Louis Suchet

Marshal  Louis SuchetFrench Marshal
Duc d'Albuera

One of Napoleon Bonaparte's most brilliant subordinates, Suchet had a long military career that began in 1791 and ended in 1815.

Of all the marshals sent to hold Spain, only Suchet had success and ruled Catalonia wisely and well with a just administration that brought peace to a ravaged land.

His early career saw him fight at Loano, Dego, Lodi, Castiglione, Mantua, Arcola and Rivoli.

Promoted to general de brigade in 1798, Suchet married into the Bonaparte clan and became Chief of Staff of the Army of Italy.

He was fought at Novi, Ulm, Hollabrunn, Austerlitz, Saalfield, Jena, Pultusk and Ostrolenka. In 1808, Suchet became a count and then was transferred to Spain.

His successes in Spain earned him a marshalate in 1811 and two years later took up the governorship of Catalonia.

As the French began to withdraw from the Peninsula, Suchet oversaw a textbook withdrawal into France and, after the abdication of Bonaparte, served the Bourbons.

Rejoining the eagles upon the emperor's return, Suchet - like the equally able Marshal Davout - found himself out of the main action of the 100 Days' Campaign.

Just why Bonaparte wasted such military talents at such a crucial time seems inexplicable.

Initially blacklisted by the returning Bourbons, he was forgiven in 1819 but spent the remaining seven years of his life in retirement.

Together with Davout, Suchet was Bonaparte's military and administrative equal.

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