Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot

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Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot
Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot.jpg
Born 24 February 1817
Nevers, France
Died 16 August 1882(1882-08-16) (aged 65)
Versailles, France
Allegiance Flag of France.svg France
Service/branch French Army
Rank Général de division
Battles/wars Franco-Prussian War

Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot (24 February 1817 – 16 August 1882) was a French general. Ducrot served in Algeria, in the Italian campaign of 1859, and as a division commander in the Franco-Prussian War.

At the Battle of Sedan on 1 September 1870, he succeeded to command of the French army when Marshal Mac-Mahon was wounded early in the morning. By that time, it was obvious that a disastrous defeat was inevitable. Ducrot summed up the situation with the famous remark

Nous sommes dans un pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés. (We are in a chamber pot, and we're going to be shit on.)

Ducrot ordered the army to withdraw, but then General de Wimpffen presented a commission authorizing him to succeed Mac-Mahon. Wimpffen overruled Ducrot, and ordered a counterattack that failed completely. Emperor Napoleon III then surrendered the army to the Prussians.

Ducrot refused to sign the articles of surrender, and was imprisoned by the Prussians. He soon escaped, and took part in the Siege of Paris.

Ducrot commanded the most important French attack against the Prussian besiegers (the Battle of Villiers), 29 November - 3 December 1870. After the defeat of this attack, Ducrot urged the French government to make peace.


This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWood, James, ed. (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.