Pierre Dupont de l'Étang

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Pierre Dupont de l'Etang. General Pierre Dupont de l'Etang.jpg
Pierre Dupont de l'Étang.

Pierre-Antoine, comte Dupont de l'Étang (4 July 1765 – 9 March 1840) was a French general of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, as well as a political figure of the Bourbon Restoration.

Count (Male), or Countess (Female), is a historical title of nobility in certain European countries, varying in relative status, generally of middling rank in the hierarchy of nobility. The etymologically related English term, "county" denoted the land owned by a count. Equivalents of the rank of count exist or have existed in the nobility structures of some non-European countries, such as hakushaku during the Japanese Imperial era.

Général

Général is the French word for general. There are two main categories of generals: the general officers, which are the highest-ranking commanding officers in the armed forces, and the specialist officers with flag rank, which are high-level officers in the other uniformed services.

French Revolutionary Wars series of conflicts fought between the French Republic and several European monarchies from 1792 to 1802

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.

Contents

Life

Revolutionary Wars

Born in Chabanais, Charente, he first saw active service during the French Revolutionary Wars as a member of Maillebois legion in the Netherlands, and in 1791 was on the staff of the Army of the North under General Théobald Dillon.

Chabanais Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Chabanais is a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France.

Charente Department of France

Charente is a department in southwestern France, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, named after the Charente River, the most important river in the department, and also the river beside which the department's two largest towns, Angoulême and Cognac, are sited.

Maillebois Commune in Centre-Val de Loire, France

Maillebois is a commune in the Eure-et-Loir department in northern France. The Blaise, a tributary of the Eure, runs through the town.

He distinguished himself in the Battle of Valmy, and in the fighting around Menen in the campaign of 1793 he forced an Austrian regiment to surrender. Promoted to Brigadier General for this accomplishment, he soon received further advancement from Lazare Carnot, who recognized his abilities. In 1797, he became Général de Division .

Battle of Valmy victory by the army of France during the Revolutionary Wars that followed to Sheila the French Revolution

The Battle of Valmy was the first major victory by the army of France during the Revolutionary Wars that followed the French Revolution. The action took place on 20 September 1792 as Prussian troops commanded by the Duke of Brunswick attempted to march on Paris. Generals François Kellermann and Charles Dumouriez stopped the advance near the northern village of Valmy in Champagne-Ardenne.

Menen Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Menen is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Menen proper and the towns of Lauwe and Rekkem. The city is situated on the French/Belgian border. On January 1, 2006, Menen had a total population of 32,413. The total area is 33.07 km² which gives a population density of 980 inhabitants per km².

The French Revolutionary Wars continued from 1792, with new powers entering the First Coalition after the execution of King Louis XVI. Spain and Portugal entered the coalition in January 1793, and on 1 February France declared war on Great Britain and the Netherlands.

The rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, whom he supported in the Coup of 18 Brumaire (November 1799), brought him further opportunities under the Consulate and Empire. In the campaign of 1800 he was chief of staff to Louis-Alexandre Berthier, the nominal commander of the Army of Peierve of the Ains which won the Battle of Marengo. After the battle he sustained a successful combat,[ clarification needed ] against greatly superior forces, at Pozzolo.

Coup of 18 Brumaire coup that brought Napoleon to power

The Coup of 18 Brumaire brought General Napoleon Bonaparte to power as First Consul of France and in the view of most historians ended the French Revolution. This bloodless coup d'état overthrew the Directory, replacing it with the French Consulate. This occurred on 9 November 1799, which was 18 Brumaire, Year VIII under the French Republican Calendar.

French Consulate former government of France

The Consulate was the top-level Government of France from the fall of the Directory in the coup of Brumaire on 10 November 1799 until the start of the Napoleonic Empire on 18 May 1804. By extension, the term The Consulate also refers to this period of French history.

First French Empire Empire of Napoleon I of France between 1804–1815

The First French Empire, officially the French Empire, was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Although France had already established an overseas colonial empire beginning in the 17th century, the French state had remained a kingdom under the Bourbons and a republic after the Revolution. Historians refer to Napoleon's regime as the First Empire to distinguish it from the restorationist Second Empire (1852–1870) ruled by his nephew as Napoleon III.

Napoleonic Wars

In the campaign on the Danube in 1805, as the leader of one of Michel Ney's divisions, he earned further distinction, especially in the Battle of Haslach-Jungingen (Albeck), in which he prevented the escape of the Austrians from Ulm, and so contributed most effectively to the isolation and subsequent capture of Karl Mack von Leiberich and his whole army. He also distinguished himself in the Battle of Friedland.

War of the Third Coalition war

The War of the Third Coalition was a European conflict spanning the years 1803 to 1806. During the war, France and its client states under Napoleon I defeated an alliance, the Third Coalition, made up of the Holy Roman Empire, Russia, Britain and others.

