Battle of Golymin

The Battle of Golymin took place on 26 December 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars at Gołymin, Poland, between around 17,000 Russian soldiers with 28 guns under Prince Golitsyn and 38,000 French soldiers under Marshal Murat. The Russian forces disengaged successfully from the superior French forces. The battle took place on the same day as the Battle of Pułtusk.

Coordinates: 52°49′N 20°52′E / 52.817°N 20.867°E

Battle of Golymin
Part of the War of the Fourth Coalition
Date26 December 1806
Gołymin, Poland
Result French victory
France First French Empire Russia Russian Empire
Commanders and leaders
France Joachim Murat
France Pierre Augereau
France Louis-Nicolas Davout
Russia Dmitriy Golitsyn
38,000 soldiers[1] 16,000–18,000 soldiers,
28 guns[2]
Casualties and losses
700 750


Strategic situation

After conquering Prussia in the autumn of 1806, Napoleon entered Poland to confront the Russian army, which had been preparing to support the Prussians until their sudden defeat. Crossing the river Vistula, the French advance corps took Warsaw on 28 November 1806.

The Russian army was under the overall command of Field Marshal Mikhail Kamensky, but he was old and becoming infirm. The Russian First Army of some 55,000 to 68,000 men,[3] commanded by Count Bennigsen, had fallen back from the Vistula to the line of the River Wkra,[4] in order to unite with the Second Army, about 37,000 strong,[5] under Buxhowden, which was approaching from Russia and was still some 15 days march from the First Army. However, realising his mistake in allowing the French to cross the Vistula, Kamensky advanced at the beginning of December to try to regain the line of the river.[6] French forces crossed the Narew River at Modlin on 10 December, and the Prussian Corps commanded by Lestocq failed to retake Thorn. This led Bennigsen on 11 December to issue orders to fall back and hold the line of the River Wkra.[7]

When this was reported to Napoleon, he assumed the Russians were in full retreat. He ordered the forces under Murat (the 3rd corps of Davout, 7th of Augereau and 5th under Lannes and the 1st Cavalry Reserve Corps) to pursue towards Pułtusk while Ney, Bernadotte and Bessières (6th, 1st and 2nd Cavalry Reserve Corps respectively) turned the Russian right and Soult's (4th Corps) linked the two wings of the army.[8]

Kamensky had reversed the Russian retreat, and ordered an advance to support the troops on the River Ukra.[9] Because of this, the French experienced difficulty crossing the river and it was not until Davout forced a crossing near the junction of the Wkra and the Narew on 22 December[10] that the French were able to advance.

On 23 December, after an engagement at Soldau with Bernadotte's 1st Corps, the Prussian corps under Lestocq was driven north towards Königsberg. Realising the danger, Kamensky ordered a retreat on Ostrolenka. Bennigsen decided to disobey and stand and fight on 26 December at Pułtusk. To the north-west, most of the 4th Division commanded by General Golitsyn and the 5th Division under General Dokhturov were falling back towards Ostrolenka via the town of Golymin. The 3rd Division under General Sacken, who had been the link with the Prussians, was also trying to retire via Golymin, but had been driven further north by the French to Ciechanów. Some of the 4th Division's units were at Pułtusk.[11]


The weather caused severe difficulties for both sides. Mild autumn weather had lasted longer than usual.[12] Normally, frosts made the inadequate roads passable after the muddy conditions of autumn but on 17 December there was a thaw,[13] followed by a two-day thaw beginning on 26 December.[14] The result was that both sides found it very difficult to manoeuvre. In particular the French (as they were advancing) had great difficulty bringing up their artillery, and so had none available at Golymin.

There were also difficulties with supply. Captain Marbot, who was serving with Augereau, wrote:

It rained and snowed incessantly. Provisions became very scarce; no more wine, hardly any beer, and what there was exceedingly bad, no bread, and quarters for which we had to fight the pigs and the cows.[15]


The village of Golymin lay in a flat area, with slight rises to the north and north-east. Woods and marshes almost surrounded the village. From the village, the road to Pułtusk ran south-east, that to Ciechanów north-west, and that to Makow (the destination for the Russian retirement) to the north-east. A track linked Golymin to the small village of Garnow to the south. The village of Ruskowo lay to the south-west, and that of Kaleczin a short distance to the west. Wadkowo lay further out along the Ciechanów road.


