Hoche, Louis-Lazare

Hoche, Louis-Lazare

 

Born June 24, 1768, in Montreuil; died Sept. 19, 1797, in Wetzlar. French general (1793). The son of a retired soldier. In 1784, Hoche began serving in the Guards. In 1789 he went over to the side of the Revolution. During the years 1792–93 he distinguished himself in battles against the interventionists in northeastern France. He was close to the Jacobins and enjoyed great popularity. Hoche successfully defended Dunkerque against an Anglo-Austrian army in 1793, and he then commanded the Moselle Army and the combined Moselle and Rhine armies; he defeated the Austrian Army at Woerth and at Fröschweiler (Frueschwiller). In March 1794 he was arrested without grounds, and in August he was freed. During the years 1794–95, Hoche successfully crushed counterrevolutionary uprisings in Brittany and La Vendée. In 1797, while commanding the Sambre-Meuse Army, he smashed the Austrians at Neuwied and Altenkirchen. In July 1797 he refused the post of minister of war. Hoche died suddenly in his staff quarters (possibly poisoned).