The Duc de Villars received the rare title of Marshal General of France, which was awarded only six times in French history.
Claude Louis Hector de Villars, a French commander who attained the prestigious title Marshal General of France (French: Maréchal général des camps et armées du roi), was born on this day in 1653. He is particularly notable for commanding the French army at the Battle of Malplaquet, one of the bloodiest battles in European history before the Napoleonic era.
Villars was granted his rare title by King Louis XV. He became one of only six people in the history of France to bear that title. Villars also served as the French minister of war and is generally considered a truly capable military strategist, the last such person during the period when France was the leading power in Europe. He is also known for owning the beautiful Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, which was once owned by the controversial French Superintendent of Finances Nicolas Fouquet. Claude Louis Hector de Villars died in Turin in 1734, aged 81.