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Michel Ney
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Military Personnel
    (1769-December 7, 1815)
    French Marshal
    Fought in most of the major battles of the Napoleonic Wars
    Sided with Napoleon upon his return at the Battle of Waterloo
    Executed by firing squad in Paris for betraying the Bourbon regime (1815)
    He was known as 'the red head' by his troops not only for the color of his hair, but because of his extraordinary temper.
    His subordinates often had to calm him down in order for him to be able to think soundly and strategically.
    He had trouble getting along with fellow marshals.
    He was relieved from command for insubordination (1811).
    He only worked well when controlled by staff member Antoine Henri Jomini or Napoleon himself.
    He was the spokesman for his fellow marshals who suggested that Napoleon abdicate and let the Bourbon monarchy take over France.
    He was rewarded for assisting Napoleon's departure by retaining his rank and position in France's military.
    When Napoleon returned from exile, the king sent him to take care of it and he promised to bring back Napoleon 'in an iron cage.'
    He ended up joining forces with Napoleon against the crown instead (1815).
    After the defeat of Napoleon, he was executed by firing squad for treason (1815).'
    Some people believe the execution was staged and he escaped to America to become a farmer.
    Napoleon referred to him as being 'the bravest of the brave.'
    He had incredible courage and often lead the troops from the front lines.
    He was one of the few officers promoted to rank of marshal after Napoleon took over the government
    He covered Napoleon's flank as he retreated from Russia, which lead to heavy casualties.
    He fought on protecting Napoleon's army, even taking up a musket himself and shooting the Russians at the front lines.
    He was the last to step off of Russian soil during the retreat.
    He often fought despite injuries gained in battle.
    His failures at Waterloo contributed to Napoleon's defeat.
    He requested no blindfold for his execution and he gave the order to shoot.
    Much like George Patton, it was his charisma and his bravery that motivated his men to do great deeds.
    He is a favorite Napoleonic War leader among historians.

Credit: Captain Howdy


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