Prince Josef Anton Poniatowski (1763-1813)
Prince Poniatowski was a dashing cavalry commander who is most famous for the way in which he met his death. In 1807 he became commander of the 1st Polish Legion serving the French and quickly rose in rank being appointed Minister of War for the Grand Duchy of Warsaw in 1809 and after being awarded the Grand Eagle of the Legion of Honour in 1809. He went on to Command V Corps (Polish) in the Grande Armee in 1812. During that fateful year he fought at Smolensk and Borodino. In 1813 he commanded VIII Corps (Polish) and invaded Bohemia and took part in the battles of Lobau, Altenburg, Chemnitz and Leipzig. He finally gained Marshal rank on 16th October 1813 just before his death three days later. Cut off from the main French Army by the early destruction of the vital Elster River bridge he led a last charge against the Allied Army and was wounded four times, finally he tried to swim the Elster River and was drowned.
How to cite this article: Dugdale-Pointon, TDP. (22 March 2001), Prince Josef Anton Poniatowski (1763-1813), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_poniatowski.html