Welcome to “M” in the A to Z Challenge 2017. The 1st Duke of Wellington is my theme for this year’s Challenge.
Maréchal Michel Ney, or Marshal Ney, was one of Napoleon’s “Marshals of the Empire” and Napoleon called him “the bravest of the brave.” He served under Napoleon in the French Revolution and in the Napoleonic Wars, including the Peninsular War. Eight battles he participated in against the allies in the Peninsular War, including the Battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo. I counted 25 other battles he fought in for France and for Napoleon. After Napoleon was exiled, Ney served under the monarchy of Louis XVIII. When Napoleon escaped Elba, Ney was commissioned to find him and bring him in. Well, Ney did find him and he joined Napoleon once again. Unfortunately, after the defeat at Waterloo (and some blame Ney for the defeat), Ney was arrested and then executed quickly by firing squad near the Luxembourg Gardens as an example to the other marshals of the empire, which was quite controversial for the French citizens due to Ney being such a great soldier for France. Most of the other marshals did not suffer the same fate. Ney was married and had four sons.
In World War I, the British constructed a warship that served until 1957 that was first named HMS Marshal Ney to honor the brave French soldier.
From reading Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe books, Ney was a French favorite of mine. Even though I have not mentioned the Duke, I am sure he had great respect for Marshal Ney and considered him one of his most admirable opponents.
Previous A to Z Challenge 2017 posts: