Jean-Baptiste Kleber

French General

Another portrait

Jean-Baptiste KleberJean-Baptiste's Kleber's first taste of military life came in the Bavarian army but, in 1789, the lack of promotional opportunity saw him go back to his native Alsace and join the National Guard in time for the Revolution.

Three years later he was a lieutenant-colonel and, after heroics at Mainz in 1793, he was promoted to general of brigade.

That same year he served against rebels in La Vendee and drew more attention with his performances there.

In 1794 he took command of a division and fought at Fleurus. Kleber soon became angry at not being given similar acclaim as his peers - generals Hoche, Moreau and Pichegru - and rejected further offers of command.

His belief in the ability of Napoleon Bonaparte swung him back into the fold when the young general asked him to join the expedition to Egypt in 1798.

Kleber shone during the campaign fighting well at Alexandria, El Arish, Jaffa, Acre and in independent command at Mt Tabor, where he held off vastly superior numbers.

Given the honour of taking command of all French forces when Bonaparte returned to France, Kleber held together his isolated troops in the face of an increasingly hostile native population and a large Ottoman army.

He won a key action at Heliopolis, retook Cairo but, when on the verge of stabilising the situation, was assassinated by a knife-wielding fanatic.


Napoleon Bonaparte
Career Portraits
Quotes Family
Loves Letters
Plots Murdered?
His will Places
Era of Napoleon
Powers Opponents
Coalitions Allies
People Timelines
Key sites Shrapnel
Campaigns Battles
Armies Generals
Marshals Winners
Glossary Medical
Weapons 1812 War
Uniforms Battlefields
War at Sea
Naval War Heroes
Artworks Signals
Nelson Trafalgar
Key Maps Peninsula
Animated 1796/1800
1809 Russia
French Revolution
Revolution Guillotine
Posters People
Art, Film, Games
Education Goya
Sharpe Hornblower
Books Movies
DVDs Music
Wargames Images
Cartoons Caricatures
About Us Sources
Awards Sitemap
Links Militaria
Miniatures Reenactors
Forum Quizzes
Home Waterloo Diorama
Copyright Richard Moore 1999-2017 | Privacy Policy | Contact Us