Gouvion St Cyr
Marquis de St Cyr
idealistic artist, Gouvion St Cyr volunteered for the revolutionary
army in 1792 and went on to become a solid soldier for France.
1794, St Cyr's war record in Germany had seen him rise to general
fought at Mainz, Stockach, Novi, Engen, Biberach and won wide acclaim
after capturing an Austrian corps at Castelfranco.
but successful, service in Spain was marred in 1809 when he quit
his post and suffered Napoleon Bonaparte's
anger at his lack of professionalism.
was three years before his services were called upon and he gladly
led the Bavarian Corps into the Russian
being wounded at Polotsk (first battle)
he went on to beat General Wittgenstein
and won promotion to marshal.
the second battle of Polotsk he
again was wounded, but the military the tables were turned and,
after the defeat, he resigned his command.
governor of Dresden, St Cyr played
a crucial role in defeating the Allied forces during the battle
for that city between 26-27 August 1813.
later that year and with the French forces in Germany being pushed
towards France, he was forced to surrender Dresden.
to serve the Bourbons, St Cyr did not join Bonaparte for the 100
Days Campaign and, after being Minister for War, retired to
the trial of his old friend Marshal Ney,
St Cyr tried to persuade the authorities to have him deported rather
than executed and appealed to King Louis XVIII for clemency. The
bid failed and he once more retired, although returned to transform
the French army and bring about changes that would last for decades.