Thomas Robert Bugeaud

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Thomas Robert Bugeaud
Bugeaud, Thomas - 2.jpg
Born15 October 1784 (1784-10-15)
Limoges, France
Died10 June 1849 (1849-06-11) (aged 64)
Paris, France
Allegiance Flag of France.svg France
Service/branch French Army
Years of service1804–1849
Rank Marshal of France
Battles/wars Napoleonic Wars

Franco-Moroccan War

Other workAgriculturalist, Deputy

Thomas Robert Bugeaud, marquis de la Piconnerie, duc d'Isly (15 October 1784 10 June 1849) was a Marshal of France and Governor-General of Algeria.


Early life

He was born at Limoges, a member of a noble family of Périgord (Occitania), the youngest of thirteen children. He ran away from home, and for some years lived in the country as an agricultural worker. At the age of twenty he became a private soldier in the Vélites of the Imperial Guard, with which he took part in the Austerlitz campaign of the following year. Early in 1806, he was given a commission, and as a Second Lieutenant he served in the Jena and Eylau campaigns, winning his promotion to the rank of lieutenant at the Battle of Pultusk. [1]

Limoges Prefecture and commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Limoges is a city and commune, the capital of the Haute-Vienne department and was the administrative capital of the former Limousin region in west-central France.

Périgord Natural region in France

The Périgord is a natural region and former province of France, which corresponds roughly to the current Dordogne département, now forming the northern part of the Aquitaine région. It is divided into four areas called the Périgord Noir (Black), the Périgord Blanc (White), the Périgord Vert (Green) and the Périgord Pourpre (Purple). The geography and natural resources of Périgord make it a beautiful, unspoiled region rich in history and wildlife, and the newly created Parc Naturel Régional Périgord-Limousin aims to conserve it as such.

Occitania Historical region and nation in southern Europe

Occitania is the historical region in southern Europe where Occitan was historically the main language spoken, and where it is sometimes still used, for the most part as a second language. This cultural area roughly encompasses the southern third of France, as well as part of Spain, Monaco, and smaller parts of Italy. Occitania has been recognized as a linguistic and cultural concept since the Middle Ages, but has never been a legal nor a political entity under this name, although the territory was united in Roman times as the Seven Provinces and in the Early Middle Ages.

In 1808, he was in the first French corps to enter Spain, and was stationed in Madrid during the revolt of the Dos Mayo. At the Second Siege of Saragossa, he won further promotion to the rank of captain, and in 1809–1810 found opportunities for winning distinction under Suchet in the eastern theatre of the Peninsular War, in which he rose to the rank of major and the command of a full regiment. At the first restoration he was made a colonel, but he rejoined Napoleon during the Hundred Days, and under his old chief Suchet distinguished himself in the war in the Alps. [1]

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a European country located in Southwestern Europe with some pockets of Spanish territory across the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Madrid Capital of Spain

Madrid is the capital and most populous city of Spain. The city has almost 3.3 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.5 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (EU), surpassed only by London and Berlin, and its monocentric metropolitan area is the third-largest in the EU, smaller only than those of London and Paris. The municipality covers 604.3 km2 (233.3 sq mi).

Dos de Mayo Uprising conflict

The Dos de Mayo or Second of May Uprising of 1808 was a rebellion by the people of Madrid against the occupation of the city by French troops, provoking the repression by the French Imperial forces.

July monarchy

He spent the fifteen years after the fall of Napoleon without employment, returning to agriculture and developing his home district of Périgord. The July revolution of 1830 reopened his military career and after a short tenure of regimental command he was in 1831 promoted brigadier-general (maréchal de camp). In the same year, he was elected to the French parliament's lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, where he showed himself to be an inflexible opponent of democracy. In his military capacity, he was noted for his severity in suppressing riots. His conduct as gaoler of the Duchess of Berry led to a duel between Bugeaud and the deputy Dulong in which the latter was killed (1834); this affair, and the heavy handed suppression of a further riot, exposed Bugeaud to ceaseless attacks in the Chamber and in the press, though his opinion was sought by all parties in matters connected with agriculture and industrial development. He was re-elected in 1834, 1837, and 1839. [2] [1]

Chamber of Deputies (France) name of several parliamentary bodies of France in the 19th and 20th centuries

Chamber of Deputies was a parliamentary body in France in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries:

Democracy system of government in which citizens vote directly in or elect representatives to form a governing body, sometimes called "rule of the majority"

Democracy is a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting. In a direct democracy, the citizens as a whole form a governing body and vote directly on each issue. In a representative democracy the citizens elect representatives from among themselves. These representatives meet to form a governing body, such as a legislature. In a liberal democracy the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but the constitution limits the majority and protects the minority, usually through the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, e.g. freedom of speech, or freedom of association.


Although he initially disapproved of the conquest of Algeria, his undeviating adherence to Louis Philippe brought him into agreement with the government. He embarked on a campaign to win the swift, complete, and lasting subjugation of Algeria. He was sent to Africa in a subordinate capacity and proceeded to initiate his war of flying columns. He won his first victory on 7 July 1836, made a brilliant campaign of six weeks' duration, and returned home with the rank of lieutenant-general. In the following year, he signed the Treaty of Tafna (30 May 1837), with Abd-el-Kader, an act which, though justified by the military and political situation, led to attacks upon him in the chamber, to the refutation of which Bugeaud devoted himself in 1839. [1]

Africa The second largest and second most-populous continent, mostly in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Flying column combined arms independent military formation of a temporary nature

A flying column is a small, independent, military land unit capable of rapid mobility and usually composed of all arms. It is often an ad hoc unit, formed during the course of operations.

