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Napoleon's Shield and Guardian (ePub)

The Unconquerable General Daumesnil

Military > Biographies > Military Biographies Military > Frontline eBooks > Frontline: Napoleonic Military > Frontline eBooks > Frontline: Napoleonic Library Military > Pre-WWI > Napoleonic

By Edward Ryan
Frontline Books
Series: The Napoleonic Library
File Size: 18.9 MB (.epub)
Pages: 424
ISBN: 9781784380137
Published: 15th August 2003


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This outstanding biography is the 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 during his rise and his fall. Enlisting as a private soldier in 1793, he was caught up in the tumult of the Napoleonic Wars, surviving campaign after campaign and emerging as a much-decorated general and Baron of the Empire. It was a meteoric rise but one earned through hard fighting, bravery and indefatigable courage. Daumesnil accompanied Napoleon as an officer of his chasseurs and his service record reflects his years of experience on the field of battle. Daumesnil joined the French Army as a private in 1793 and was serving in Napoleon's Guides in 1797. He 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, colour 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. • Covers the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars • Life as an officer in Napoleon's Imperial Guard Edward Ryan served in the US Navy in World War II and is a life-long student of the campaigns of Napoleon. A specialist on the Imperial Guard, he is the author of Napoleon's Elite Cavalry.

Only a handful of biographies of the "lesser" generals of Napoleon's army are available in English, making this study a welcomed addition to any Napoleonic library. Edward Ryan, whose previous Napoleon book was Napoleon's Elite Cavalry (Greenhill, 1999), was a former naval officer. Ryan has used a wide array of contemporary memoirs, the French archives, public and private, as well as the assistance of Daumesnil's own family, primarily in the person of Henri de Clairval (author of an earlier biography of Daumesnil in French) to tell is tale.

The Napoleon Series

General Daumesnil was a loyal and courageous follower of Napoleon who enlisted as a private soldier and rose to become a much decorated Baron of the Empire. First published in 2003 and now again in 2015, this book tells the story of Daumesnil’s repeated displays of courage and inspired leadership at Marengo, Austerlitz and Eylau, all of which brought him increasing honours and awards from Napoleon. His twentieth wound, the loss of a leg at Wagram, seemed to be destined to bring his career to an end. Instead it led to even greater distinction when – as governor of the fortress of Vincennes – he refused to surrender to the Allies in both 1814 and 1815.

This biography of an amazing officer will surely appeal to those interested in Napoleon’s elite cavalry and the Napoleonic wars generally. Included are eight colour plates, plus16 in monochrome, five annexes, a bibliography and an index of persons.

Stuart Asquith, Author

As mentioned, despite its title and despite Daumesnil’s devotion to Napoleon, the best reason to buy this book is for the many interesting details in the passages which take place when the two men aren’t in close proximity to each other. The author is to be commended for avoiding the temptation to simply rehash previously available material under a different viewpoint, instead providing the reader with fresh or at least less well known information on the period and some of the people that helped to shape it.

1/72 Scale Plastic Napoleonic
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