Duc de Istrie
of the few marshals to be called a friend of Napoleon
Bonaparte, Jean-Baptiste Bessieres was a distinguished soldier
whose career included fighting with the Swiss Guard to save Louis
the revolutionary armies, Bessieres skills brought him to Bonaparte's
attention and, after fighting at Rivoli,
he became a major.
Bonaparte on the Egyptian Campaign,
Bessieres took part in the battles of Acre
performance at Marengo in 1800
saw him a general of brigade and by 1802 he was leading a division.
1804, he became a marshal and led the Imperial Guard cavalry at
Eylau and Friedland.
to Spain he won the battle of Medina del Rio Seco, fought at Somosierra
and chased Sir John Moore's army to Corunna.
1809, his cavalry performed very well at Aspern-Essling
and Wagram and, in Russia,
he saved Bonaparte from cossacks during the disastrous retreat in
last battle was Weissenfels, in 1813, where he died instantly after
being hit in the chest by a cannonball.