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Auguste Alexandre Ducrot

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Allegiance  France
Years of service  1835 - 1882
Service/branch  French Army
Battles/wars  Franco-Prussian War
Rank  Divisional general
Name  Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot

Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Died  August 16, 1882, Versailles, France
Similar People  Patrice de MacMahon - Duke of, Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, William I, Napoleon III, Eduard von Fransecky

Battles and wars  Franco-Prussian War

Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot (24 February 1817 – 16 August 1882) was a French general. Ducrot served in the Crimean War, Algeria, the Italian campaign of 1859, and as a division commander in the Franco-Prussian War.

At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, Ducrot was tasked with overseeing the deployment of French forces due to his familiarity with the terrain near Wissembourg. His unsupported division was surprised and defeated by a large force of Prussians and Bavarians at the Battle of Wissembourg. At the Battle of Sedan on 1 September 1870, he succeeded to command of the French army when Marshal MacMahon was wounded early in the morning. By that time, it was obvious that a disastrous defeat was inevitable. Ducrot summed up the situation with the famous remark

Nous sommes dans un pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés. ("We are in a chamber pot, and we're going to be shit on.")

Ducrot ordered the army to withdraw, but then General de Wimpffen presented a commission authorizing him to succeed MacMahon. Wimpffen overruled Ducrot, and ordered a counterattack that failed completely. Emperor Napoleon III, present on the battlefield, then surrendered the army to the Prussians.

With de Wimpffen having insisted on command, Ducrot refused to accept responsibility for signing the articles of surrender and was imprisoned by the Prussians. He soon escaped, and took part in the Siege of Paris. Ducrot commanded the most important French attack against the Prussian besiegers (the Battle of Villiers, 29 November–3 December 1870). After the defeat of this attack, Ducrot urged the French government to make peace.

References

Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot Wikipedia


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