Laurent de Gouvion-Saint-Cyr

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, Laurent de


Born Apr. 13, 1764, in Toul; died Mar. 17, 1830, in Hyères, Var Department. Marshal of France (1812). Marquis (1817).

In 1792, Gouvion-Saint-Cyr joined the army and came up through the ranks during the Revolutionary Wars, becoming a division general in 1794. He fought in the Napoleonic Wars. In 1808–09 he commanded the Catalonian Army in Spain. During the Russian campaign of 1812 he commanded both the VI Corps, and beginning in August, after Marshal N. C. Oudinot was wounded, the VII Corps, which protected the communications of the main forces in the Polotsk area. He fought in the campaign of 1813 in Germany, and in November 1813 he capitulated in Dresden.

In 1814, Gouvion-Saint-Cyr went over to the side of the Bourbons and that same year was made a peer of France. In 1815 and from 1817 to 1819 he served as minister of war; from 1817 to 1819 he was also marine minister. Gouvion-Saint-Cyr introduced a number of organizational reforms in the army.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.