Suchet, Louis Gabriel
SUCHET, LOUIS GABRIEL, Duo D'ALBUFERA (17701826), marshal of France, one of the most brilliant of Napoleon's generals, was the son of a silk manufacturer at Lyons, where he was born on 2d March 1770. He originally intended to follow his father's business; but the Revolution of 1789 altered the bent of his ambition, and, having in 1792 served as volunteer in the cavalry of the national guard at Lyons, he manifested military abilities which secured his rapid promotion. As chef de bataillon he was present at the siege of Toulon in 1793, where he took General O'Hara prisoner. During the Italian campaign of 1796 he distinguished himself in most of the important contests and was severely wounded at Cerea on 1 1 th October. In October 1797 he was appointed to the command of a demibrigade, and in the following year his services in Switzerland were recognized by his promotion to the rank of general of brigade. He then went to Egypt, but soon afterwards was recalled, and in August made chief of the staff to Brune, to whom he rendered invaluable assistance in restoring the -efficiency and discipline of the army in Italy. In July 1799 be was made general of division to Joubert in Italy, and, after being continued in the same office by his successors, was in 1800 named by Massena his second in command. Soon afterwards he had an opportunity of manifesting those qualities which entitle him to rank among the most daring and clever tacticians of his time ; his dexterous resistance to the superior forces of the Austrians with the left of Massena, when the right and centre were shut up in Genoa, not only prevented the invasion of France from this direction but powerfully contributed to the success of Napoleon's strategy of crossing the Alps, which culminated in the battle of Marengo on 14th June. He took a prominent part in all the subsequent events of the Italian campaign till the peace of Luneville, 9th February 1801. In the campaigns of 1805 and 1806 he greatly increased his reputation, more especially at Austerlitz, Saalfeld, Jena, Pultusk, and Ostrolenka. He obtained the title of count on 19th March 1808, and, after taking part in the siege of Saragossa, was named generalissimo of the army of Aragon and governor of the province, which, by wise administration no less than by his brilliant valour, he in two years brought into complete submission. He annihilated the army of Blake at Maria on 14th June 1809, and on 22d April 1810 inflicted a severe defeat on O'Donnell. After being made marshal of France, 8th July 1811, he in 1812 achieved the conquest of Valencia, for which he was rewarded with the title of Duc d'Albufera. By Louis XVIII. he was on 4th June made a peer of France, but, having assisted Napoleon during the "hundred days," he was deprived of his peerage on 24th July 1815. He died near Marseilles on 3d January 1826. Suchet was the author of Jihnoires sur ses Campagnes en Espagne, 2 vols., 1829-34.
See C.-H. Barault-Roullon, Le MarJchal Suelet, Paris, 1854 ; T. Choumara, Consid&ations militaires sur les Mein circa du Mareeh,al Suchet, Paris, 1840.