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Michel Ney

French Marshal
Prince de la Moscowa
Duc d'Elchingen
1769-1815

Marshal  Michel NeyKnown as the Bravest of the Brave, Michel Ney was not known for his coolness, or an excessive amount of caution.

Irrefutably courageous, the hot-tempered soldier's soldier too often let his dash get in the way of sound military thinking.

He joined a hussars regiment in 1787 and through his elan and personality was quickly promoted.

He fought at Neerwinden, Mainz, Mannheim, Winterthur, Hohenlinden, Elchingen, Jena, Eylau, Friedland, Bussaco, Smolensk, Borodino, Beresina, Weissenfels, Lutzen, Bautzen, Dennewitz, Leipzig, Quatre Bras and Waterloo.

His later career and relationship with Napoleon Bonaparte was a strained one - Ney having sided with those who demanded the emperor's abdication and served the Bourbons. He re-attached himself to Bonaparte for the 100 Days' Campaign - with terrible consequences for the French.

His delaying and mishandling of the battle at Quatre Bras ruined Bonaparte's strategic plan and the debacle of Waterloo, where he completely lost the plot, ended in abject defeat.

Ney paid for his errors with his life as he was put on trial for treason by the returning Bourbons, sentenced to death and shot on 7 December 1815.

He was, however, insanely brave to the end and gave the signal to the firing squad to shoot.

Ney Defends His Performance in Waterloo Campaign

 

 
 
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