Jacques Macdonald

Marshal Jacques MacDonaldFrench Marshal
Duc de Tarente

Of Scottish descent, Jacques Macdonald was the only marshal to win his baton on the battlefield.

He did so after destroying the Austrian centre at Wagram, but was fortunate to have been given the opportunity - having offended Napoleon Bonaparte with his vocal defence of the branded-traitor Jean Moreau.

It took five years for the emperor to recall him to active duty, despite Macdonald's fine military career that had begun in 1786.

An aide to General Dumouriez, he fought at Jemappes and, as a general of brigade in 1793, was at Tourcoing and Hondeschoote.

Time in Italy saw him the victor at Modena before returning to Germany where he was deputy to Moreau.

After Wagram, Macdonald served in Spain, Russia, Germany and the defence of France.

His battle honours included Lutzen, Bautzen, Katzbach, Leipzig, where he was almost taken by the enemy, and Hanau.

Macdonald pushed for Bonaparte's abdication and was one of France's leading figures in negotiating peace with the Allies.

Upon Bonaparte's return, he helped Louis XVIII flee France and did not join his former leader despite the emperor's requests.

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