General Alexander Antoine Hureau de Senarmont, baron (1769-1810)

General Alexander Antoine Hureau, baron de Senarmont (1769-1810) was a French artillery command best known for his 'artillery charge' at the battle of Friedland.

Senarmont was born in Strasbourg, the son of an artillery officer in the Royal army. He was educated at the artillery school at Metz, and commissioned into the Artillery in 1785, so was a member of the pre-revolutionary army. Despite this his career continued into the Revolutionary army.

In 1800 he came to public attention for the skill with which he moved the artillery of Napoleon's Army of Reserve across the Alps into Italy, and for the way in which he commanded the artillery at the battle of Marengo.

Senarmont fought at Austerlitz. He was promoted to général de brigade in 1806 and became command of his old school.

Senarmont's crowning moment came during the War of the Fourth Coalition (1806-1807). At the battle of Friedland Napoleon's right wing needed to push the Russians back along a narrow headland between a river and a steep sided stream. Senarmont formed two artilleries batteries which advanced alongside the leading infantry. These two artillery batteries advanced closer and closer to the Russians, eventually firing into them at point blank range. They even defeated a Russian cavalry attack. This attack proved that the artillery could be an offensive weapon in the right circumstances. Senarmont was made a baron as a reward for his achievements at Friedland.

Senarmont was appointed chief of the artillery for Victor's I Corps in Spain. He fought at the battle of Somosierra (29-30 November 1808), and was promoted to général of division. He used the same massed artillery battery tactics at the battle of Ocana (19 November 1809). He then took part in the long and unsuccessful siege of Cadiz (5 February 1810-24 August 1812). On October 1810, during the siege, he was hit by a shell and killed.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 September 2015), General Alexander Antoine Hureau de Senarmont, baron (1769-1810) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_senarmont.html

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