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Encyclopedia > André Masséna
André Masséna, Marshal of France

André Masséna (May 6, 1758 - April 4, 1817), Duke of Rivoli, Prince of Essling, was a French soldier in the armies of Napoleon and a Marshal of France. This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... May 6 is the 126th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (127th in leap years). ... 1758 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... April 4 is the 94th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (95th in leap years). ... 1817 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... The Marshal of France (maréchal de France) was one of the Great Officers of the Crown of France. ...


He was the son of a minor merchant and was born in Nice. Initially Massena intended to pursue a career in the merchant navy. He instead joined the army in 1775 as an ordinary soldier in the Royal-Italien and had risen to the rank of warrant officer (the top rank for a non nobleman) when he left in 1789. After a brief stint as a smuggler he re-joined the army in 1791 and was voted an officer, rising to the rank of colonel by 1792. City motto: Nicæa civitas. ...


He distinguished himself in the revolutionary wars and within two years he was a general. His first victory was at Saorgio in August 1794. His first major success was at Lonato in August 1795 against an Austrian army under Peter Quasdanovich. He had fought with Napoleon at Lonato and they remained in the same command into 1796 with a stunning series of French victories in Italy. In 1799 Massena was granted an command in Switzerland and his victory over the Russians under Alexander Korsakov at the Second Battle of Zurich in September, forcing Russia from the Second Coalition. This was the peak of his reputation. Second Battle of Zürich Conflict French Revolutionary Wars Date 25 September 1799 – 26 September 1799 Place Zürich, Switzerland Result French victory The Second Battle of Zürich 25th and 26th of September 1799. ... The name Second Coalition (1798 - 1800) designates the second major concerted effort of multiple European powers to contain revolutionary France. ...


Massena then returned to Italy and led his forces into the unfortunate debacle at Genoa before commanding in the tough Battle of Marengo (June 14, 1800) and was then made commander of the French forces in Italy, but he was soon dismissed for looting. It was not until 1804 that he regained trust, being promoted to the rank of marshal in May and leading forces to capture Verona and later losing to the Austrians at Caldiero (October 30, 1805). He was given control of operations against Naples but his avarice led to him being dismissed for excessive looting again. Despite this he was made a duke in 1808 The Battle of Marengo was fought in Italy on June 14, 1800 as the decisive battle of the war of the Second Coalition. ... The Battle of Caldiero took place on October 30, 1805. ...


He did not soldier again until 1809 against the forces of the Fifth Coalition, fighting the Austrians. When the French vanguard in the Danube was cut off and isolated, Massena was part of the command, leading IV Corps, of the defense centred around Aspern and Essling, before they were rescued after a bloody struggle. He was rewarded with the title of Prince d'Essling for his efforts there and at Wagram. The Fifth Coalition was an alliance between Austria and Great Britain formed in 1809 to fight Napoleon Bonapartes French Empire. ... The Battle of Aspern-Essling (May 22, 1809), was fought between the French and their allies under Napoleon and the Austrians commanded by the archduke Charles. ...


During the Peninsular War he led the invasion of Portugal in 1810. He commanded the first clash with the Allies at Buçaco (September 27) and forced the Allies to retreat to the Lines of Torres Vedras where a stalemate perpetuated until the arrival of British reinforcements in 1811. When Massena was forced to retreat after the battles of Barrosa and Fuentes de Oñoro from Portugal he was replaced by Auguste Marmont and did not serve again, being made a local commander at Marseilles. The Peninsular War (1808-1814) was a major conflict during the Napoleonic Wars. ... The Battle of Buçaco was fought by General Lord Wellington on September 27, 1810, to secure his retreat to the Lines of Torres Vedras. ... The Lines of Torres Vedras were a line of forts in Portugal built in secrecy between November 1809 and September 1810 by Portuguese workers, under the supervision of Army Engineers. ... The Battle of Barrosa took place on March 5, 1811 between Anglo-Spanish and French forces as part of the Peninsular war. ... The Battle of Fuentes de Onoro was fought on May 3 - 5, 1811 and resulted in an undecided battle between French troops under Marshall André Masséna and British under Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. ... Auguste Frédéric Louis Viesse de Marmont, duke of Ragusa (July 20, 1774 - July 22, 1852), marshal of France, was born at Châtillon-sur-Seine. ...


He retained his command after the restoration and on the return of Napoleon from Elba he refused to commit to either side and kept his area quiet. He was disinclined to prove his royalist loyalties after the defeat of Napoleon and died soon after.


A village in northern New York is named in his honor. It was settled by French lumbermen in the early 19th century.


 
 

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