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April 26 , 2011

Napoleon's Shield & Guardian

The Unconquerable General Daumesnil


This outstanding biography is the story of courage. It charts the career of a superbly brave cavalryman against the rise and fall of his imperial master. Pierre Daumesnil was a loyal follower of Napoleon during his rise and his fall. Enlisting as a private soldier in 1793, he was caught up in the tumult of the Napoleonic Wars, surviving campaign after campaign and emerging as a much-decorated general and Baron of the Empire. It was a meteoric rise but one earned through hard fighting, bravery and indefatigable courage. Daumesnil accompanied Napoleon as an officer of his chasseurs and his service record reflects his years of experience on the field of battle. Daumesnil joined the French Army as a private in 1793 and was serving in Napoleon's Guides in 1797. He served in Egypt in 1798, charged at Marengo in 1800, fought at Austerlitz and Eylau, campaigned in Spain and saw action in Wagram. Terribly wounded at that battle, losing a leg, Daumesnil became governor of the fortress of Vincennes. It was here that he played his most celebrated role in the wars of Napoleon by refusing to surrender the fortress to the Allies in 1814 and again in 1815.
Daumesnil's life was an adventure and one which typifies the dash, colour and verve of this astonishing period. This biography, by a leading author, will appeal to Napoleonic enthusiasts and those interested in the life and times of Napoleon's elite cavalrymen.
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