On the morning of 26 December, elements of Golitsyn's 4th Division reached Golymin. They were too exhausted to continue to Makow and Golitsyn also needed to wait for units of Sacken's 3rd Division. In the village he found Dokhturov, who had sent most of his 5th Division towards Makow, but remained at Golymin with a dragoon and an infantry regiment. Golitsyn hoped to rest his men before continuing their retreat.[16]

Murat's Reserve Cavalry Corps and Augereau's 7th Corps set out towards the town at first light (around 7 am). Lasalle's Cavalry Division were the first to arrive from the south-west at about 10am.[17] Golitsyn reinforced his rearguard of two squadrons of cavalry with three squadrons of cuirassiers, and Lasalle's men were driven back to the woods. But at around 2 p.m. Augereau's Corps appeared from the east. Golitsyn gave up his attempt to retreat, as his men were too exhausted to retire without fighting. He sent one regiment of infantry under the command of Prince Shcherbatov into the woods around Kaleczin and posted the rest of his troops in front of Golymin. He put his cavalry and Dokhturov's troops as his reserves, and positioned the rest of his division in front of Golymin.

Augereau's two divisions advanced, that of Haudelet on the left from Ruskow and Desjardins on the right from Wadkow. Desjardin's division at first drove back Shcherbatov, but being reinforced by an infantry battalion and with the support of their guns the Russians drove the French back. Heudelet's division made very little progress. For the rest of the day the forces skirmished as Heudelet's men slowly pushed round the Russian right.

Golymin 2pm
Battle of Golymin about 2pm

About the same time as Augereau's attack started Murat arrived around Garnow with the cavalry divisions of Klein and Milhaud, and Davout's light cavalry. They drove the Russian cavalry into the woods to the south of Golymin, but were then unable to pursue further because the terrain was unsuitable for cavalry.

Golitsyn's force was now reinforced by two cavalry regiments from the 7th and 8th divisions, who had pushed past Augereau's cavalry on the Ciechanów road. However, Davout's 1st Division under Morand was beginning to arrive from the south-east. Golitsyn sent three infantry battalions into the woods and marshes to the south of Golymin, and two cavalry regiments to cover the Pułtusk road.

At about 3:30pm[18] Morand's first brigade attacked. After a struggle they drove the Russians out. Davout saw that the Russians were trying to retire towards Makow, and sent Morand's second brigade to advance via the Pułtusk road. A unit of dragoons led by General Rapp charged the Russian cavalry on the road, but found that the marshes on either side contained Russian infantry up to their waists in water and safe from the cavalry. The dragoons were driven back and Rapp was wounded. After taking the woods Morand's division did not advance further, concerned that there would be further useless losses.[19]

Golymin 5pm
Battle of Golymin about 5pm

Night had now fallen and the Russians started to withdraw. Dokhturov's men led the way to Makow, then at about 9 p.m. Golitsyn sent off his guns, cavalry and then his infantry.

Augereau occupied Golymin early on 27 December.

Losses on both sides seem to have been around 800.[1]


Golitsyn had the advantages of the terrain and support from his guns, when the French had no artillery. The French attacks were also uncoordinated, late in the day and, as dusk fell, illuminated as targets by the burning villages. On the other hand, Golitsyn's men were exhausted and outnumbered two to one. Their fierce resistance led Murat to say to Napoleon:

We thought the enemy had 50,000 men[20]

While the French held the field, Golitsyn achieved his objective of withdrawing and Murat failed to stop him.


General Golitsyn's successful delaying action, combined with the failure of Soult's corps to pass round the Russian right flank destroyed Napoleon's chance of getting behind the Russian line of retreat and trapping them against the River Narew.

The dogged resistance and obedience to orders of the Russian infantry greatly impressed the French. Marbot noted:

The Russian columns were at this moment passing through the town [Golymin], and knowing that Marshal Lannes was marching to cut off their retreat by capturing Pułtusk, three leagues farther on, they were trying to reach that point before him at any price. Therefore, although our soldiers fired upon them at twenty-five paces, they continued their march without replying, because in order to do so they would have had to halt, and every moment was precious. So every division, every regiment, filed past, without saying a word or slackening its pace for a moment. The streets were filled with dying and wounded, but not a groan was to be heard, for they were forbidden.[21]

The Russian 5th and 7th Divisions retired towards the main body of the army at Różan. Bennigsen's forces fell back to Nowogród on the River Narew, uniting on 1 January 1807 with the forces under Buxhowden.

