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Michel Ney

Michel Ney (January 10 1769 - December 7 1815) called Le Rougeaud ("the ruddy") and le Brave des Braves ("the bravest of the brave") was a marshal of the French army who had fought in the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars.

He was born at Saarlouis in Alsace, the son of a master barrel cooper, and he was an apprentice cooper until he joined the 5th Hussars in 1787.

An impulsive and courageous soldier, Ney is known for epitomizing the soldierly virtue of "leading from the front".

Ney was one of the first marshals created by Napoleon upon his rise to power.

He was created Duke of Elchingen on June 6, 1808 and Prince de la Moskova on March 25, 1813, and a peer of France.

When Paris fell and the Bourbons reclaimed the throne, Ney was promoted and lauded. When he was sent to arrest Napoleon however, he was convinced by Napoleon to switch sides once again.

When Napoleon was defeated for the second time, Ney was executed by firing squad, in Paris near the Luxembourg Gardens, refusing the blindfold, and being allowed the right to give the order to fire.