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Johann Peter Beaulieu: Wikis


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Johann Peter Beaulieu de Marconnay, also Jean Pierre Beaulieu de Marconnay, (26 October 1725 - 22 December 1819) joined the Austrian army and fought against the Prussians during the Seven Years War. A cultured man, he later battled Belgian rebels and earned promotion to general officer. During the French Revolutionary Wars he fought against the French and attained high command. In 1796, a young Napoleon Bonaparte won some of his first victories against an army led by Beaulieu. He was proprietor of an Austrian infantry regiment until his death.

Johann Peter Beaulieu


Early career

Born in Lathuy Castle, Jodoigne in the Austrian Netherlands (now Walloon Brabant, Belgium) in 1725, Beaulieu joined the Austrian army in 1743 and fought in the War of the Austrian Succession. During the Seven Years War he served first as an infantry officer and later on the staff of Feldmarschall Leopold Daun. Beaulieu was wounded in the Battle of Kolin and also fought at the battles of Leuthen, Hochkirch, Maxen, and other actions. He received the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa in 1760. "As a young man, his bold and fiery character combined with his great energy and constant activity had made him well-suited to the military life."[1]

Beaulieu married Marie-Louise Robert in 1763; in 1776 she died. He was artistically inclined. He designed improvements for several palaces, designed and laid out a formal garden, and collected art work. He became a General-Major in 1789 and helped crush a Belgian revolt against Austrian rule, though his only son was killed during the uprising.[2] For his services, the Austrian army promoted him to Feldmarschal-Leutnant in 1790.[3]

French Revolutionary Wars

In the years 1792-1795, Beaulieu served in the Flanders Campaign and later on the Rhine against the French revolutionary armies. On April 28–29, 1792, he won one of the first engagements of the French Revolutionary Wars at Mons.[4] He defeated the French in another clash at Harelbeke on June 23 and was present at the siege of Lille at the beginning of October. On November 6, Beaulieu commanded the Austrian left wing at the Battle of Jemappes.[5] He led a force during the successful defense of Trier in December 1793. On June 26, 1794, he commanded the fifth column in the Battle of Fleurus.[6] After Fleurus, Prince Josias of Coburg, who disliked Beaulieu, dismissed him. Around this time, he became Proprietor (Inhaber) of Infantry Regiment # 31, a Hungarian unit.[7]

On 4 March 1796, Beaulieu was promoted to Feldzeugmeister (full general) and transferred to command the 32,000-strong Austrian army in northern Italy. He faced a French army with a newly-created commander, Napoleon Bonaparte. Together with a 17,000-man army from the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, Beaulieu's task was to defend the crest of the Ligurian Alps and the northern Apennines in order to keep the French armies from entering the Po River basin of northern Italy.[8] Secret orders from the Austrian government warned him that his Sardinian ally might soon change sides, and was not to be trusted. These instructions prevented Beaulieu from effectively cooperating with the Sardinian commander, Michelangelo Colli-Marchi, a personal friend.[9]

In the event, Bonaparte outmaneuvered Beaulieu during the Montenotte Campaign. After the French mauled his right wing in battles at Montenotte and Dego, Beaulieu watched in stunned inactivity as the French knocked Sardinia out of the war at the battles of Millesimo, Ceva, and Mondovì. Bonaparte's army then pursued the defeated Austrians across northern Italy. After further defeats at the battles of Fombio and Lodi in early May, the Austrians abandoned Duchy of Milan. The Battle of Borghetto on 30 May caused Beaulieu to retreat north to the Tyrol. Before leaving the Po valley, he left a strong garrison in the fortress of Mantua. The Siege of Mantua would be the focus of many battles during the remainder of 1796.[10]


Beaulieu went into retirement after the 1796 campaign. In 1798, he became proprietor of a Walloon regiment.[11] The Beaulieu Infantry Regiment # 58 served in the Danube theater during the War of the Third Coalition and War of the Fifth Coalition and in Italy during the War of the Sixth Coalition. Beaulieu died in Linz, Austria in 1819.



Printed materials

  • Bowden, Scotty & Tarbox, Charlie. Armies on the Danube 1809. Arlington, Texas: Empire Games Press, 1980.
  • Boycott-Brown, Martin. The Road to Rivoli. London: Cassell & Co., 2001. ISBN 0-304-35305-1
  • Chandler, David. Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars. New York: Macmillan, 1979. ISBN 0-02-523670-9
  • Fiebeger, G. J. The Campaigns of Napoleon Bonaparte of 1796-1797. West Point, NY: US Military Academy Printing Office, 1911. Reprinted in Bonaparte in Italy Operational Studies Group wargame study folder.
  • Pivka, Otto von. Armies of the Napoleonic Era. New York: Taplinger Publishing, 1979. ISBN 0-8008-5471-3
  • Smith, Digby. The Napoleonic Wars Data Book. London: Greenhill, 1998. ISBN 1-85367-276-9

External links


  1. ^ Boycott-Brown, p 132
  2. ^ Boycott-Brown, p 132-133
  3. ^ Fiebeger, p 8
  4. ^ Smith, p 21
  5. ^ Smith, p 31
  6. ^ Smith, p 87
  7. ^ Boycott-Brown, p 133
  8. ^ Fiebeger, p 5
  9. ^ Boycott-Brown, p 136-137
  10. ^ Chandler, p 265
  11. ^ Pivka, p 84
Military offices
Preceded by
Joseph Orosz de Csicsér-Balázsfalva
Proprietor (Inhaber) of Infantry Regiment # 31
Succeeded by
Johann Andreas Benjowsky von Benjow und Urbanow
Preceded by
Karl-Albrecht von Vierset
Proprietor (Inhaber) of Infantry Regiment # 58
Succeeded by


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