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Michel Ney and Charles de la Bédoyère

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  • Michel Ney and Charles de la Bédoyère

    I have been reading about the period of the White Terror in France and particularly about the trial and execution of Michel Ney and Charles de la Bédoyère. There seems to be a consensus that the executions were not moral or ethical, though Richard Aldington states that "Now although Louis XVIII had to condone a perfectly enormous amount of treachery and to work with men who had deserted him at a moment's notice for the Emperor, he could not without a complete loss of national discipline openly pardon Ney." (The Duke, page 253.) What is the opinion of this Board about this?
    Will no one tell me what she sings?--
    Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
    For old, unhappy, far-off things,
    And battles long ago:
    -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

  • #2
    I expect fat Louis had no choice, but it was an inglorious end for a soldier's soldier like Ney. Thankfully the monarchy lasted about 5 minutes, though Napoleon III should never have come to the throne.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Desiree Clary View Post
      I have been reading about the period of the White Terror in France and particularly about the trial and execution of Michel Ney and Charles de la Bédoyère. There seems to be a consensus that the executions were not moral or ethical, though Richard Aldington states that "Now although Louis XVIII had to condone a perfectly enormous amount of treachery and to work with men who had deserted him at a moment's notice for the Emperor, he could not without a complete loss of national discipline openly pardon Ney." (The Duke, page 253.) What is the opinion of this Board about this?
      Are you sure that you are quoting from 'The Duke' by Richard Aldington? I'm asking because I thought that Aldington wrote 'Wellington'. 'The Duke' was written by Philip Guedalla in 1931...Anyway here is what Guedalla had to say in his excellent tome:

      Scanned from the book ( From pages 289-290 'cut and pasted' )



      Paul
      ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
      All human ills he can subdue,
      Or with a bauble or medal
      Can win mans heart for you;
      And many a blessing know to stew
      To make a megloamaniac bright;
      Give honour to the dainty Corse,
      The Pixie is a little shite.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Desiree Clary View Post
        I have been reading about the period of the White Terror in France and particularly about the trial and execution of Michel Ney and Charles de la Bédoyère. There seems to be a consensus that the executions were not moral or ethical, though Richard Aldington states that "Now although Louis XVIII had to condone a perfectly enormous amount of treachery and to work with men who had deserted him at a moment's notice for the Emperor, he could not without a complete loss of national discipline openly pardon Ney." (The Duke, page 253.) What is the opinion of this Board about this?
        Ney only got what he deserved. I regret him as a man very precious on the battlefield, but he was too immoral, too stupid to succeed. He was good for a command of 10,000 men, but beyoud that he was out of his depth. -(Napoleon Bonaparte)

        I personally do not agree with Napoleon's harsh statements on the man himself, maybe Ney shouldn't have recieved a pardon but the monarchy could have banished him from the country. I also read it was Ney himself that gave the firing squad the final order to fire.

        http://www.greatmilitarybattles.com/...bonaparte.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
          Are you sure that you are quoting from 'The Duke' by Richard Aldington? I'm asking because I thought that Aldington wrote 'Wellington'.


          Paul
          My copy is titled "The Duke: Being an Account of the Life and Achievements of ARTHUR WELLESLEY, 1st Duke of Wellington by Richard Aldington, The Viking Press, New York, 1943". I have seen the book referred to as "Wellington" in Elizabeth Longford's Wellington: The Years of the Sword, so Wellington might be the British edition's title? Perhaps Mr. Aldington fell victim to what Dorothy L. Sayers called "the transatlantic mania for changing titles?"


          Susie
          Will no one tell me what she sings?--
          Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
          For old, unhappy, far-off things,
          And battles long ago:
          -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ITALICA ONE View Post
            Ney only got what he deserved. I regret him as a man very precious on the battlefield, but he was too immoral, too stupid to succeed. He was good for a command of 10,000 men, but beyoud that he was out of his depth. -(Napoleon Bonaparte)

            I personally do not agree with Napoleon's harsh statements on the man himself, maybe Ney shouldn't have recieved a pardon but the monarchy could have banished him from the country. I also read it was Ney himself that gave the firing squad the final order to fire.

            http://www.greatmilitarybattles.com/...bonaparte.html
            And how was Ney 'immoral'?

            Sincerely,
            M
            We are not now that strength which in old days
            Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
            Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
            To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

            Comment


            • #7
              The White Terror was the 'revenge' the Bourbons inflicted on those who had supported Napoleon during the 100 Days.

              It was unjust, immoral, and definitely not rated by those who were persecuted, imprisoned, exiled, murdered, or judicially murdered. Ney and Labedoyere were definitely in the latter category.

              Moncey was punished for refusing to preside at Ney's trial.

              Many French officers went across the border into Germany to escape from the 'anger of the sheep' but those such as Ameil, Colbert, and others were imprisoned.

              Brune was murdered by a Royalist mob and his body thrown into the Rhone river and allowed to rot on a sandbar until a fisherman braved the mob and buried him.

              Lavalette was imprisoned and condemned to death, but along with his wife and Sir Robert Wilson, escaped and went over the border.