The Treaty of Tafna was signed by both Abd-el-Kader and General Thomas Robert Bugeaud on 30 May 1837. This agreement was developed after French imperial forces sustained heavy losses and military reversals in Algeria. The terms of the treaty entailed Abd-el-Kader recognizing French imperial sovereignty in Africa. However, the price France had to pay for acquiring recognition entailed its secession of approximately two thirds of Algeria to Abd-el-Kader. As a result of the treaty, France was able to maintain only a few ports.

Battle of Isly, oil painting by Horace Vernet. Vernet - Bataille d'Isly - 1846.jpg
Battle of Isly , oil painting by Horace Vernet.

Finally, in 1840, he was nominated governor-general of Algeria, and early in 1841 he put into force his system of flying columns, a controversial but successful tactic known as "Razzia" at the time. [3] His swiftness and energy drove back the forces of Abd-el-Kader from place to place, while the devotion of the rank and file to "Père Bugeaud" enabled him to carry all before him in action. [4] In 1842, he secured the French positions by undertaking the construction of roads. In 1843, Bugeaud was made marshal of France, and in this and the following year he continued his operations with unvarying success. His great victory of Isly on 14 August 1844 won him the title of duke. [1]

Raid (military) military tactic or operational warfare mission which has a specific purpose

Raiding, also known as depredation, is a military tactic or operational warfare mission which has a specific purpose and is not normally intended to capture and hold a location but instead finish with the raiding force quickly retreating to a previous defended position prior to enemy forces being able to respond in a coordinated manner or formulate a counter-attack. A raiding group may consist of combatants specially trained in this tactic, such as commandos, or as a special mission assigned to any regular troops. Raids are often a standard tactic in irregular warfare, employed by warriors, guerrilla fighters or other irregular military forces. Some raids are large, for example the Sullivan Expedition.

Battle of Isly battle

The Battle of Isly was fought on August 14, 1844 between France and Morocco, near the Isly River. French forces under Marshal Thomas Robert Bugeaud routed a much larger, but poorly organized, Moroccan force under Mohammed, son of Sultan Abderrahmane of Morocco. Bugeaud, attempting to complete the French conquest of Algeria, instigated the battle without a declaration of war in order to force negotiations concerning Moroccan support for the Algerian resistance leader Abd el Kader to conclude on terms favorable to the French.

A duke (male) or duchess (female) can either be a monarch ranked below the emperor, king, and grand duke ruling over a duchy or a member of royalty or nobility, historically of highest rank, below princes of nobility and grand dukes. The title comes from French duc, itself from the Latin dux, 'leader', a term used in republican Rome to refer to a military commander without an official rank, and later coming to mean the leading military commander of a province.

Bugeaud died at 1 Quai Voltaire in Paris (commemorative plate). MarechalBugeaudCommemorativePlaque.JPG
Bugeaud died at 1 Quai Voltaire in Paris (commemorative plate).

In 1845, however, he had to take the field again in consequence of the disaster of Sidi Brahim (22 September 1845), and up to his final retirement from Algeria (July 1846) he was almost constantly employed in the field. His resignation was due to differences with the home government on the question of the future government of the province. Amidst his other activities he had found time to study the agricultural characteristics of the conquered country, and under his régime the number of French colonists had grown from 17,000 to 100,000. In 1848, the marshal was in Paris during the revolution, but his orders prevented him from acting effectively to suppress it. He was asked, but eventually refused, to be a candidate for the presidency in opposition to Louis Napoleon. His last public service was the command of the army of the Alps, formed in 1848–1849 to observe events in Italy. He died in Paris in 1849. [1]

Bugeaud's writings were numerous, including his Œuvres militaires, collected by Weil (Paris, 1883), many official reports on Algeria and the war there, and some works on economics and political science. See: Comte d'Ideville, Le Maréchal Bugeaud (Paris, 1881–1882). [1]

Bugeaud's innovations and writings continued to be influential among French military leaders engaged in colonial campaigns. [5]

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  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). "Bugeaud de la Piconnerie, Thomas Robert". Encyclopædia Britannica . 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 758–759.
  2. Sullivan, Anthony Thrall (1983). Thomas-Robert Bugeaud. France and Algeria, 1784-1849. Archon Books. p. 36.
  3. Thomas Rid, Razzia. A Turning point in Modern Strategy, Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol 21, Iss 4, p. 617-635
  4. Douglas Porch, "Bugeard, Galliéni, Lyautey: The Development of French Colonial Warfare", in Peter Paret (ed.), in: Makers of Modern Strategy, p. 376-407, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986
  5. Jean Gottmann, "Bugeaud, Galliéni, Lyautey: The Development of French Colonial Warfare", in Edward Mead Earle (ed.), in: Makers of Modern Strategy, 234-59 (Princeton: Princeton University Press 1943)