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Leadership

Generals of the Napoleonic Wars

These men led armies during the almost continuous warfare that wracked Europe from the 1790s until the battle of Waterloo in 1815.

  • Joachim Murat (born 1771, died 1815)

    French marshal.

    • His flamboyant leadership of the French cavalry and his marriage to Caroline Bonaparte gained him the throne of Naples
  • Joseph Alvinczy, Baron von Borberek (born 1735, died 1810)

    Austrian field marshal.

    • Defeated by Napoleon at Arcole and Rivoli
  • Charles, Archduke of Austria and Duke of Teschen (born 1771, died 1847)

    Austrian military leader.

    • One of the few commanders to wrest victory from Napoleon himself, at the Battle of Aspern in 1809
  • Francis II (born 1768, died 1835)

    Last Holy Roman emperor, ruling 1792-1806. Emperor of Austria, 1804-35, as Francis I.

    • Led Austria into war against his son-in-law, Napoleon
  • Baron Karl Mack von Leiberich (born 1752, died 1828)

    Austrian general known as ''The Unfortunate Mack.''

    • His 20,000-man army was surrounded and captured by Napoleon at Ulm in 1805
  • Count Johann Radetsky (born 1766, died 1858)
    • Austrian general in the Napoleonic wars
  • Prince Karl Philip von Schwarzenberg (born 1771, died 1820)

    Austrian general.

    • Led the Austrian contingent in Napoleon''s 1812 invasion of Russia; upon the failure of that campaign, led the Allies to victory over the French at Leipzig
  • Sir Ralph Abercromby (born 1734, died 1801)

    British general.

    • Fell at the head of his victorious army at Alexandria in 1801
  • Karl August von Alten (born 1764, died 1840)

    Hanoverian military leader.

    • Served with the Hanoverians and British in the Napoleonic wars
  • Sir David Baird (born 1757, died 1829)

    British general.

    • Led troops in Egypt and on the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic wars
  • William Carr Beresford, Viscount Beresford (born 1768, died 1854)

    British general.

    • Led troops in Egypt and on the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic wars
  • John Colborne, Baron Seaton (born 1778, died 1863)

    British general.

    • Led troops in Egypt, on the Iberian Peninsula, and at Waterloo
  • Lowry Cole (born 1772, died 1842)

    British general.

    • Served under Wellington during the Napoleonic wars
  • Robert Crauford

    British general known as ''Black Bob.''

    • Led the famous Light Division on the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic wars
  • George Ramsay, Earl of Dalhousie (born 1770, died 1838)

    British general.

    • Led troops in Egypt, on the Iberian Peninsula, and at Waterloo
  • Thomas Graham, Baron Lynedoch (born 1748, died 1843)

    British general.

    • Commanded a division on the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic wars
  • Rowland Hill, Viscount Hill (born 1772, died 1842)

    British general.

    • Led troops on the Iberian Peninsula and at Waterloo during the Napoleonic wars
  • Sir John Moore (born 1761, died 1809)

    Scottish general.

    • Fell leading his victorious troops at the Battle of Coruna
  • Henry William Paget, Marquis of Anglesey (born 1768, died 1854)

    British general.

    • Lost a leg while commanding the allied cavalry at Waterloo
  • Sir Edward Pakenham (born 1778, died 1815)

    British general. Died leading an unsuccessful assault on Andrew Jackson's army at New Orleans.

    • Commanded British troops on the Iberian Peninsula under the Duke of Wellington
  • Sir Thomas Picton (born 1758, died 1815)

    British general.

    • Fell at the battle of Waterloo
  • Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (born 1769, died 1852)

    British military and political leader. Defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

    • Leader of the British and allied forces in Spain and Belgium during the Napoleonic wars
  • Charles Agerau
    • French marshal
  • Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte (born 1763, died 1844)

    French soldier who rose to the rank of marshal. Adopted by the Swedish royal house, he reigned as Charles XIV from 1818-44.

    • Appointed to Sweden''s throne upon Napoleon''s recommendation, he led Swedish forces against the emperor at Leipzig
  • Louis Alexandre Berthier (born 1753, died 1815)

    French nobleman and marshal. Napoleon's chief of staff.

    • His death upon the emperor''s return from Elba still puzzles historians -- was it murder or suicide?
  • Marquis Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr (born 1764, died 1830)

    French marshal.

    • Victorious at the Battle of Polotsk in 1812
  • Louis Nicholas Davout (born 1770, died 1823)

    French nobleman and marshal.

    • Minister of war during Napoleon''s brief restoration; sorely missed on the field at Waterloo
  • Emmanuel de Grouchy

    The last man named a marshal of France by Napoleon.

    • The brilliance of his early career was overshadowed by his failure to come to his emperor''s aid at Waterloo
  • Jean Lannes (born 1769, died 1809)

    One of Napoleon's favorite marshals.

    • Distinguished himself in Italy and Egypt and on the fields of Marango and Austerlitz; fell at the Battle of Essling
  • Charles Lasalle

    Dashing cavalry commander known as ''The Hussar General.''

    • Killed in battle during the Napoleonic wars
  • Auguste Marmont (born 1774, died 1852)

    French marshal.

    • Named Duc de Raguse by Napoleon
  • Adolphe Mortier (born 1768, died 1835)

    French marshal.

    • Named Duke of Treviso for his leadership at the Battle of Friedland
  • Michel Ney (born 1769, died 1815)

    French military leader.

    • Personally commanded assault after assault at Waterloo; convicted of treason and executed by firing squad after Napoleon''s abdication, though legends tell of his escape to America
  • Nicolas Charles Oudinot, duc de Regio (born 1767, died 1847)

    French marshal.

    • Served Napoleon with distinction, but remained loyal to the lawful king upon Napoleon''s return from exile
  • Prince Józef Antoni Poniatowski (born 1763, died 1813)

    Polish military leader. The only non-Frenchman made a marshal by Napoleon.

    • Joined Napoleon''s assault on Russia, hoping to secure Polish independence; died in combat at the Battle of Leipzig
  • Nicolas-Jean de Dieu Soult, duc de Dalmatia (born 1769, died 1851)

    French marshal.

    • Combat veteran who had trouble filling an administrative role as chief of staff during the Waterloo campaign
  • Louis-Gabriel Suchet, duc d'Albufera (born 1772, died 1826)

    French marshal.

    • Earned his marshal''s baton leading French forces on the Iberian Peninsula and during the final retreat into France
  • Claude Perrin Victor

    French marshal.

    • Named Duc de Belluno after his valor at the Battle of Friedland impressed Napoleon
  • Prince Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher (born 1742, died 1819)

    Prussian military leader.

    • One of Napoleon''s most determined foes, he led the Prussian forces at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815
  • Baron Heinrich von Bülow (born 1791, died 1846)

    Prussian general.

    • Led troops against the French in the Napoleonic wars
  • Duke Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand Brunswick (born 1771, died 1815)

    Brunswicker (German) general.

    • Fell at the Battle of Quatre Bras, on the eve of Waterloo
  • Friedrich Wilhelm III (born 1797, died 1840)

    King of Prussia, 1797-1840.

    • Led Prussia to war against Napoleon
  • Gerhard Johann David von Scharnhorst (born 1755, died 1813)

    Prussian general.

    • Killed at the Battle of Lutzen
  • Baron Johann Adolf von Thielmann (born 1765, died 1824)
    • Led Saxon troops for the Russian army; commanded a Prussian corps at Waterloo
  • Hans Yorck von Wartenburg (born 1759, died 1830)

    Prussian general.

    • Led troops against France in Napoleonic wars; after Prussia was conquered by France, participated in the 1812 Russian invasion until its failure offered him the chance to make a separate peace, then joined in attacking Napoleon again
  • Alexander I (born 1777, died 1825)

    Tsar of Russia, 1801-25.

    • Led Russia through the Napoleonic wars, personally commanding troops at the Battle of Austerlitz
  • Prince Pëtr Ivanovich Bagration (born 1765, died 1812)
    • An opponent to the French on many fields, he was killed at the Battle of Borodino
  • Grand Duke Constantine (born 1779, died 1831)

    Brother of Tsar Alexander I of Russia.

    • Led Russian forces in the Napoleonic wars
  • Napoleon Bonaparte (born 1769, died 1821)

    Corsican-born French military leader and ruler. As Emperor of the French, 1804-14, controlled most of western Europe. Defeated and forced to abdicate, he died in exile on the island of St. Helena. Original name: Napoleone Buonaparte.

    • Leader of France in the Napoleonic wars

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