Napoleon: 1812: A Very Brave and Talented French General killed in a huge battle near Moscow


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[This General Caulaincourt and his brother were close to Napoleon and very talented. Napoleon saw great talent and promise in this man who was then killed at the Battle of Borodino. The Battle of Borodino was fought by the French near Moscow, and it was the biggest battle in all of the Napoleonic wars. It was an insanely huge battle by the standards of those days. This is similar to when the Germans reached the outskirts of Moscow. The difference is that Napoleon crushed the Russian army just prior to reaching Moscow and then he went in and took it over completely and stayed there until the Winter set in. That caused an insane disaster for him. I was researching Caulaincourt's brother because he wrote a biography about Napoleon in Russia. He was against Napoleon going into Russia. Interestingly, German Generals in Russia, like Von Kluge had this book with him in Russia in WW2!!!! Jan]

Auguste-Jean-Gabriel, comte de Caulaincourt (16 September 1777 – 7 September 1812) was a French cavalry commander who rose to the rank of general during the First French Empire.

He was the son of French general and senator Gabriel-Louis de Caulaincourt and younger brother of general and diplomat Armand Augustin Louis de Caulaincourt.[1]

Revolutionary Wars

Following his older brother’s footsteps, Auguste-Jean-Gabriel de Caulaincourt joined the army and, like his brother, became aide-de-camp to general d’Aubert Dubayet, in 1795. He was employed in the Armée du Rhin and subsequently served under general Masséna in the Switzerland campaign. Just after the battle of Zürich Masséna promoted him to the rank of chef d’escadron (squadron commander).[1]

Napoleonic Wars

In 1804 Caulaincourt was appointed aide-de-camp to Louis Bonaparte, with the rank of chef de brigade (colonel) of a dragoon brigade. The next year he fought at the battle of Austerlitz and in 1806 he resumed his duties as aide-de-camp to Louis Bonaparte, who had become King of Holland. Louis also named him Grand Ecuyer ("Master of the Horse"), major-general, and Holland’s plenipotentiary in the Kingdom of Naples. In 1808 Caulaincourt rejoined the French Army and was made général de brigade (brigadier general) and a baron of the Empire, just before being sent to fight in Spain. There he took Cuenca (3 July 1808) and fought in several other skirmishes, which brought him the rank of général de division (general of division) and the command of all dragoon regiments in Spain.

Caulaincourt was badly wounded in early 1810 and spent time recovering in France, where he was called back to service in 1812 as part of the second Grande Armée that Napoleon I assembled with the purpose of invading Russia.[2] Caulaincourt was killed at the Battle of Borodino on September 7, 1812 by a cannonball while leading the French assault of the great redoubt.

Napoleon thought very highly of Caulaincourt. During the Russian Campaign, Caulaincourt was given command of the Imperial general headquarters. Following his death at the Battle of Borodino, Napoleon told his brother, the Grand Ecuyer, Armand de Caulaincourt, the Duke of Vicenza, that his loss was a terrible blow and that he was being groomed for high command. Napoleon said: "[Caulaincourt] was a splendid man… He was my best cavalry officer. He had a quick eye, and he was brave. By the end of the campaign he would have replaced Murat [as commander of the Imperial cavalry corps]." Following his death, as a mark of esteem and for a lack of officers, as many died in battle, Napoleon promoted all the officers of Caulaincourt’s staff.[2]


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