On 28 December Napoleon stopped his advance and, having lost contact with the Russian army, decided to go into winter quarters. His troops were exhausted and discontented, and the supply situation was in great disorder.[22]

The break in hostilities did not last long. On 8 February 1807 the two armies faced each other at the dreadful Battle of Eylau.

Forces involved

This list is derived from the units referred to in Petre's "Napoleon's Campaign in Poland 1806–1807",[23] and by checking the details for the same formations for the order of battles for Jena[24] and Elyau.[25] Milhaud's cavalry unit does not appear in either reference.

The French list is more detailed as there are more sources to work from. Petre was using the French Army archives for his research, and most unit details appear to be taken from there. The sources referred to give unit compositions down to individual battalions and squadrons.

Petre's source for the Russian units present was the memoirs of Sir Robert Wilson, British liaison officer with the Russian army. This was published in 1810 ("Remarks on the Russian Army"). It does not appear to contain any further information to help identify individual units. Stolarski's article[25] appears to make too many assumptions about the Russian order of battle at Eylau to be reliable.

  • Reserve Cavalry Corps – Marshal Murat
    • Light Cavalry Division under Lasalle – Two Brigades totalling 12 squadrons of Hussars and Chasseurs.
    • Light Cavalry Brigade under Milhaud – Four squadrons(?) (800 men)[26]
    • Dragoon Cavalry Division under Klein – Three Brigades totalling 19 squadrons of Dragoons.
  • 3rd Corps – Marshal Davout
    • 1st Infantry Division under Morand – Three Brigades totalling 12 battalions of infantry.
    • 2nd Infantry Division under Friant – Three Brigades totalling 8 battalions of infantry (not engaged)
    • Light Cavalry Division under Marulaz – Nine squadrons of Chasseurs
  • 7th Corps – Marshal Augereau
    • 1st Infantry Division under Desjardin – Two Brigades totalling 11 battalions of infantry
    • 2nd Infantry Division under Heudelet – Three Brigades totalling 11 battalions of infantry
    • Light Cavalry Division under Durosnel – Seven squadrons of Chasseurs

Note: No guns are mentioned as the French were not able to bring them up due to the muddy conditions.[27]

  • 4th Division – Prince Golitsyn
    • 15 battalions of infantry,
    • 20 squadrons of cavalry (Cuirassiers and Hussars),
    • 28 guns
  • 7th Division – General Dokhturov (part)
    • 3 battalions of infantry,
    • 2 regiments of cavalry
  • 3rd Division – General Sacken (part)
    • Some infantry
    • 2 regiments of cavalry


  1. ^ a b Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p114
  2. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p113
  3. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p38
  4. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p70
  5. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p39
  6. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p40
  7. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p73
  8. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p76
  9. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p77
  10. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p79-82
  11. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p89
  12. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p354
  13. ^ Correspondance de Napoleon Ier, XI 497
  14. ^ Petre "Campaign in Poland", 2001 ed, p40
  15. ^ Marbot "Memoirs", 1:xxvii
  16. ^ For details see Petrie "Poland" 2001 ed, p.107-114; Chandler "Campaigns" p.524; Chandler "Dictionary" p.173
  17. ^ Chandler, ed. "Dictionary" p.173
  18. ^ Petrie "Poland" 2001 ed, p.111
  19. ^ Petrie "Poland" 2001 ed, p.107-114
  20. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p115, quoting from Hoepfner, Gen. E von, "Der Kreig von 1806 und 1807" Berlin, 1855. iii, 126
  21. ^ Marbot "Memoirs", 1.xxviii
  22. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p117
  23. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p113 -114
  24. ^ Chandler, David G. "Jena 1806". Osprey 1993. ISBN 1-85532-285-4
  25. ^ a b Stolarski. P; "Elyau", Miniature Wargames Magazine, March 1997
  26. ^ Petre "Poland" p.64
  27. ^ Petre "Poland", 2001 ed, p109, 111


  • Chandler, David G. The Campaigns of Napoleon. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. ISBN 0-02-523660-1
  • Chandler, David G. Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars. Ware: Wordsworth Editions Ltd, 1999. ISBN 1-84022-203-4
  • Marbot, Baron M. "The Memoirs of Baron de Marbot". Translated by A J Butler. Kessinger Publishing Co, Massachusetts, 2005. ISBN 1-4179-0855-6 (References are to book and chapter). Also available on line (see external links below).
  • Petre, F. Loraine. Napoleon's Campaign in Poland 1806–1807. First published 1901; reissued Greenhill Books, 2001. ISBN 1-85367-441-9. Petre used many first hand French sources, German histories and documents from the French Army archives. However he spoke no Russian so was not able to use any Russian sources.

