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François Joseph Lefebvre

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François Joseph Lefebvre

François Joseph Lefebvre
François Joseph Lefebvre, Marshal of France
Born (1755-10-25)25 October 1755
Rouffach, Alsace
Died 14 September 1820(1820-09-14) (aged 64)
Paris, France
Buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France
Allegiance  France
Rank Marshal of France
Battles/wars

French Revolutionary Wars, Napoleonic Wars

Awards First Duc de Dantzig

François Joseph Lefebvre (; 25 October 1755 – 14 September 1820), Duc de Dantzig, was a French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and one of the original eighteen Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon.

Early life

Lefebvre was from Rouffach, Alsace, the son of a Hussar. He enlisted in French army at the age of 18 and like his close friend, Michel Ordener, he embraced the French Revolution. In 1783 he married Cathérine Hübscher with whom he had 14 children, although none living to survive him (his last son died in 1812 in battle).

Revolutionary Wars

In 1789 he was a Sergeant in the Gardes Françaises, and like most of the regiment, he joined the revolution. Promoted to Brigadier General in 1793, he took part in the Battle of Fleurus (24 June 1794). After General Louis Lazare Hoche's death he commanded the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse (September 1797). He then commanded the vanguard of the Army of the Danube under Jourdan in March 1799, although for the first week of the campaign he was incapacitated with ringworm and Dominique Vandamme replaced him temporarily. He was later injured at the Battle of Ostrach where the Advance Guard bore the brunt of the early fighting. In November 1799, Lefebvre commanded the Paris troops and reluctantly agreed to support Napoleon Bonaparte in his coup d'état. In the year 1800, Bonaparte appointed him senator.

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleon made him a Marshal of the Empire in 1804. Lefebvre commanded a division of the Old Guard in the German campaign of 1805. At the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, on 14 October 1806, Lefebvre commanded the infantry of the Imperial Guard. He besieged and took Danzig in 1807, which won him the title of Duc de Danzig (Duke of Danzig).

In 1808 Lefebvre took part in the Peninsula War. In 1809 he commanded the Bavarian army at the battles of Eckmühl and Wagram. Defeated by Tyrolean patriot Andreas Hofer in the same year, he was replaced. He commanded the Old Guard in the French invasion of Russia (1812) and in the German (1813) and French campaigns (1814) of the War of the Sixth Coalition.

He voted for the Emperor's deposition at the Senate and during the First Restoration he was made Peer of France by [[Louis XVIII of France|Louis XVIII

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