Jean-Baptiste Jourdan

Marshal Jean-Baptiste JourdanFrench Marshal

A long-serving and experienced commander, Jean-Baptiste Jourdan was known as "the Anvil" by his detractors - "for having been beaten so often".

He joined as a private in 1778 and served in the American Revolution, before taking part in such battles as Jemappes, Neerwinden, Hondeschoote, Wattignies, Fleurus and Wurzburg, after which he became a member of the political elite Cinq-Cents.

Returning to military life after illness, he fought and was beaten at Stockach.

He became a marshal in 1804 and then went to Spain, with Joseph Bonaparte, where he was beaten again by Arthur Wellesley at Talavera and Vitoria.

That loss was particularly galling for the marshal, who had advised against forcing the issue against the British - but was blamed for the disaster nonetheless.

Jourdan turned his allegiance to the royals upon Bonaparte's abdication, but returned to his former leader's side for the 100 Days.

Upon Bonaparte's final fall, Jourdan was the president of the court that sentenced his fellow marshal, Michel Ney, to death.

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