Nicolas Oudinot

Marshal  Nicolas OudinotFrench Marshal
Duc de Reggio

One of the most wounded men involved in the Napoleonic Wars, Nicolas Oudinot suffered no fewer than 22 battle injuries in more than 30 years of military service.

Joining the royal army as a 17-year-old in 1784, Oudinot showed such ability that within five years of signing on he was a cavalry captain and was a lieutenant-colonel from 1792.

Wounded at Hagenau in 1793, his courage and inspirational leadership earned him a jump to general of brigade.

At Ulm he received six wounds and fell into enemy Austrian hands, but was exchanged and, after recovering from the injuries, found himself badly wounded again at Ingolstadt in 1795.

Four years later he was a general of division and had been wounded several more times.

His major clashes included Wertingen, Hollabrunn, Danzig, Friedland, Landshut, Aspern-Essling, Wagram, Polotsk, Beresina, Bautzen, Gross Beeren, Leipzig, Brienne and La Rothiere.

During those battles he suffered a range of injuries - wounded in the shoulders, legs, chest, almost losing an ear and surviving a musket ball hitting his chest - stopped by his legion of honour.

Made a marshal in 1809, Oudinot continued his fearless ways and even the title Duc de Reggio did not make him opt for a safer life.

Oudinot was respected by all, particularly Napoleon Bonaparte, but the respect of the emperor did not stop him from backing the calls for his abdication.

Upon Bonaparte's return from exile he did not join his former commander and did his best to keep his troops loyal to King Louis XVIII.

A soldier's marshal, Oudinot was talented, brave and devoted to France.


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