Louis-Pierre Montbrun

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Louis-Pierre Montbrun
Général Louis Pierre Montbrun.jpg
General count Montbrun.
Born (1770-03-01)1 March 1770
Florensac, France
Died 7 September 1812(1812-09-07) (aged 42)
Borodino, Russia
Allegiance  Kingdom of France
 Kingdom of the French
 French First Republic
 First French Empire
Service/branch Cavalry
Years of service 1789–1812
Rank General of Division
Commands held II Cavalry Corps (Grande Armée) (1812)
Battles/wars French Revolutionary Wars,
Napoleonic Wars
Awards Légion d'honneur (Grand Officer),
Name inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe,
Count of the Empire

Louis Pierre, Count Montbrun (1770, Florensac, Hérault – 1812), French cavalry general, served with great distinction in the cavalry arm throughout the wars of the Revolution and the Consulate, and in 1800 was appointed to command his regiment, having served therein from trooper upwards.

After serving at the Battle of Austerlitz on 2 December 1805, he was promoted to General of Brigade. He earned further distinction in Germany and Poland as a dashing leader of horse, and in 1808 he was sent into Spain. Here occurred an incident which unfavourably influenced his whole career. He found himself obliged to overstay his leave of absence in order to protect the lady who afterwards became his wife. Napoleon was furious, and deprived him of his command, and Montbrun was awaiting his master's decision when an opportunity came to retrieve his reputation.

Some doubt exists as to the events of the famous cavalry charge at the Battle of Somosierra, but Montbrun's share in it was most conspicuous. Soon afterwards he was promoted to General of division, and in 1809 his light cavalry division took no inconsiderable part in the victories of Eckmühl and Raab. He was employed in the Peninsular War, during 1810–1811. At the battles of Bussaco and Fuentes de Onoro, he commanded Marshal Andre Masséna's cavalry reserve.

He was killed while commanding the II Cavalry Corps (Grande Armée) at the beginning of the Battle of Borodino (7 September 1812). Montbrun was considered, as a leader of heavy cavalry, second only to Kellermann of all the generals of the First Empire. Shot by a cannonball from side to side, he whispered "excellent shot !", before losing consciousness.


  • Bowden, S. & Tarbox, C. Armies on the Danube 1809. Empire Games, 1980.
  • Glover, Michael. The Peninsular War 1807–1814. Penguin, 1974.
  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.