yutz.
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.
Charles-François du Périer Dumouriez was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars. He shared the victory at Valmy with General François Christophe Kellermann, but later deserted the Revolutionary Army, and became a royalist intriguer during the reign of Napoleon as well as an adviser to the British government. Dumouriez is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 3.
On 22 December 1793 he won the Battle of Froeschwiller, and the representatives of the National Convention with his army at once added the Army of the Rhine to his sphere of command. In the Second Battle of Wissembourg on 26 December 1793, the French drove Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser's Austrian army from Alsace. Hoche pursued his success, sweeping the enemy before him to the middle Rhine in four days. He then put his troops into winter quarters.
The Battle of Froeschwiller saw Republican French armies led by Lazare Hoche and Charles Pichegru attack a Habsburg Austrian army commanded by Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser. On the 18th, a French attack pushed back the Austrians a short distance. After more fighting, a powerful assault on the 22nd forced the entire Austrian army to withdraw to Wissembourg. The action occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of the Wars of the French Revolution. Froeschwiller is a village in Bas-Rhin department of France, situated about 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Strasbourg.
The National Convention was the first government of the French Revolution, following the two-year National Constituent Assembly and the one-year Legislative Assembly. Created after the great insurrection of 10 August 1792, it was the first French government organized as a republic, abandoning the monarchy altogether. The Convention sat as a single-chamber assembly from 20 September 1792 to 26 October 1795.
The Second Battle of Wissembourg from 26 December 1793 to 29 December 1793 saw an army of the First French Republic under General Lazare Hoche fight a series of clashes against an army of Austrians, Prussians, Bavarians, and Hessians led by General Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser. There were significant actions at Wœrth on 22 December and Geisberg on 26 and 27 December. In the end, the French forced their opponents to withdraw to the east bank of the Rhine River. The action occurred during the War of the First Coalition phase of the French Revolutionary Wars.
Before the following campaign opened, he married Anne Adelaide Dechaux at Thionville (11 March 1794). But ten days later he was suddenly arrested, charges of treason having been proferred by Charles Pichegru, the displaced commander of the Army of the Rhine, and by his friends. Hoche escaped execution, but was imprisoned in Paris until the fall of Maximilien Robespierre.
The Thermidorian Reaction is the common term, in the historiography of the French Revolution, for the period between the ousting of Maximilien Robespierre on 9 Thermidor II, or 27 July 1794, to the inauguration of the French Directory on 1 November 1795. The "Thermidorian Reaction" was named after the month in which the coup took place, and was the latter part of the National Convention's rule of France. It was marked by the end of the Reign of Terror, decentralization of executive powers from the Committee of Public Safety, and a turn from the radical leftist policies of the Montagnard Convention to more conservative and moderate positions. Economic and general populism, Dechristianization and harsh wartime measures were largely abandoned, as the members of the Convention, disillusioned and frightened of the centralized government of the Terror, preferred a more stable political order, aimed to assuage the affluent classes. The Reaction saw the Left suppressed by brutal force, including lynch acts which the authorities turned a blind eye to, the Jacobin Club disbanded, the sans-culottes dispersed and Montagnard ideology renounced.
Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre was a French lawyer and politician who was one of the best-known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. As a member of the Constituent Assembly and the Jacobin Club, he campaigned for universal manhood suffrage, and the abolition both of celibacy for the clergy and of slavery. Robespierre was an outspoken advocate for the citizens without a voice, for their unrestricted admission to the National Guard, to public offices, and for the right to carry arms in self-defence. He played an important part in the agitation which brought about the fall of the French monarchy in August 1792 and the summoning of a National Convention.
Shortly after his release he was appointed to command against the Vendéans (21 August 1794). He completed the work of his predecessors in a few months by the Treaty of La Jaunaye (15 February 1795), but soon afterward the war was renewed by the Royalists. Hoche showed himself equal to the crisis and inflicted a crushing blow on the Royalist cause by defeating and capturing de Sombreuil's expedition at Quiberon and Penthièvre (16–21 July 1795). Thereafter, by means of mobile columns (which he kept under good discipline), he succeeded before the summer of 1796 in pacifying the whole of the west, which had for more than three years been the scene of a pitiless civil war.
