Jean-Andoche Junot

Friederich KleistFrench General

Jean-Andoche Junot knew Napoleon Bonaparte longer than most, having served with him from as far back as Toulon in 1793.

By the time he met Bonaparte, Junot had already served for three years, had been wounded once and promoted to sergeant. Becoming Bonaparte's aide, he rose to lieutenant and then accompanied the young commander for most of his meteoric career.

He fought in the Italian, Egyptian, Austerlitz, Russian campaigns with his mentor, and had independent commands in Portugal and Spain.

Junot became the first major French casualty of Wellington's brilliant career - at Vimiero - but, cut off from France, was lucky that the Convention of Cintra allowed him and his men to be transported home by the Royal Navy.

A very able commander early on and a fierce fighter, Junot was once seriously injured in a skirmish in which he killed six men.

Increasingly mentally unstable in later years, Junot's performances in Russia were not up to his usual standard and he was censured for failing to stop the Russian escape after Smolensk.

Despite his closeness to Bonaparte, Junot never became a marshal - something that preyed on his mind.

In 1813, and retired from service, he killed himself.

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