The golden rays lick the sides of the tricolor flag, as at Austerlitz they favored the Emperor.
While the officer cadets of Saint-Cyr lift the coffin of Charles-Etienne Gudin, the sun rises in the courtyard of the Invalides which hosts the remains of the Napoleonic general.
The remains of this relative of Napoleon, who died on August 22, 1812 after the Battle of the Moskva, was repatriated in July so that he could be buried alongside the Emperor on December 2. Under his stern gaze, soldiers from all army corps are preparing to pay homage to the brigadier general. The Minister of Veterans Affairs, Geneviève Darrieussecq, presides over the ceremony in place of Jean Castex, who is positive for Covid-19.
At the head of the 3rd corps of this Grand Army, General Gudin covers himself with glory in Auerstaedt, Eylau, Abensberg or Presboug.
Everywhere his bravery won the admiration of the Emperor as well as of the enemy.
Everywhere his men were the first to go to the front, which earned them the honor of entering Berlin first during the Prussian campaign during which their general was himself wounded,
”she declared despite the absence of resonance of the microphones.
The coffin carried by the officer cadets of Saint-Cyr.
The death of General Gudin is glorious.
While Napoleon was visiting Smolensk Cathedral, a letter announced that a battle was being fought.
Immediately, he sends Gudin to the aid of Ney,
”narrates Pierre Malinowski, the sulphurous organizer of repatriation, close to the French extreme right and to Russian power.
Arrived on the spot, Gudin gets angry with Marshal Ney and throws him: "
You are going to see how my division knows how to remove a position which it has mission to attack
While his division jostles the Russian army, a cannon ball blows his leg.
Transferred to Smolensk, he died there on August 22, 1812. "
It is a sparkling French course
", summarizes Prince Murat, descendant of the famous horseman.
A controversial repatriation
For Pierre Malinowski, the objective is twofold: to promote his research to find the body, but also to achieve a diplomatic coup that would bring Moscow and Paris closer together. Former soldier, ex-assistant of Jean-Marie Le Pen, he is president of the Foundation for the development of Franco-Russian historical initiatives. He says he is close to Dmitri Peskov, press secretary to Vladimir Poutin, but also to Bruno Roger-Petit, current memory adviser to Emmanuel Macron. Thanks to its networks, the subject "
Was discussed in the discussions between the French and Russian presidents at Fort Brégançon, in August 2019. But the two presidents will not jointly celebrate the return of this general who died for France 209 years ago.
The Russian government which authorized the transfer of the remains was thanked "
for this gesture full of nobility
" by the minister who bowed before the coffin draped with the tricolor.
Read alsoThe return of the mortal remains of an Empire general
Geneviève Darrieussecq lays a wreath in the crypt of the Invalides.
The remains of the general reach the church of Invalides on opus 40 by Tchaikovsky. The atmosphere is imbued with dignity, as if France had found a son, and the French present at the ceremony were burying a loved one. In front of the Bishop of the Armed Forces, Mgr de Romanet, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, General Thierry Burkhard, the descendant of General Gudin, Alberic of Orléans, Minister Geneviève Darrieussecq lays a wreath in front of the coffin placed in the crypt. He will now rest alongside brothers in arms. At the end of the ceremony, snow begins to fall, burying under a thin layer the new grave of this soldier who fell in Russia. A single thought arises: "
Here, there is a brave man again
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