- historical event: Even among marshals, Ney stood out because Napoleon gave him high noble titles. He was proclaimed Duke of Elchingen (French: Duc d’Elchingen) and later the Prince of the Moscow (Prince de la Moskowa) as well.
Marshal Michel Ney was one of Napoleon’s closest associates. Napoleon declared him marshal in 1804, simultaneously with the declaration of the French Empire. On that occasion, the first 18 French generals were promoted to the highest rank (French: Maréchal d’Empire). Later, Napoleon promoted another 8 marshals, so that their total number was 26 (coincidentally, Hitler had exactly the same number of marshals).
Even among marshals, Ney stood out because Napoleon gave him high noble titles. So he was proclaimed Duke of Elchingen (French: Duc d’Elchingen) and later the Prince of the Moscow (Prince de la Moskowa). We should mention that Prince was the highest noble title in the French Empire. Napoleon called Ney “the bravest of the brave”.
Marshal Ney supported Napoleon even in his final attempt to take power, after Bonaparte’s return from Elba. In the final Battle of Waterloo, Marshal Ney commanded the large part of Napoleon’s army. Allegedly, during the battle, five horses on which Ney rode were killed one after the other. At the end, the French failed to win. Napoleon was taken prisoner by the British to Saint Helena, and Ney was imprisoned in Paris and was tried.
Marshal Ney was found guilty of treason of the French Bourbon dynasty (because he had sided with Napoleon). It was determined that he will be executed by firing squad. On this day the sentence was carried out in Paris, near the famous “Jardin du Luxembourg” park. Ney refused to wear a blindfold and asked the right to give the order to fire, which was allowed. He reportedly said to the firing squad: “Soldiers, when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It will be my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles for France, and not one against her … Soldiers, fire!”