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Louis-Georges-Erasme de Contades

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Marquis de Contades (1704-1793)

Louis-Georges-Erasme de Contades (born 2 October 1704 at Beaufort in Anjou; † 19 January 1793 at Livry) was a French army commander and Marshal of France.

Life

He joined the French army in 1720, was promoted to capitaine in the Régiment des Gardes françaises in 1729, and to colonel in the Régiment de Flandre on 10 March 1734. On 15 June 1734 he took over the Régiment d’Auvergne and was wounded at the battle of Parma.

On 18 October 1734 he was promoted to brigadier des armées du roi and on to maréchal de camp. His appointment as Lieutenant-général (France)|Lieutenant-général followed on 1 May 1743, that as Inspecteur général of the infantry in 1745 and that as Maréchal de France in 1758.

1762 He became owner of the Régiment de Touraine

He distinguished himself in the wars of 1733-1748 under the Marshal of Saxony by punctuality, prudence, and vigilance, and in 1757-1758 commanded a corps of the army of the Lower Rhine under d’Estrees and Clermont in the Seven Years’ War.

After Clermont’s defeat at the Battle of Krefeld, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the army in his place in 1758. After succeeding in pushing Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick back to the right bank of the Rhine, he was appointed Marshal in 1758.

In 1759 he received command of the entire French army in Germany. After Broglie’s victory at Bergen, he advanced through Hesse and Westphalia to the Weser, but here lost the battle of Minden against the Duke of Brunswick on August 1. He was forced to retreat to the Rhine, whereupon he was recalled from command in September on Broglie’s impulse.

Literature

  • Meyers Konversationslexikon, published by the Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig and Vienna, fourth edition 1885-1892, pp. 256-257