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Too patriotic for his own good?
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Mr. Blue
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:56 am    Post subject: Too patriotic for his own good? Reply with quote

Ney, one of Napoleon's most famous marshals, was tried for treason after Napoleon's defeat. Ney's lawyer argued that Ney was no longer French because his home town had been annexed by Prussia, and so he could not be tried by a French court for treason. Ney interrupted him saying "Je suis Fran├žais et je resterai Fran├žais!" (I am French and I will remain French). He was found guilty. But hey, at least he got to remain French, and that's what he wanted.
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Roland
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lawyer's argument sounds desperate - and not likely to be a winner. Even if the argument were successful, what would be the result - Ney's imprisonment as an enemy POW?
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Rusty Edge
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel sorry for Ney and his family.

The way I remember it, he was a sergeant in a hussar regiment when the French Revolution began. Because Napoleon rewarded merit, he rose to become a Marshall of France. He was known as "The Bravest of the Brave." Napoleon's wife Josephine introduced him to one of her friends. They married and had three sons, and loved each other very much. He was also nicknamed "The last man out of Moscow" because he covered the French retreat from the ill fated Russian campaign. He was the kind of soldier that led by example.

When Napoleon escaped Elba and raised an army in 1815, Ney was sent with an army to capture or kill him. Rather than start a French civil war, he pledged alligance to Napoleon, and took command of one wing of the combined army.

At Waterloo, he lead a massive cavalry charge which reached the ridge crest, and forced the British gunners to abandon their guns and take cover in the infantry squares. Now if Ney had been the "Cleverest of the Clever" he might have worked out what he was going to do if his charge succeeded and reached the destination. Such as a) bring spikes and hammers to disable all of the captured field pieces, or b) bring his horse artillery, so that they could have turned the British guns on the British. The squares would have been sitting ducks for artillery at close range. Being the Bravest of the Brave he didn't think of that until he reached the ridge. He had 5 or more horses shot out from under him that day, so if he hadn't been so brave, the charge probably wouldn't have worked. As it was, they couldn't break more than a square or two, rode around uselessly as the infantry picked them off. Eventually they were forced to return to their own lines, and the British gunners resumed, and the British infantry got safely down on the ground again. France didn't have time to win the battle with it's cavalry spent and the Prussians approaching.

I think Ney was always a soldier loyal to France above all. The royalists were going to make an example out of him. Of course he set an example for bravery when he faced the firing squad.

Actually, the rules for officer parole during the Napoleonic Wars were amazingly liberal. If the Prussians didn't shoot him, he might have spent the rest of his life in an inn there, sent for his family, and been free to go walking or riding or accepting dinner invitations.
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Mr. Blue
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roland wrote:
The lawyer's argument sounds desperate - and not likely to be a winner. Even if the argument were successful, what would be the result - Ney's imprisonment as an enemy POW?


The war was over and the Bourbon monarchy was on good terms with Prussia, so if they had accepted that he was a Prussian they wouldn't be likely to keep him prisoner.
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Mr. Blue
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rusty Edge wrote:
bring spikes and hammers to disable all of the captured field pieces ...

Actually, the rules for officer parole during the Napoleonic Wars were amazingly liberal. If the Prussians didn't shoot him, he might have spent the rest of his life in an inn there, sent for his family, and been free to go walking or riding or accepting dinner invitations.


I believe they did bring spikes but didn't use them. So yeah, maybe not the brightest.

He wouldn't need parole since the war was over, so in what sense would he be a prisoner of war of the Prussians? what would the Prussians have shot him for? They would know that he was only "Prussian" by a legal quibble. Its not like he actually betrayed them. Other than those points, I think you're on target.
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Rusty Edge
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point.
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