Napoleon's Shield and Guardian: The Unconquerable General Daumesnil

Napoleon's Shield and Guardian: The Unconquerable General Daumesnil

by Edward Ryann


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This outstanding biography is a story of courage. It charts the career of a superbly brave cavalryman against the rise and fall of his imperial master.

Pierre Daumesnil was a loyal follower of Napoleon throughout his astonishing career. Enlisting as a private soldier in 1793, he was caught up in the tumult of the Napoleonic Wars, surviving campaign after campaign to emerge as a much-decorated general and Baron of the French Empire.

Daumesnil served in Egypt in 1798, charged at Marengo in 1800, fought at Austerlitz and Eylau, campaigned in Spain and saw action in Wagram. Terribly wounded at that battle, losing a leg, Daumesnil became governor of the fortress of Vincennes. It was here that he played his most celebrated role in the wars of Napoleon by refusing to surrender the fortress to the Allies in 1814 and again in 1815.

Daumesnil's life was an adventure and one which typifies the dash, color and verve of this astonishing period. This biography, by a leading author, will appeal to Napoleonic enthusiasts and those interested in the life and times of Napoleon's elite cavalrymen.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848328419
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 01/19/2016
Series: Napoleonic Library Series
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Prefaces 6

List of illustrations 8

Introduction 9

Chapter 1 A tumultuous youth 15

Chapter 2 A grim introduction to the life of a soldier 19

Chapter 3 A first glimpse of fame 41

Chapter 4 New perils and new honors in Egypt 67

Chapter 5 A Chasseur à cheval de la Garde 89

Chapter 6 Years of evolution 109

Chapter 7 From Ulm to Austerlitz to Warsaw 119

Chapter 8 Jéna - Auerstädt 135

Chapter 9 The bloody snows of Eylau 143

Chapter 10 Once again, Spain 159

Chapter 11 The turning point 185

Chapter 12 New honors, new distractions 227

Chapter 13 The best of times 233

Chapter 14 'I need a man on whom I can count' 237

Chapter 15 The gathering storm 245

Chapter 16 The deluge 255

Chapter 17 The tightrope 275

Chapter 18 The One Hundred Days 285

Chapter 19 The blockade 309

Chapter 20 Years of silence 351

Chapter 21 Game, set, and match 361

Chapter 22 The final battle 375

Epilogue 381

Annex A The service record of Pierre Daumesnil 387

Annex B Bonaparte's proclamation to the Army of Italy 390

Annex C The Convention of Paris 391

Annex D Blücher vs. Wellington re Napoleon's fate 393

Annex E The "Address" of 23 March 1815 395

Notes on illustrations 396

Bibliography 398

Index of names of persons 403

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