François Achille Bazaine (13 February 1811 – 23 September 1888) was a French general and from 1864, a Marshal of France, who surrendered the last organized French army to the Prussians during the Franco-Prussian war. He was the first Marshal who had started as a legionnaire and like the great Marshals of the First Empire, had risen from the ranks.

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  • François Achille Bazaine (13 February 1811 – 23 September 1888) was a French general and from 1864, a Marshal of France, who surrendered the last organized French army to the Prussians during the Franco-Prussian war. He was the first Marshal who had started as a legionnaire and like the great Marshals of the First Empire, had risen from the ranks. During four decades of distinguished service (including 35 years on campaign) under Louis-Philippe and then Napoleon III, he held every rank in the Army from Fusilier to Marshal of France. He became renowned for his determination to lead from the front, for his impassive bearing under fire and for personal bravery verging on the foolhardy (resulting in him being wounded on numerous occasions and having his horse shot from under him twice). He was sentenced to death by the government of the Third Republic, for his surrender of the fortress city of Metz and his army of 180,000 men to the Prussians on 27 October 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War. This sentence was commuted to 20 years imprisonment in exile, from which he subsequently escaped. He eventually settled in Spain where aged 77, he died alone and impoverished in 1888. To the Foreign Legion he remains a hero and to this day is honoured as one of their bravest soldiers. (en)
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  • François Achille Bazaine (13 February 1811 – 23 September 1888) was a French general and from 1864, a Marshal of France, who surrendered the last organized French army to the Prussians during the Franco-Prussian war. He was the first Marshal who had started as a legionnaire and like the great Marshals of the First Empire, had risen from the ranks. (en)
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