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"Your favorite of Napoleons Marshals?" Topic

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09 Sep 2019 9:33 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "You favorite of Napoleons Marshals?:" to "Your favorite of Napoleons Marshals?"

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Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 5:50 a.m. PST

Who is your favorite of Napoleons Marshals?
For some reason mine has always been Jean Lannes.
His bravery with out rashness is well documented as well as being given the highest respect from "the Man" himself -- even allowing Lannes to honestly and boldly speak his mind face to face.

Russ Dunaway

Eagle7609 Sep 2019 5:53 a.m. PST

I always have had a liking for Davout. Don't know why, never met him.

Sho Boki Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 5:57 a.m. PST

I don't have any.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 6:02 a.m. PST

Louis Nicholas Davout – the Iron Marshal; tough but very, very fair, took care of his men; preferred to spend time with his family rather than hob-nobbing with high society. His III Corps was an excellent unit and he never lost a battle – his men may have called him "The Iron Marshal" but France's enemies called him "The Beast"

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 6:07 a.m. PST

My 2nd choice Frederick and challenges Lannes as my 1st !!!!

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 6:10 a.m. PST

Berthier-Napoleon's one indispensable marshal. He was the premier chief of staff of the period.

Attalus I09 Sep 2019 6:20 a.m. PST

Davout, Duke of Auerstadt.

Altefritz09 Sep 2019 6:20 a.m. PST

Davout. Together with Soult the only one that was fully-suited for an independent command.

mad monkey 109 Sep 2019 6:26 a.m. PST


Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian09 Sep 2019 6:38 a.m. PST

Davout. He earned his titles

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 6:52 a.m. PST

Yup, Davout gets my vote for all the positive reasons stated. And he stayed loyal to his Emperor to the bitter end.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 7:22 a.m. PST

Davout. Together with Soult the only one that was fully-suited for an independent command.

To that I would add Lannes, Suchet, St Cyr, and Massena.

'The rest were human projectiles who required the Emperor's aim and impulse.'

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 8:05 a.m. PST

I always have choices that go against the norm. St Cyr would be my favorite. LaSalle would have been a good one. I always like Eugene, but he was no Marshal…

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 8:15 a.m. PST

Davout. I feel he could have been quite foe for Napoleon, had he gone that way.

Andrew Preziosi09 Sep 2019 8:33 a.m. PST

St Cyr here too, as a very close 2nd to Davout!

He knew what he was about on both the field of battle and the approach to!

Steamingdave209 Sep 2019 8:49 a.m. PST

Definitely Davout. Well organised, disciplined and cool glasses!

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 8:57 a.m. PST

Interesting that, perhaps the two most famous Marshals
--- Ney and Murat -- are not even getting a mention ????

von Winterfeldt09 Sep 2019 9:05 a.m. PST


David Brown09 Sep 2019 9:35 a.m. PST

Davout was a fine marshal until 1812, during which he put in a rather average innings, given his previous standards.

He was never really tested in the crucible of the 1813 -14 campaigns, when he preferred to sit it out and await Napoleon's downfall.


138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 9:35 a.m. PST

Depends at what level.

Form a purely military stand point:

St. Cyr, mostly based on his work wth the Army of the Rhine in the Revolutionary Wars.

Runners up:

Marmont, Yes I know not much love because of the 1814 thing, but when he stopped fighting the the hand had written "MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN" on the wall. My reasons for liking him was his sensible artillery reforms (never properly implemented because of the financial failures of the French state) and his willingness to work with other Marshals in Spain. He actually was a team player.

At a personal level, and the one I would most like to meet:

St Cyr. An introvert who was notoriously difficult at a personal level. Well since I'm the same way, I know how to deal with introverts.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 9:38 a.m. PST

…fully-suited for an independent command. ….and Massena.

Tell me Kevin, how did that work out in Spain?

Marcel180909 Sep 2019 9:39 a.m. PST

Ney (for his bravery)

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 9:42 a.m. PST


JMcCarroll Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 9:57 a.m. PST

Lannes = Corp.
Davout = Army
Ney = Division

surdu200509 Sep 2019 10:09 a.m. PST

Devout and Bertier, for different reasons.

BillyNM09 Sep 2019 10:09 a.m. PST

It's Massena for me but with Marmont close behind.

Lord Hill09 Sep 2019 10:12 a.m. PST

Poniatowski (was he a full Marshall?) – great name, great uniform, and drowning in a river is a memorable way to go.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 10:15 a.m. PST

Hate to be so cliched, but Davout.