External links


1806 (MDCCCVI)

was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar, the 1806th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 806th year of the 2nd millennium, the 6th year of the 19th century, and the 7th year of the 1800s decade. As of the start of 1806, the Gregorian calendar was

12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

1806 in France

Events from the year 1806 in France.

2nd Pavlograd Life Hussar Regiment

The 2nd Pavlograd Life Hussar Regiment (Russian: 2-й лейб-гусарский Павлоградский полк) was a cavalry regiment of the Imperial Russian Army.

The regiment was originally formed in 1783 as the Pavlograd Light Horse Regiment from the Dnepr and Yekaterinoslav Regiments of Pikemen, although it traced its seniority back to the establishment of both regiments in 1764. It became the Pavlograd Hussar Regiment in 1801, and fought in the Napoleonic Wars, distinguishing itself at the Battle of Schöngrabern during the War of the Third Coalition. The regiment also fought at Austerlitz, Eylau, and Friedland, but served in a secondary theatre during the French invasion of Russia, although it fought in the Battle of Berezina in the latter. Subsequently, it took part in the Russian campaign in Europe, fighting at Leipzig, Craonne and Saint-Dizier.

The regiment went on to fight in the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829, the November Uprising, the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Crimean War, and the January Uprising.

4th Dragoon Regiment (France)

The 4th Dragoon Regiment (French: 4e Régiment de dragons, 4e RD) was a cavalry unit created during the Ancien Regime and was dissolved on July 11, 2014.

Antoine Charles Louis de Lasalle

Antoine-Charles-Louis, Comte de Lasalle (10 May 1775, Metz – 6 July 1809, Wagram) was a French cavalry general during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, often called "The Hussar General". He first gained fame for his role in the Capitulation of Stettin. Over the course of his short career, he became known as a daring adventurer and was credited with many exploits. Eventually, he fought on every front and was killed at the Battle of Wagram.

Battle of Czarnowo

The Battle of Czarnowo on the night of 23–24 December 1806 saw troops of the First French Empire under the eye of Emperor Napoleon I launch an evening assault crossing of the Wkra River against Lieutenant General Alexander Ivanovich Ostermann-Tolstoy's defending Russian Empire forces. The attackers, part of Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout's III Corps, succeeded in crossing the Wkra at its mouth and pressed eastward to the village of Czarnowo. After an all-night struggle, the Russian commander withdrew his troops to the east, ending this War of the Fourth Coalition action. Czarnowo is located on the north bank of the Narew River 33 kilometres (21 mi) north-northwest of Warsaw, Poland.

Several other actions occurred during the same week. On the 23rd, Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bessières defeated a probe by Prussian troops at Bieżuń. On 24 December, an action occurred at Kołoząb and Sochocin where Marshal Pierre Augereau's VII Corps attempted to cross the Wkra. The French managed to secure a foothold on the east bank, forcing Major General Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly's Russian defenders to retreat. On Christmas Day, part of Marshal Michel Ney's VI Corps drove the Prussians from Soldau (Działdowo), forcing them to retreat north toward Königsberg. The Russians, however, were full of fight and two sharp battles occurred on 26 December.

Battle of Pułtusk

The Battle of Pułtusk took place on 26 December 1806 during the War of the Fourth Coalition near Pułtusk, Poland. Despite their strong numerical superiority and artillery, the Russians suffered the French attacks, before retiring the next day having suffered greater losses than the French, disorganizing their army for the rest of the year.

Dmitry Golitsyn

Serene Prince Dmitry Vladimirovich Golitsyn or Galitzine (Russian: Дмитрий Владимирович Голицын) (29 October 1771 – 27 March 1844, Paris) was a Russian cavalry general prominent during the Napoleonic Wars, statesman and military writer.