              Interestingly, Napoleon left the Bourbons alone when he came back from Elba and allowed Louis to go over the border into Belgium-and Louis and his git had actively plotted Napoleon's assassination and acted on it ca 1800.

              The Bourbons made a hash of ruling France from 1815-1830, by now a family tradition, and were finally and for good thrown out in 1830 by yet another revolution.

              Sincerely,
              M
              We are not now that strength which in old days
              Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
              Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
              To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

              Comment


              • #8
                Interesting thread guys
                One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions - Admiral Grace Hopper

                "The eunuch should not take pride in his chastity."
                Wu Cheng'en Monkey

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Massena View Post

                  Lavalette was imprisoned and condemned to death, but along with his wife and Sir Robert Wilson, escaped and went over the border.


                  Sadly, Madame Lavalette remained in prison until 23 January 1816.

                  Susie
                  Will no one tell me what she sings?--
                  Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
                  For old, unhappy, far-off things,
                  And battles long ago:
                  -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, and her husband nursed her back to health after her release.

                    Sincerely,
                    M
                    We are not now that strength which in old days
                    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                    Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                    To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Massena View Post
                      The White Terror was the 'revenge' the Bourbons inflicted on those who had supported Napoleon during the 100 Days.

                      It was unjust, immoral, and definitely not rated by those who were persecuted, imprisoned, exiled, murdered, or judicially murdered. Ney and Labedoyere were definitely in the latter category.

                      Moncey was punished for refusing to preside at Ney's trial.

                      Many French officers went across the border into Germany to escape from the 'anger of the sheep' but those such as Ameil, Colbert, and others were imprisoned.

                      Brune was murdered by a Royalist mob and his body thrown into the Rhone river and allowed to rot on a sandbar until a fisherman braved the mob and buried him.

                      Lavalette was imprisoned and condemned to death, but along with his wife and Sir Robert Wilson, escaped and went over the border.

                      Interestingly, Napoleon left the Bourbons alone when he came back from Elba and allowed Louis to go over the border into Belgium-and Louis and his git had actively plotted Napoleon's assassination and acted on it ca 1800.

                      The Bourbons made a hash of ruling France from 1815-1830, by now a family tradition, and were finally and for good thrown out in 1830 by yet another revolution.

                      Sincerely,
                      M
                      Never mind old chap, see it as tying up lose ends. They got away with it and kept their jobs first time round. Swear to serve your King and country then desert to fight for an opposing force got you shot on capture in any mans army of the day. If you think of it, many, many more could have been shot for what they did. Some exiled (for a few years iirc) and or the loss of privilege, livelihood, or a spell of bird was pretty lenient if you ask me!

                      I'm sure that the French firing squads and people during the dying days of 1815, to a man/woman, gazed into their crystal balls and saw what 1830 would bring

                      Paul
                      ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
                      All human ills he can subdue,
                      Or with a bauble or medal
                      Can win mans heart for you;
                      And many a blessing know to stew
                      To make a megloamaniac bright;
                      Give honour to the dainty Corse,
                      The Pixie is a little shite.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
                        Never mind old chap, see it as tying up lose ends. They got away with it and kept their jobs first time round. Swear to serve your King and country then desert to fight for an opposing force got you shot on capture in any mans army of the day. If you think of it, many, many more could have been shot for what they did. Some exiled (for a few years iirc) and or the loss of privilege, livelihood, or a spell of bird was pretty lenient if you ask me!

                        I'm sure that the French firing squads and people during the dying days of 1815, to a man/woman, gazed into their crystal balls and saw what 1830 would bring
                        Yep, not sure it was all that practical, Paul ... certainly not in the spirit of reconciliation.

                        Even Napoleon offered amnesty to 100,000 emigres of the French Revolution (which he had barely survived himself!), and trusted (unwisely, it turns out) in his own government a Jacobin in Fouche and an aristocrat in Talleyrand.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by clackers View Post
                          Yep, not sure it was all that practical, Paul ... certainly not in the spirit of reconciliation.

                          Even Napoleon offered amnesty to 100,000 emigres of the French Revolution (which he had barely survived himself!), and trusted (unwisely, it turns out) in his own government a Jacobin in Fouche and an aristocrat in Talleyrand.
                          Reconciliation was given wholesale after the first restoration only to have it trampled in the dust.

                          Paul
                          ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
                          All human ills he can subdue,
                          Or with a bauble or medal
                          Can win mans heart for you;
                          And many a blessing know to stew
                          To make a megloamaniac bright;
                          Give honour to the dainty Corse,
                          The Pixie is a little shite.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
                            Reconciliation was given wholesale after the first restoration only to have it trampled in the dust.

                            Paul
                            First or second restoration, the problem was the same - the Royalists!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ney`s story is very sad however Bourbons HAD to execute some of Napoleon`s supporters to strentghen their own positions and Ney betrayed king Louis XVIII as he swore loyalty to king and even more - he swore to capture Napoleon. Anyway Bourbons actions are understandable but Ney didn`t deserve such ending...

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