The Treaty of La Jaunaye was a peace accord signed by François de Charette and Charles Sapinaud de La Rairie, on behalf of the leaders of the Vendée rebels and chouans, and by Albert Ruelle on behalf of the National Convention on 17 February 1795 at the manor of La Jaunaye, at Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire, near Nantes. The treaty brought an end to major hostilities in the War in the Vendée - the rebels recognised the French Republic and in return received assurances on freedom of religion, the abolition of conscription and the right to arm a militia.
The Chouannerie was a royalist uprising or counter-revolution in 12 of the western départements of France, particularly in the provinces of Brittany and Maine, against the First Republic during the French Revolution. It played out in three phases and lasted from the spring of 1794 until 1800.
Quiberon is a commune in the Morbihan department in Brittany in western France.
Following this, Hoche was appointed to organise and command the Ireland Expedition, of troops sent to assist the United Irishmen in their rebellion against British rule. A tempest, however, separated Hoche from the expedition, and after various adventures the whole fleet returned to Brest without having effected its purpose.
Hoche was at once transferred to the Rhine frontier, where he defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Neuwied in April 1797, though operations were soon afterwards brought to an end by the Preliminaries of Leoben.
Later in 1797 Hoche was minister of war for a short period, but in this position he was surrounded by obscure political intrigues, and, finding himself the dupe of Paul Barras and technically guilty of violating the constitution, he quickly laid down his office, returning to his command on the Rhine frontier. It was his denunciation during that time that had led to Kléber's removal from command. The compromising letter was found by Jean Baptiste Alexandre Strolz in Hoche's papers.
Hoche's health grew rapidly worse, and he died at Wetzlar on 19 September 1797 of consumption (tuberculosis). The belief spread that he had been poisoned, but the suspicion seems to have had no foundation. He first was buried next to his friend François Marceau in a fort at Koblenz on the Rhine. In 1919, the French Rhine army buried his mortal remains into the 1797-built Monument General Hoche in Weißenthurm near Neuwied, where he had started his last campaign against the Austrians.
He is commemorated by a statue in Place Hoche, a gardened square not far from the main entrance to the Palace of Versailles, and another in the Panthéon. Another statue, the last major work by Jules Dalou, is in Quiberon, Brittany. In Les Invalides where Napoleon's tomb is enshrined, there is also a memorial to Hoche. A station on the Paris Metro is also called 'Hoche'.
Hoche's motto was Res non-verba, which is Latin for "Deeds, not words".
The Battle of Neuwied saw Lazare Hoche lead part of the French Army of Sambre-et-Meuse against Franz von Werneck's Austrian army. The French attack surprised their enemies and broke through their lines. Aside from 1,000 men killed and wounded, Austrian losses included at least 3,000 prisoners, 24 artillery pieces, 60 vehicles, and five colors. For their part, the French lost 2,000 men killed, wounded, and captured. The losses were in vain because Napoleon Bonaparte signed the Preliminaries of Leoben with Austria the same day. The armistice halted the fighting so that both sides could negotiate a peace. The action occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars.
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.
Jean-Étienne Vachier Championnet, also known as Championnet, led a Republican French division in many important battles during the French Revolutionary Wars. He became commander-in-chief of the Army of Rome in 1798 and of the Army of Italy in 1799. He died in early 1800 of typhus. His name is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 3.
Jean-Charles Pichegru was a distinguished French general of the Revolutionary Wars. Under his command, French troops overran Belgium and the Netherlands before fighting on the Rhine front. His royalist positions led to his loss of power and imprisonment in Cayenne, French Guiana during the Coup of 18 Fructidor in 1797. After escaping into exile in London and joining the staff of Alexander Korsakov, he returned to France and planned the Pichegru Conspiracy to remove Napoleon from power, which led to his arrest and death. Despite his defection, his surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 3.
François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers was a French general of the Revolutionary Wars.
Jean-Baptiste Kléber 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.
François Athanase de Charette de la Contrie was a French Royalist soldier and politician. He served in the French Royal Navy during the American Revolutionary War and was one of the leaders of the Revolt in the Vendée against the revolutionary regime. His relative Athanase-Charles-Marie Charette de la Contrie was a noted military leader.
Claude-Pierre, Comte de Pajol, was a French cavalry general and military commander during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and political figure.
