Help support TMP

"The Iron Marshal: A Biography of Louis N Davout" Topic

18 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Napoleonic Media Message Board

Areas of Interest


686 hits since 16 Mar 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2018 3:13 p.m. PST

"Born into a distinguished Burgundian family in 1770, Louis Nicolas d'Avout began his military career with the French Royal Army but fully embraced the principles of the French Revolution, joining the Republican army as the commander of a battalion of volunteers. He quickly rose to the rank of general of brigade, but was removed from the active list of officers because of his noble birth. Nevertheless, he continued to serve in the Revolutionary army and took part in Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign. His abilities were recognised by Napoleon and Davout was promoted to general of division and was made a Marshal of the Empire in 1804.

He fought at many of the great battles of the Napoleonic Wars, including Austerlitz, Eylau, Wagram and Borodino. However, he is most famously remembered for the Battle of Auerstedt in 1806 where his single corps encountered and defeated the main Prussian army which was more than twice as numerous. As a consequence, he was granted the title of Duke of Auerstaedt. He was more commonly known as ‘The Iron Marshal' because of his reputation as a stern disciplinarian.

Regarded as Napoleon's ablest marshal, he was placed in command of the Hamburg in 1813, which was besieged by the Allies, and only surrendered by Davout after Napoleon had abdicated in 1814. During the Waterloo campaign, Napoleon made Davout Minister of War.

This unique study also touches upon the personal life of a man who, despite commanding unlimited respect, had few social skills. We learn of his successful marriage to the beautiful and well-connected Aimeé and the couple's struggle with the demands of Parisian social life"


Main page


Brechtel19817 Mar 2018 3:51 p.m. PST

It's an excellent book, even though the author uses Bourrienne occasionally in the narrative.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2018 9:23 p.m. PST

Yes…..not quite new tho, been around a few decades…

AussieAndy Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 1:57 a.m. PST

I'm guessing that the proceeds from my copy of the original 1970s edition won't now greatly enrich my heirs.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 6:01 a.m. PST

ok, so, no info on whether or not there is anything new here?

MaggieC7018 Mar 2018 12:27 p.m. PST

Nothing new other than the cover, the typesetting, and other surface issues. The content is exactly the same as it was when Jerry Gallaher wrote it.

Apparently it's solid enough that no other scholar has felt the need to produce another bio, one trumpeting "The Real Story behind Davout's Amazing military Success and the Reasons Napoleon Never Liked Him Much," based on "New and Ground-Breaking Research among Never-before Seen or Published Archival Material Found in a Broom Closet on the Third Floor of the Chateau du Vincennes."

Brechtel19818 Mar 2018 1:08 p.m. PST


It's lucky for me (and my computer) that I wasn't drinking any coffee when I read your posting.

Well said.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2018 2:02 p.m. PST

I have one and agree with Kevin…

MaggieC70…. dude! (smile)


hocklermp518 Mar 2018 2:06 p.m. PST

MaggieC70…..Or; "The Myth Of The Iron Marshall". Turning history inside out by claiming it is all a "myth" seems to be all the rage these days.

Brechtel19818 Mar 2018 3:35 p.m. PST

Turning history inside out by claiming it is all a "myth" seems to be all the rage these days.

That and the unending 'quest' for 'new' material in order to peddle books, too many of which are a waste of good paper and printer's ink.

von Winterfeldt19 Mar 2018 4:44 a.m. PST

a very boring book, a much better read in my view

Vachée : Étude du charactère militaire du maréchal DAvout, available in the internet for free download

Gazzola19 Mar 2018 5:08 a.m. PST

A very enjoyable and informative read. But I guess for some it did not contain enough negative comments about Napoleon. LOL

Brechtel19819 Mar 2018 7:19 a.m. PST

Vachee's book on Napoleon, Berthier, and the French general staff is not very good so his book on Davout might have the same problems.

I'll have to see it first.

Paul Demet19 Mar 2018 8:51 a.m. PST

There is also a biography covering his career up to 1806:

Daniel Reichel, 'Davout et l'Art de la Guerre', Neuchatel, Delachaux & Niestle, 1975.

This is based on a large number of archival and published sources

MaggieC7019 Mar 2018 12:02 p.m. PST

Vachee wrote an article, not a book, in 1909. Superficial, I thought.

von Winterfeldt19 Mar 2018 1:03 p.m. PST

couldn't get Daniel Reichel's work so far – so far I am told that it should be outstanding

Paul Demet20 Mar 2018 8:28 a.m. PST


You can pick up a second hand copy for around 50 euro – I think it's worth it, but I suppose it depends how much you are interested in Davout. I can scan a few pages for you if you want.

See link

von Winterfeldt22 Mar 2018 1:12 p.m. PST

thanks – I will try to get the book

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.