Michel Ney French soldier and military commander

Marshal of the Empire Michel Ney, 1st Duke of Elchingen, 1st Prince of the Moskva, popularly known as Marshal Ney, was a French soldier and military commander of German origin who fought in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the original 18 Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon. He was known as Le Rougeaud by his men and nicknamed le Brave des Braves by Napoleon.

Division (military) large military unit or formation

A division is a large military unit or formation, usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. Infantry divisions during the World Wars ranged between 8,000 and 30,000 in nominal strength.

With a record such as but few of Napoleon's divisional commanders possessed, he entered Spain in 1808 at the head of a motley corps made up of provisional battalions and Swiss troops impressed into French service from the Spanish Royal Army (see Peninsular War ). After the occupation of Madrid, Dupont, newly created count by Napoleon, was sent with his force to subdue Andalusia. After a few initial successes he had to retire toward the passes of the Sierra Morena. Pursued and cut off by a Spanish army under the Duke of Castaños, his corps was defeated in the Battle of Bailén after his Swiss troops deserted and returned to their former allegiance. Painfully wounded in the hip, Dupont felt constrained to capitulate. Even so, Dupont sent secret orders to General Dominique Vedel to escape with his division, which was outside the Spanish trap. When the Spanish found out, they threatened to massacre Dupont's men if Vedel did not also surrender, which Vedel did. Altogether 17,600 French soldiers laid down their arms in the disaster. Madrid fell to the resurgent Spanish forces and this soon compelled Napoleon to intervene with his Grand Army in order to salvage the situation.

Corps military unit size

Corps is a term used for several different kinds of organisation.

Battalion military unit size

A battalion is a military unit. The use of the term "battalion" varies by nationality and branch of service. Typically a battalion consists of 300 to 800 soldiers and is divided into a number of companies. A battalion is typically commanded by a lieutenant colonel. In some countries, the word "battalion" is associated with the infantry.

Impressment Forced naval service with or without notice

Impressment, colloquially "the press" or the "press gang", is the taking of men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice. Navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means. The large size of the British Royal Navy in the Age of Sail meant impressment was most commonly associated with Britain. It was used by the Royal Navy in wartime, beginning in 1664 and during the 18th and early 19th centuries as a means of crewing warships, although legal sanction for the practice can be traced back to the time of Edward I of England. The Royal Navy impressed many merchant sailors, as well as some sailors from other, mostly European, nations. People liable to impressment were "eligible men of seafaring habits between the ages of 18 and 55 years". Non-seamen were impressed as well, though rarely.

Disgrace and Bourbon Restoration

Dupont fell into the emperor's disgrace, as it was not taken into account that his troops were for the most part raw levies and that ill-luck contributed materially to the catastrophe. After his return to France, Dupont was sent before a court-martial, deprived of his rank and title, and imprisoned at Fort de Joux from 1812 to 1814.

Released only by the initial Restoration, he was employed by Louis XVIII in a military command, which he lost on the return of Napoleon during the Hundred Days. But the Second Restoration saw him reinstated to the army and appointed a member of the conseil privé of Louis XVIII. Between April and December 1814, he was Minister of War, but his reactionary politics made the monarch recall him. From 1815 to 1830, Dupont was deputy for the Charente.

Death

He lived in retirement from 1832, working on his memoirs until his death in 1840. He lies buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Duellist

An episode in the life of Pierre Dupont de l'Étang inspired the novel The Duel by Joseph Conrad (1908), which was turned into the film The Duellists , by Ridley Scott.

In The Encyclopedia of the Sword, Nick Evangelista wrote:

As a young officer in Napoleon's Army, Dupont was ordered to deliver a disagreeable message to a fellow officer, Fournier, a rabid duellist. Fournier, taking out his subsequent rage on the messenger, challenged Dupont to a duel. This sparked a succession of encounters, waged with sword and pistol, that spanned decades. The contest was eventually resolved when Dupont was able to overcome Fournier in a pistol duel, forcing him to promise never to bother him again. [1]

Dupont was the model for Armand d'Hubert, played by Keith Carradine in the film. Over a period of roughly 20 years, Dupont de l'Étang fought a series of more than 20 duels with his fellow officer, the particularly quarrelsome Fournier, nicknamed by the Spaniards el demonio (Gabriel Féraud, in the film, and played by Harvey Keitel). [2]

Personal life

Pierre Dupont was married on December 26 1804 to Jeanne Grâce Bergon, daughter of a state counsellor, who died in the château des Ternes (Paris) on June 13 1858. They had two children:

He also had an illegitimate son, Aimé Dupont (born 1790 in Maastricht), who became a colonel of engineers.

His niece Claire Grâce Dupont de Savignat was the mother of Marie François Sadi Carnot, President of the Republic.

Writings

Military treatises

Other

Sources

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References

Political offices
Preceded by
Henri Clarke, duc de Feltre
Minister of War
3 April 1814 – 3 December 1814
Succeeded by
Jean-de-Dieu Soult