The invasion of France in 1795 or the Battle of Quiberon was a major landing on the Quiberon peninsula by émigré, counter-revolutionary troops in support of the Chouannerie and Vendée Revolt, beginning on 23 June and finally definitively repulsed on 21 July. It aimed to raise the whole of western France in revolt, bring an end to the French Revolution and restore the French monarchy. The invasion failed; it had a major negative impact, dealing a disastrous blow to the royalist cause.
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.
In the First Battle of Wissembourg an Allied army commanded by Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser attacked the French Army of the Rhine under Jean Pascal Carlenc. After an ineffectual resistance, the French army abandoned its fortified line behind the Lauter River and retreated toward Strasbourg in confusion. This engagement of the War of the First Coalition occurred on the eastern border of France about 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of Strasbourg.
Jean-Barthélemot Sorbier, count, (1762–1827), was a French general of the Napoleonic Wars.
Jean-Jacques Ambert commanded a French division in several engagements during the French Revolutionary Wars. He embarked on a French ship of the line during the American Revolutionary War and saw several actions. At the start of the French Revolutionary Wars he commanded a battalion and thereafter enjoyed fast promotion. He led a division in action at Kaiserslautern in 1793, Kaiserslautern in 1794, Luxembourg, Handschusheim, and Mannheim in 1795, and Kehl in 1796. His career later suffered eclipse because of his association with two French army commanders suspected of treason. He spent much of the Napoleonic Wars commanding a Caribbean island, clearing his name, and filling interior posts. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.
Jean René Moreaux commanded the French Army of the Moselle during the French Revolutionary Wars. He joined the French Royal Army in 1776 and was badly wounded in the American Revolutionary War two years later. After leaving military service, he married and took over the family business. At the time of the French Revolution he was elected second in command of a volunteer battalion. He was rapidly promoted, emerging as a general officer in May 1793. After another promotion, he led a corps at Pirmasens and a division at Wissembourg. He was appointed commander of the Army of the Moselle in June 1794. In November he was sent with three divisions to invest the fortress of Luxembourg. He caught a fever and died during the Siege of Luxembourg. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.
Louis Bastoul was a general French in the French Revolutionary Wars. He was born in Montolieu 19 August 1753, and died in Munich on 15 January 1801, of wounds received at the Battle of Hohenlinden.
Amédée Willot, Count of Gramprez, held several military commands during the French Revolutionary Wars but his association with Jean-Charles Pichegru led to his exile from France in 1797. He joined the French Royal Army as a volunteer in 1771 and was a captain by 1787. He was elected commander of a volunteer battalion in 1792 and served in the War of the Pyrenees. Shortly after being promoted commander of a light infantry regiment Willot was appointed general of brigade in June 1793. A few months later he was denounced as a Royalist and jailed. In the light of later events, this may have been an accurate assessment of Willot's sentiments. After release from prison in January 1795, he led troops in Spain during the summer campaign. He was promoted to general of division in July 1795.
The Army of the Coasts of the Ocean was a French Revolutionary Army that was only in existence during 1796. The army was formed by combining the three armies that were engaged in the War in the Vendée and appointing Lazare Hoche to command. While the army's nominal strength was 182,956 men at the time of its formation, this declined to 117,746 during the year. Because its operations were successful, the army was disbanded in September 1796 and approximately half its personnel sent to other armies.
Jacques Charles René Delaunay
| Commander-in-chief of the Army of the Moselle |
31 October 1793 – 18 March 1794
| Commander-in-chief of the Army of the Coasts of Cherbourg |
1 September 1794 – 30 April 1795
Jean-Baptiste Annibal Aubert du Bayet
| Commander-in-chief of the Army of the Coasts of Brest |
10 November 1794 – 10 September 1795
Gabriel Venance Rey
Jean Baptiste Camille Canclaux
| Commander-in-chief of the Army of the West |
11 September – 17 December 1795
| Commander-in-chief of the Army of the Coasts of the Ocean |
5 January – 22 September 1796
| Commander-in-chief of the Army of Ireland|
1 November – 23 December 1796
| Commander-in-chief of the Army of Ireland|
19 January – 9 February 1797
Jean Victor Marie Moreau
| Commander-in-chief of the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse |
9 February – 18 September 1797
François Joseph Lefebvre
Claude Louis Petiet
| French minister of War |
15 July 1797 – 22 July 1797
Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer