Jean-Andoche Junot

Jean-Andoche Junot, 1st Duc d'Abrantès (October 23, 1771July 29, 1813) was a French general during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Early life

Junot was born in Bussy-le-Grand, France, son of Michel Junot (1739-1814, son of François Junot, d. 1759, and wife Edmée Laurain, b. 1703 and d. 1784) and wife Marie Antoinette Bienaymé (1735-1806, daughter of Guy Bienaymé and wife Ursule Rigoley), and studied in Chatillon. He was studying law in Paris when the French Revolution started, he joined a volunteer battalion was twice wounded and made sergeant. He first met Napoleon Bonaparte during the Siege of Toulon in 1793 when he became his secretary.

Italian campaign

He distinguished himself in Italy but received a serious head wound at Lonato, which some claim led to a permanent change in his character, reduced the quality of his judgement and made him rash and temperamental. He was made a general of brigade at the beginning the Egyptian campaign but was injured in a duel and captured when he was returning as an invalid to France. He later participated in the coup of Brumaire. He married Laure (Laurette) Martin de Permond in 1800. He was briefly ambassador to Portugal before hurrying back to serve under Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz (December 2, 1805).

Peninsular War

Junot's major command was during the Peninsular War. He commanded the invasion of Portugal in 1807, setting out in November from Salamanca he captured Lisbon in 30 November or early December and was granted the ducal victory title of Duc d'Abrantès and made Governor of Portugal.

But when the British arrived in August 1808, the French were beaten at Vimeiro (August 21) and Junot was almost cut off; only the signing of the advantageous Convention of Sintra allowed him to avoid capture taking however with him all the weapons and baggages the army had managed to gather, expression that later became famous in the Portuguese usage, and he returned to France in October, narrowly escaping a court martial. He returned to the Iberian peninsula in 1810 as part of the army under Marshal André Masséna and was badly wounded.

Later years

In the Russian campaign Junot's record was erratic; he was blamed for allowing the Russian army to retreat following the Battle of Smolensk (August 17), but at the Battle of Borodino (September 7, 1812) he commanded the 8th Corps competently.

In 1813 he was made Governor of Illyria but his growing mental instability led to him being returned to France. He committed suicide in Montbard.But some of his family members believe that he created this story of fear of being persicuted by those who over-threw Bonaparte. It is said that he fled the country and came down to New Orleans, where he had family.


He had two daughters and two sons:



  • Chartrand, René. Vimeiro 1808. London: Osprey Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84176-309-8
  • Haythornthwaite, Philip. Napoleon's Commanders (1) c1792-1809. London: Osprey Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84176-055-2

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