Auguste Marmont

Marshal Auguste MarmontFrench Marshal
Duc de Raguse

A skilled artillery officer, Auguste Marmont fought at Toulon and Mainz, before becoming an aide to Napoleon Bonaparte for the 1796 campaign in Italy.

Two years later he went to Egypt and was promoted to general of brigade for his courage in Malta. He served at Alexandria and the Pyramids and was in the party of loyal followers who returned to France with Bonaparte.

His artillery skills helped win the day at Marengo, for which he was promoted to general of division.

Marmont was put out by not being made a marshal in 1804, but a year later was given command of II Corps, fighting with it at Ulm.

Reassigned to Italy and Dalmatia, Marmont earned the title Duke of Ragusa by forcing a Russian army away from that city.

During the 1809 campaign along the Danube he was held in reserve at Wagram and was sent in pursuit of the retreating Austrians. He caught them at Znaim, but they counterattacked in strength and Marmont found himself in desperate trouble. It was only the arrival of major French reinforcements that saved him. Despite the battle, he was finally given his marshalcy.

In 1811, he took command of the Army of Portugal and the following year pushed Wellington's talents to the full by halting the British push into northern Spain. However, that may have led to an overconfidence that was smashed at Salamanca.

Badly wounded, Marmont did not return to active service until the 1813 Campaign,where he fought at Lutzen, Bautzen, Dresden, Leipzig and Hanau.

A skilful fighting retreat during the 1814 defence of France ended badly when he was criticised by Bonaparte for losing the battle at Laon.

As the Allies closed on Montmartre, Marmont - together with marshals Mortier and Moncey - had talks with the enemy and he surrendered his force.

Marmont stayed loyal to Louis XVIII during the 100 Days' Campaign and, following Waterloo, voted to execute Marshal Ney.

Exiled after the 1830 revolution, the Duke of Ragusa travelled Europe unable to return to his country where the verb raguser had been coined to mean betray.

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