Review: Marshal Ney: The Bravest of the Brave

Marshal Ney: The Bravest of the Brave by Andrew Hilliard Atteridge

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ney was certainly the bravest of the brave but I could also add one of the hardiest. That retreat from Moscow in 1812 might have killed lesser men but not him. As for the last years of his life, today, we would categorize him as suffering from burnout and maybe PTSD. His performance at Waterloo was dismal and lacking energy.

One contrafactual was what if Marshal Davout, not Ney, had commanded the corps at Waterloo and thus added another 50,000 Frenchmen to the mix. Davout was much more energetic even after 20 years of war. See The Iron Marshal by John Gallagher.) Nevertheless, Atteridge did write a good book on Ney.

You can also tell that Ney was unfairly made the scapegoat by the Bourbon Restoration. And yes, 38 years later, Ney was vindicated. He is buried in Pere Le Chaise, France’s most famous cemetery where all of her heroes and heroines are buried.

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