General François marquis de Chasseloup-Laubat, 1754-1833

General François Marquis de Chasseloup-Laubat (1754-1833) was one of the most important military engineers of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Chasseloup-Laubat was born into an aristocratic family in 1754 and joined the Royal Army in 1774. His career survived the shock of the revolution intact, and he continued to rise in rank. He was involved in the siege of Mainz (1793), then joined the army of Italy. He was heavily involved at the long siege of Mantua (1796-97), and was responsible for directing the construction of the siege works at the start of the siege (June-July 1796).

In 1799 he became chief engineer of the Army of Italy and was promoted to general of division. He was based in Italy for the next few years, improving the fortifications of the new French possessions.

In 1801 he published a work on fortifications - Correspondance d'un Général Français. This book was reprinted several times in the following years.

During the wars of 1806-7 he accompanied Napoleon's army, taking part in the sieges of Colberg, Danzig and Stralsund.

He was also with the army during the invasion of Russia in 1812. During the retreat he worked alongside the more famous Jean-Baptists Eblé at the crossing of the Berezina, where the French engineers built two crucial bridges across the river at Studienka, allowing part of the army to escape from converging Russian armies.

In 1814 he accepted the Bourbon restoration, and he remained loyal to them during Napoleon's brief return in 1815. Louis XVIII rewarded him for his loyalty by making him a marquise. In the aftermath of Waterloo Chasseloup-Laubat voted against the condemnation of Marshal Ney.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (22 May 2014), General François marquis de Chasseloup-Laubat, 1754-1833 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_chasseloup-laubat.html

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