Sebaar09 Sep 2019 11:01 a.m. PST

Poniatowski shown in 1792 and 1809 campaigns that he was fully-suited for an independent command but also good organizer. In 1812 and 1813 he did a lot better job than some marchals.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 11:02 a.m. PST

I always like Eugene, but he was no Marshal…

Eugene was a French general officer, but he was also Napoleon's viceroy in the Kingdom of Italy. He would outrank a marshal in the field.

He is also the most underrated generals of the period.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 11:05 a.m. PST

He was never really tested in the crucible of the 1813 -14 campaigns, when he preferred to sit it out and await Napoleon's downfall.

Davout was assigned to the defense of Hamburg which he held against all odds. He did not 'sit it out and await Napoleon's downfall.

USAFpilot09 Sep 2019 11:43 a.m. PST

All of them were very brave; most of them loyal.

I'd pick:


138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 11:43 a.m. PST

Poniatowski (was he a full Marshall?)

Yes, for a Day, made one on 18th October. Drowned the next day.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 11:43 a.m. PST

Lannes would be my first choice had he survived
beyond 1809.

So Davout.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 11:47 a.m. PST

Why do so many people think LaSalle would have become a Marshall had he lived ? Just because he was dashing and it's cool to like him?

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 12:28 p.m. PST

Wouldn't LaSalle just be a new Murat, did the army really have room for two dashing cavalry Marahals?

John Tyson09 Sep 2019 12:51 p.m. PST

Marshal Soult. A most able, yet congenial officer. He could be relied upon for overall independent command. Had just about the right amount of caution and audacity.

Devout is without a doubt the most able Marshal, but I sure wouldn't want to be on his staff. He was hard on his folks. I've worked for men liked him. Basically, an @$$Hole, and it's not necessary. It's a personality thing; not an ability thing.

God bless,
John T.

Eumelus09 Sep 2019 1:01 p.m. PST

I'd also class Suchet as"fully-suited for independent command", as he successfully performed as a civil administrator as well as military commander of Aragon. He also showed honor and loyalty by declaring for the Emperor in the Hundred Days.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 1:07 p.m. PST

Wouldn't LaSalle just be a new Murat, did the army really have room for two dashing cavalry Marahals?

There were better light cavalrymen than either Murat or Lasalle. In 1809 Bessieres was a much better commander of the Cavalry Reserve than Murat, and he had the added advantage that he actually took good care of both horses and men.

Montbrun, Pajol, and Grouchy were also better cavalry commanders than Lasalle, although Lasalle gets more press than the others. And the list does go on with Jacquinot, Pire, Marulas and still others.

Interestingly, Montbrun, Pire, and Jacquinot, as well as Marulaz, all served under Davout's command at one time or another, Davout being one of the two marshals who began as cavalrymen.

ConnaughtRanger09 Sep 2019 1:09 p.m. PST

Andre Massena – can't imagine the dependable but dull Davout invading Portugal in the company of Henriette (actually Maria Anne Eugenie) Renique?

Whirlwind09 Sep 2019 1:29 p.m. PST

Grouchy. As well as a very creditable overall career, saving the reputation of the French Army by beating the Prussians in the last big battle of the war after Napoleon was so soundly thrashed and his army was reduced to a howling rout has to stand high in the annals.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 3:30 p.m. PST

Davout was hard on his subordinates. His troops were always the best-trained and best-equipped in the Grande Armee. He stood up for his officers if they had obeyed his orders and he remembered and rewarded competence.

Whether or not he was nice or friendly does not matter at all.

His troops called him 'The Just.' He permitted no looting. Both von Brandt and Coignet have excellent stories to tell about him, as does Marbot.

dBerczerk09 Sep 2019 3:46 p.m. PST

I always enjoyed the humor in the "bonus" figure included in one of the Old Glory 15mm Marshalls Packs, circa 1993: Marshall Dillon.

Vintage Wargaming09 Sep 2019 3:54 p.m. PST

MacDonald. I'm a MacDonald. And no-one else has chosen him. And he was a better swimmer than Poniatowski.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 4:00 p.m. PST

Forgot all about that !! Done by me just for a little fun.
Actually had a few people get upset as they felt they were paying for him, when in reality he was thrown in for free!!

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 5:29 p.m. PST


Kevin in Albuquerque Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 5:47 p.m. PST


Dukewilliam Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 6:07 p.m. PST

Better swimmer than Poniatowski, haha. And a Grouchy revisionist! Very cool.

Lascaris09 Sep 2019 7:27 p.m. PST

If St. Hilaire had survived Aspern and received his baton I would choose him. However, given history I'll go with Suchet followed by Davout.

Fredloan09 Sep 2019 7:43 p.m. PST

Davout then Lannes

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