He was born in the family of Knyaz Vladimir Borisovich Golitsyn (1731–1798) and his wife Natalie Chernyshova, nicknamed La Princesse Moustache, or the Queen of Spades, who was portrayed as a central character in Pushkin's story (and Tchaikovsky's opera) of the same name. His siblings were Boris Vladimirovitch Golitsyn, Ekaterina Vladimirovna Apraksina and Sophie Stroganov.

In 1774 Golitsyn was enrolled in the Leib Guard Preobrazhensky regiment and received his first rank of sergeant in 1777. He continued his education in Strasbourg and from 1781 he travelled in Germany and France with his family. In the middle of the 1780s the Golitsyns settled in Paris, where Dmitriy studied military science. In 1785 Golitsyn returned to Russia and entered the cavalry. During the Kościuszko Uprising he fought under Aleksandr Suvorov and on 24 October 1794 distinguished himself at the Battle of Praga and earned his first Order of St. George of the 4th degree.

During the reign of Emperor Paul I he was quickly promoted, first to colonel (on 2 May 1797), then to Major General (on 5 August 1798), and finally to Lieutenant General (on 21 August 1800). He meanwhile received the Order of St. Anne 4th class, and also became a member of the Knights Hospitaller. He also married Tatiana Vasilyevna Vasilchikova in 1800.

Golitsyn fought bravely during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1805, during the War of the Third Coalition, his regiment started the campaign in the corps of Count Bennigsen in Silesia. In December 1806 he led the 4th division at the Battle of Golymin. This victory and success of Bennigsen at the Battle of Pułtusk stopped the French forces. After that, Golitsyn commanded the cavalry of the left wing. His forces took part in all major actions – at Eylau, Heilsberg and Friedland. For this campaign he received numerous Russian and foreign awards: the Order of St. George 3rd class (on 21 January 1807), the Order of St. Vladimir 2nd class, the Prussian Order of the Red Eagle (on 18 May 1807), the Order of the Black Eagle on 25 June 1807), and a gold sword with diamonds with the inscription For Bravery.

After a brief participation in the Finnish War Golitsyn resigned his commission on 18 April 1809 and travelled in Germany. He listened to lectures at different universities. Upon returning to Russia he lived on his estate near Moscow.

On 31 August 1812 he entered military service again. Kutuzov entrusted him with leading the cavalry of the 2nd army, at which he excelled at Borodino, Vyazma, and Krasny.

In 1814 he was promoted to the rank of full General of the Cavalry.

He governed Moscow as War Governor for 25 years. In 1829 he founded a committee aimed at the protection of prisoners and supported Friedrich Joseph Haass.

On 16 April 1841 Golitsyn received the title of Serene Prince for his great merits.

In the late 1830s Golitsyn fell seriously ill and from 1838 he received medical treatment for the urolithiasis. He died in Paris on 27 March 1844, a few months before the 25th anniversary of his service as Governor of Moscow.

François Pierre Joseph Amey

François Pierre Joseph Amey (2 October 1768 – 16 November 1850) became a French division commander during the Napoleonic Wars. He enlisted in the French Royal Army in 1783 and joined a volunteer battalion in 1792. He won promotion to general of brigade in 1793 during the War in the Vendée. He held a command during the period of the infernal columns and his career became obscure until 1799 when he supported Napoleon's coup. He went on the Saint-Domingue expedition in 1802–1803 and later filled posts in the interior. In 1806–1807 he led a brigade at Jena, Golymin and Eylau where he was wounded.

Sent to Spain in 1808 in command of German troops, Amey fought at the Third Siege of Gerona the following year. In 1812 he participated in the French invasion of Russia and led his troops at the First and Second Battles of Polotsk. He was promoted to general of division and fought at the Berezina. He fought at Arnhem in fall 1813. While leading a division of recruits, he was wounded and captured after a heroic defense in the Battle of Fère-Champenoise in 1814. After rallying to Napoleon during the Hundred Days he was retired in 1815. He served as mayor of Sélestat for ten years then returned to military service in 1830–1833. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 1.

