Saturday, June 6, 2015

Bazaine, Francoise Achille - so brave he surrendered 140,000 troops

François Achille Bazaine was a Marshal of France from 1864 to 1888. While in charge of 140,000 (or 180,000. Wikipedia and Britannica disagree.) troops, he surrendered to the Prussians without a shot being fired.

I'm sorry. Jokes about the French surrendering just seem obvious and are usually unfunny, but this guy is seriously making it difficult to abstain. Ok fine, here are some French jokes. Most aren't funny at all, but the Euro Disney one made me chuckle.

Anyway, he was sentenced to death for his actions, but this sentence was later commuted to 20 years in prison. This wasn't much better given that he was almost 63 at the time. He apparently wasn't interested in waiting around because he knotted some baggage straps and rope together, attached one end to a gargoyle, and climbed down 300 feet (remember, he was 63) to a boat that his wife had waiting for him. He remained free, but lived in poverty for the rest of his life.

All that said, the full wikipedia article seems to indicate that his act was somehow not treasonous. Yet I honestly cannot figure out an interpretation of the events which would indicate why it wasn't. He apparently wasn't a fan of the current government, and his actions led directly to the loss of 2 cities. If anyone understands that, please let me know.

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