Louis Alexandre Berthier
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Berthier, Louis Alexandre
Born Nov. 20, 1753, at Versailles; died June 1,1815, in Bamberg. Marshal of France (1804); prince of Neuchâtel (1805); duke of Valangin (1806); prince of Wagram (1809).
Berthier participated in the War of Independence of the USA (1775–83). In 1789 he became chief of staff of the national guard at Versailles. From 1792 to 1795 he was chief of staff for General Luckner during the suppression of the Vendée rebellion, and in 1795 he became chief of staff in the army of General F. C. Kellermann. From 1796 to 1797 he was chief of staff and from 1797 to 1798, commander of the French army in Italy. Under Napoleon he was minister of war (1799–1807, with a break in 1800). Until 1814, Berthier was permanent chief of staff for Napoleon, who valued him highly for his capacity for work, accuracy, and efficiency. Berthier worked out the principles of staff service which were later adopted by all European armies. After Napoleon’s abdication, Berthier joined the service of Louis XVIII, but during the Hundred Days he went to Bamberg, Bavaria, and committed suicide.