François Xavier de Schwarz

François Xavier de Schwarz or François-Xavier-Nicolas Schwartz (8 January 1762 – 9 October 1826) was born in Baden but joined the French army in 1776. He became a cavalry officer during the French Revolutionary Wars, fighting with the 2nd Hussar Regiment in numerous actions including Jemappes, Fleurus, and Neuwied. After being captured in an abortive invasion of Ireland, he was promoted to command the 5th Hussar Regiment. He led the unit in the War of the Second Coalition, most notably at Hohenlinden and in the subsequent pursuit of the Austrians.

Under the First French Empire, he distinguished himself at Austerlitz in December 1805. A year later he became brigadier general after fighting at Prenzlau, Stettin, and Golymin. After being posted to Spain to fight in the Peninsular War, he suffered defeats at the hands of the Spanish forces in Catalonia at Bruch Pass and Manresa. In September 1810 he was captured at La Bisbal and spent the remainder of the Napoleonic Wars in British custody. Historian Charles Oman called Schwarz unlucky.


Gołymin [ɡɔˈwɨmin] is a village in Poland, approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) north of Warsaw. It is now divided into three sołectwos: Gołymin-Ośrodek ("Gołymin Centre"; the seat of the local municipality, called Gmina Gołymin-Ośrodek), Gołymin-Północ ("Gołymin North") and Gołymin-Południe ("Gołymin South").

Gołymin is the birthplace of politician Tomasz Nałęcz. It was also the site of the Battle of Gołymin (1806).


Gołymin-Ośrodek [ɡɔˈwɨmin ɔˈɕrɔdɛk] is a village in Ciechanów County, Masovian Voivodeship, in east-central Poland. It is the seat of the gmina (administrative district) called Gmina Gołymin-Ośrodek. It lies approximately 18 kilometres (11 mi) east of Ciechanów and 67 km (42 mi) north of Warsaw.

The village has a population of 700.

Jacob François Marulaz

Jacob François Marulaz or Marola, born 6 November 1769, died 10 June 1842, joined the Army of the Kingdom of France as a cavalry trooper and rose to become a field officer during the French Revolutionary Wars. Under the First French Empire, he became a general officer and fought under Emperor Napoleon I of France in two notable campaigns.

He became a cavalryman under the Ancien Régime and by 1798 he commanded a regiment of cavalry. He fought in the 1806–1807 campaign in Poland, commanding a brigade of cavalry. During the 1809 Danube campaign, he led a division of corps cavalry and played a prominent role. Afterward, he commanded forces in the interior. He retired from service after the Hundred Days and briefly returned to active duty in the 1830s. MARULAZ is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 11.

Jacques Desjardin

Jacques Desjardin or Jacques Jardin or Jacques Desjardins; (9 February 1759 – 11 February 1807) enlisted in the French royal army as a young man and eventually became a sergeant. During the first years of the French Revolutionary Wars he enjoyed very rapid promotion to the rank of general officer in the army of the French First Republic. In May and June 1794 he emerged as co-commander of an army that tried three times to cross the Sambre at Grandreng, Erquelinnes and Gosselies and each time was thrown back by the Coalition. After that, he reverted to a division commander and saw more service in the north of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In the campaign of 1805, he led an infantry division under Marshal Pierre Augereau in Emperor Napoleon's Grande Armée and saw limited fighting. In 1806 he fought at Jena, Czarnowo and Gołymin. He was mortally wounded at the Battle of Eylau on 8 February 1807 and died three days later. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 16.

Jean-Baptiste Pierre de Semellé

Jean-Baptiste Pierre de Semellé (16 June 1773 – 25 January 1839) became a French division commander during the Napoleonic Wars. He joined a volunteer regiment in 1791 and fought at Thionville in 1792. He was named commander of an infantry demi-brigade in 1800. He led his regiment at Golymin in 1806 and Eylau in 1807. He was promoted general of brigade in 1807. After being transferred to Spain, he was promoted general of division in 1811. He led his troops at Bornos in 1811. He commanded a division at Leipzig in 1813 and at Mainz in 1814. He was elected a deputy in 1822 and remained in politics until 1837. His surname is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 35.

Louis-Nicolas Davout

Louis-Nicolas d'Avout (10 May 1770 – 1 June 1823), better known as Davout, 1st Duke of Auerstaedt, 1st Prince of Eckmühl, was a French general who was Marshal of the Empire during the Napoleonic era. His talent for war along with his reputation as a stern disciplinarian earned him the title "The Iron Marshal". He is ranked along with Masséna and Lannes as one of Napoleon's finest commanders. His loyalty and obedience to Napoleon were absolute. During his lifetime, Davout's name was commonly spelled Davoust, which is how it appears on the Arc de Triomphe and in much of the correspondence between Napoleon and his generals (see external links below for examples).

