On This Day in Napoleonic History – 4 April 1814

4Marshal Auguste de Marmont betrays Napoleon

With Napoleon in Fontainebleau and the Allies closing on Montmartre, Marmont marched all the remaining French forces to the Allied quarters to capitulate. This led Emperor Alexander of Russia to demand Napoleon’s unconditional abdication.

Marmont’s treachery bothered Napoleon till the end of his life. ‘The ungrateful wretch. He will be more unhappy than me,’ he said on St Helena. Because of this ultimate betrayal, Marmont’s company was nicknamed Judas’ company and Marmont was forever known as a traitor. Even three decades later, when he was an old man living in Naples, children would follow him and shout, ‘There goes the man who betrayed Napoleon.’

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