Joachim Murat (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Murat, who also excelled at reconnaissance, was Napoleon Bonaparte’s gifted and daring leader of the cavalry, an essential component in Napoleon’s military success.
Born the son of an innkeeper, Joachim Murat abandoned theological studies for the military. After the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, he joined the revolutionary army and was attracted to the young Corsican officer, Napoleon Bonaparte. He secured the necessary cannons so that Napoleon could put down the threat to the revolutionary government in 1795.
He served as a cavalry officer in Egypt at the Battle of the Pyramids (1798) and at Aboukir (1799). After returning to France in 1799, Murat led the bayonet charge against the deputies who opposed Napoleon becoming dictator. Murat married Napoleon’s sister Caroline in 1800. He participated in all of Napoleon’s military campaigns except the last at Waterloo. He commanded the calvary at the battles of Marengo (1800), Austerlitz (1805), and Jena (1806). His charge against the Russian center at Eylau (1807) is regarded as one of the best cavalry charges in military history. He fought at Borodino (1812) during the Russian campaign.
After the defeat at Leipzig (1813), Murat tried to save his own kingdom by dealing with the allies. Murat reached an agreement with the allies, but after Napoleon’s escape from Elba in 1815, he found the allies did not...
(The entire section is 307 words.)
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