Pierre-Joseph Habert

Pierre-Joseph Habert (22 December 1773 – 19 May 1825) enlisted in the French army at the beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars and led a division during the Napoleonic Wars. After serving in the army from 1792 to 1797, he fought in Ireland and Egypt, rising in rank to become a colonel by 1802. Under Emperor Napoleon, he led his regiment in the 1805 campaign against Austria. In the 1806-1807 campaign he saw action at Jena, Golymin, Eylau, and Heilsberg and was wounded twice in the last-named battle.

Promoted to general officer, Habert was posted to Spain where he achieved fame in the Peninsular War. After he fought with varying fortunes in 1808 and 1809, General and later Marshal Louis-Gabriel Suchet arrived to take command in Aragon. A string of almost unbroken successes followed. Though only a general of brigade he was named to lead Suchet's 3rd Division in actions at Lerida, Tortosa, and Tarragona. After being promoted, he led his division at Saguntum, Valencia, Castalla, and Ordal. He became known as the Ajax of the Army of Catalonia for his prolonged defense of Barcelona in 1814. He commanded a division during the Hundred Days at Ligny and Wavre, though he missed the Battle of Waterloo. Habert is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.

Pierre Belon Lapisse

Pierre Belon Lapisse, Baron de Sainte-Hélène (25 November 1762 – 30 July 1809) commanded an infantry division in Napoleon's armies and was fatally wounded fighting against the British in the Peninsular War. He enlisted in the French Army during the reign of Louis XVI and fought in the American Revolutionary War. Appointed an officer at the start of the French Revolutionary Wars, he rose in rank to become a general officer by 1799. From 1805 to 1807 during the Napoleonic Wars, he led a brigade in the Grande Armée at Dornbirn, Jena, Kołoząb, Golymin, and Eylau. After promotion he commanded a division in the thick of the action at Friedland in 1807.

In 1808, Napoleon ennobled Lapisse and transferred him to Spain where he led his division at Espinosa. Detailed to lead one of three columns that were invade Portugal, he was completely outmaneuvered by an inferior force. He surprised and defeated a British infantry division in the Casa de Salinas action, but was mortally wounded the following day during heavy fighting at Talavera. Lapisse is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 37.

Étienne Heudelet de Bierre

Étienne Heudelet de Bierre (12 November 1770 – 20 April 1857) joined the French army as a volunteer lieutenant in 1792. A year later he became a staff officer for a number of generals before becoming Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr's chief of staff in 1795. He fought under Jean Victor Marie Moreau in the 1796 campaign and fought at Kehl. He became a general officer in 1799, leading his troops at the First and Second Battles of Zurich. In April 1800 he was a brigade commander in Jean Victor Tharreau's division in Moreau's army. In December of that year he fought at Hohenlinden under Michel Ney.

In the 1805 campaign, Heudelet distinguished himself at Mariazell and Austerlitz while leading a III Corps brigade. Appointed general of division in December 1805, he was put in command of a VII Corps division in May 1806. In the War of the Fourth Coalition led his division at Jena, Kołoząb, Golymin, and Eylau. October 1808 found him in command of a VIII Corps division in Spain. His unit was soon transferred to the II Corps and fought in Nicolas Soult's invasion of Portugal at Oporto in 1809. Heudelet briefly led II Corps in January 1810 before returning to the command of his division. He participated in André Masséna's invasion of Portugal, fighting at Bussaco in 1810. His division was not engaged at Fuentes de Onoro and he was sent home soon afterward. In the 1812 campaign he commanded a reserve division in the X Corps. At the end of the lengthy Siege of Danzig he became an Allied prisoner in November 1813.

After first submitting to King Louis XVIII of France, Heudelet rejoined Napoleon during the Hundred Days and led a division on the Rhine front. After Waterloo he was placed on the inactive list and retired from the army in 1819. Restored to favor after the July Revolution of 1830, he became an inspector general of infantry until 1835 when he again went on the inactive list. He died in 1857. HEUDELET is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 17.

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