Napoleonic Wars French Army Marshal. He was considered by Emperor Napoleon Boneparte as "the bravest of the Brave", and is often considered one of the best soldiers ever produced by the French Army. Born in Saarelouis, in the Saar basin of France, he became an officer in the French Army, and served with great distinction in the campaign of 1792, when the French Army defeated the Prussians and Austrians. His cool courage and military skill quickly marked him as a notable soldier, and in 1804, Napoleon promoted him to Marshal. After defeating the Austrians at Elchingen in 1805, he was given the title Duke of Elchingen. He fought at the battles of Jena, Eylau, and Friedland, with great distinction. When the French Army went into Russia in 1812, he was given the title Prince of Moscow, but it was in the retreat from Moscow that Ney is best remembered, as he formed the rear guard (usually a sacrificial position for an Army unit), again and again, as the French Army retreated in the bitter winter of 1814. When Napoleon was forced from power in 1814 and exiled at Elba, Ney became a supporter of King Louis XVIII. In 1815, in what was to be called the Hundred Days, Napoleon escaped from Elba, landed in France and formed another Army, to seize Paris from King Louis. As Napoleon was marching on Paris, Ney told the king that he would "bring Napoleon back in a cage," but as soon as Ney's forces met Napoleon's the two armies immediately became one under Napoleon. The King and his advisers fled from Paris to Belgium and Napoleon once again reigned as Emperor of France. In 1815, Napoleon attempted to end the war by defeating Britain and her allies at Waterloo, Belgium, but the French Army was defeated, and Ney was captured. A court of his fellow officers refused to try him, so the King had Ney tried by the House of Peers (a civilian legislative group), and he was condemned to death for treason against the King. Ney was executed by firing squad in Paris on December 7, 1815.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson
Michel NEY Duc d'Elchingen Prince de la Moskowa, Sarrelouis 10 Janvier 1769 - Fusillé à Paris 7 Décembre 1815. Hussard 1788, Lieutenant 1792, Général de Division 1799, Ministre Plénipotentiaire et Général en Chef de l'Armée française en Helvétie 1802, Maréchal de l'Empire 1804, Commandant le 6eme Corps de la Grande Armée 1805-1810, Commandant le 3eme Corps de la Grande Armée 1812-1813, Commandant l'aile gauche de l'Armée du Nord 1815.