Marshal of France

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Baton of a modern Marshal of France.
Imperial coat of arms of marshal of the First French Empire prince Józef Poniatowski with Légion d'honneur, Order of the White Eagle, Virtuti Militari insignia.
Marshal of France shoulder insignia

The Marshal of France (French: Maréchal de France, plural Maréchaux de France) is a military distinction in contemporary France, not a military rank. It is granted to generals for exceptional achievements. It was one of the Great Officers of the Crown of France during the Ancien Régime and Bourbon Restoration and one of the Great Dignitaries of the Empire during the First French Empire (when the title was not "Marshal of France" but "Marshal of the Empire").

A Marshal of France displays seven stars. The marshal also receives a baton, a blue cylinder with stars, formerly fleurs-de-lis during the monarchy and Eagles during the First French Empire. It has the Latin inscription: Terror belli, decus pacis, which means "terror in war, ornament in peace".

Six Marshals of France have been given the even more exalted rank of Marshal General of France: Biron, Lesdiguières, Turenne, Villars, Saxe, and Soult.

History[edit]

The title derived from the office of marescallus Franciae created by King Philip II Augustus of France for Albéric Clément (circa 1190).

The title was abolished by the National Convention in 1793. It was restored during the First French Empire by Napoleon I as Marshal of the Empire, and then the title was given to Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, sovereign Prince of Pontecorvo and later King of Sweden. Under the Bourbon Restoration, the title reverted to Marshal of France and Napoléon III kept that designation.

After the fall of Napoleon III and the Second French Empire, the Third Republic did not use the title until the First World War, when it was recreated as a military distinction and not a rank.

Philippe Pétain, awarded the distinction of Marshal of France for his generalship in World War I, retained his title even after his trial and imprisonment and after he was stripped of other positions and titles.

The last living Marshal of France was Alphonse Juin, promoted in 1952, who died in 1967. The latest Marshal of France was Marie Pierre Kœnig, who was made a Marshal posthumously in 1984.

Today, the title of Marshal of France can only be granted to a general officer who fought victoriously in war-time.

Direct Capetians[edit]

Philip II, 1180–1223[edit]

Louis IX, 1226–1270[edit]

Philip III, 1270–1285[edit]

Philip IV, 1285–1314[edit]

Louis X, 1314–1316[edit]

Philip V, 1316–1322[edit]

Charles IV, 1322–1328[edit]

Valois[edit]

Philip VI, 1328–1350[edit]

John II 1350–1364[edit]

Charles V, 1364–1380[edit]

Charles VI, 1380–1422[edit]

Charles VII, 1422–1461[edit]

  • Amaury de Séverac, Lord of Beaucaire and of Chaude-Aigues (died 1427), Marshal of France in 1424
  • Jean de Brosse, Baron of Boussac and of Sainte-Sévère (1375–1433), Marshal of France in 1426
  • Gilles de Rais, Lord of Ingrande and of Champtocé (1404–1440), Marshal of France in 1429
  • André de Laval-Montmorency, Lord of Lohéac and of Retz (1408–1486), Marshal of France in 1439
  • Philippe de Culant, Lord of Jaloignes, of La Croisette, of Saint-Armand and of Chalais (died 1454), Marshal of France in 1441
  • Jean Poton de Xaintrailles, Seneschal de Limousin (1390–1461), Marshal of France in 1454

Louis XI, 1461–1483[edit]

Charles VIII, 1483–1498[edit]

Valois-Orléans[edit]

Louis XII, 1498–1515[edit]

Valois-Angoulême[edit]

Francis I 1515–1547[edit]

Henry II 1547-1559[edit]

Francis II 1559–1560[edit]

Charles IX, 1560–1574[edit]

Henry III 1574–1589[edit]

Bourbons[edit]

Marshal baton during the monarchy

Henry IV 1589–1610[edit]

Louis XIII, 1610–1643[edit]

Louis XIV, 1643–1715[edit]

Louis XV, 1715–1774[edit]

Louis XVI, 1774–1792[edit]

Baton of the Napoleonic Marshals

First Empire[edit]

Main article: Marshal of the Empire

Napoleon I, 1804–1814/1815[3][edit]

Napoleon created twenty-six Marshals of the Empire:

Michel Ney in his uniform of Marshal of the Empire

The names of many of these have been given to successive stretches of an avenue encircling Paris, which has thus been nicknamed the Boulevards des Maréchaux (Boulevards of the Marshals).

Restoration[edit]

Louis XVIII, 1815–1824[edit]

Charles X, 1824–1830[edit]

July Monarchy[edit]

Louis-Philippe 1830–1848[edit]

Second Republic[edit]

Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, 1848–1852[edit]

Second Empire[edit]

Napoleon III, 1852–1870[edit]

Third Republic[edit]

Foch's decorations displayed for his funerals, including his Legion of Honor and his three Marshal batons (British, French and Polish).

Raymond Poincaré, 1913–1920[edit]

Alexandre Millerand, 1920–1924[edit]

Fourth Republic[edit]

Vincent Auriol, 1947–1954[edit]

Fifth Republic[edit]

François Mitterrand, 1981–1995[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol 23, Ed. Hugh Chisholm, (1911), 719.
  3. ^ R P Dunn-Pattison Napoleon's Marshals Methuen 1909 - Reprinted Empiricus Books 2001