Louis Alexander Berthier
Prince de Neuchatel & Wagram
is doubtful that without Louis Berthier the French command system
under Napoleon Bonaparte would
have functioned to the degree of excellence it did.
brilliance lay in his ability to translate the many orders of the
emperor into easily understood messages to subordinates.
began his military career in 1766 in the engineers and his first
major posting was to America in 1781.
the French Revolution, Berthier sheltered
the Royal Family from extremists and this led to his dismissal in
years later he returned to the military in Italy and became a general
next move, to the Army of the Alps, brought him his first meeting
with Bonaparte, with whom he served in a senior staff role in Italy
and Egypt campaigns.
he was without peer as an organiser and administrator, Berthier's
military talents were poor and when left in command of the army
on the Danube found himself in trouble against a rapid attack from
no supreme strategist he was brave and when Bonaparte left the French
forces during the retreat from Moscow, Berthier stayed behind to
help both Marshal Joachim Murat
and then Eugene Beauharnais.
at Brienne, Berthier realised the
need to remove Bonaparte from power and supported both the new government
and the Bourbons upon their return to power.
Bonaparte returned from exile Berthier refused to join with him.
is unsure why, but he fell to his death from a window at Bamberg.
is that he was either murdered, or was deeply upset by his own decision
not to join the emperor and threw himself out.