Have found three images (including Vernet's) of the Emperor in discussion with GD Oudinot at Friedland, but can find no reference as to what the Indestructible Man did during the battle. I can't even find an OOB to discover which higher organization he was attached to. Any help appreciated.
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The author is Oudinot's second wife, his first wife who was from his hometown had died in 1810. His new wife was an aristocrat who may have had a hand in influencing Oudinot against Napoleon.
Davout and Oudinot were long-time friends, but that ended when Oudinot took part in the marshals' mutiny in 1814 and Oudinot then supported the Bourbons. Davout did not.
an article by Eidhal
Marshal Nicolas Charles Oudinot: "Le Bayard de l'Armée Français"
also - for our anglophone friends, a link with pronunciation
the man himself in about 1811
Marshal Oudinot’s Service Record
The following material is taken from Georges Six’s Dictionnaire:
Oudinot began his military service as a volunteer in the Regiment de Medoc-Infanterie in June 1784. He was captain of a cavalry company in July 1789 and was chef of a Legion of the National Guard of the Meuse in November 1790. In September 1791 he was the lieutenant colonel ‘en second’ of the 3d Bataillon de Volontaires de la Meuse. He served with the armies of the Rhine and Moselle from 1792-1794. He was part of the garrison of Thionville in November 1792. He was lieutenant colonel en premier of his battalion in January 1793. He was transferred to the 4th Demi-Brigade de bataille in August 1793 and participated in the defense of Bitche the following November. He was promoted to chef de brigade the same month.
Oudinot was wounded in the head at Haguenau in December 1793 and served at Kaiserslautern in May 1794, at the combat of Morlautern the following day and was nominated to be a provisional general of brigade by the Representatives of the People and was wounded in August 1794 at Treves and participated in the capture of the bridge of Wasserbillig the same month. He was nominated commandant of Treves in late August and was confirmed in the grade of general of brigade by the Committee of Public Safety in June 1795.
He was again wounded, this time incurring six wounds and captured at Neckerau in October 1795. He was exchanged the following January at Ulm. In May Oudinot was assigned to the Army of the Rhine and Moselle and in June was made the commandant of Phalsbourg. In September 1796 he was assigned to Division Delmas commanding a cavalry brigade. At the bridge at Ingolstadt he was again wounded, this time receiving five wounds by saber and bullet. He was then assigned to the 5th Division under Desaix’s command in October 1796 and in January 1797 to the 6th Division.
Oudinot was then assigned to the Armee d’Allemagne in September 1797 and the following January to the Armee d’Angleterre. Later in the year he was then assigned to the Haut-Rhin and then to the Armee d’Helvetie in October to the Division Xaintrailles. Reassigned to the Armee de Mayence in November, he was then sent to the Armee du Danube et d’Helvetie in March 1799 and participated in the action at Feldkirch and was promoted to general of division in April 1799. Commanded the 2d Division in the center of the Armee d’Helvetie on 30 April 1799.
In May Oudinot came under Tharreau’s command as chef of the 4th Division of the Armee d’Helvetie. He took command, in place of Ney, of the advance guard the day after assuming command of the 4th Division. In June he was wounded again in the defense of Zurich and retained command of the 4th Division. He replaced Suchet as chief of staff of the Armee du Danube et Helvetie in July. He was again wounded in August and September at Zurich and in October he served at Andelfingen. He served at the defense of Genoa as Massena’s chief of staff in December and in the same billet he served Brune with the Armee d’Italie in August 1800, and served at the passage of the Mincio in December 1800.
Commandant of the 1st Infantry Division at the Camp of Bruges in August 1803. Assigned as the commandant of the Reserve Grenadiers in place of Junot at Arras in February 1805. Awarded the Grand Eagle of the Legion of Honor in March 1805. Oudinot was assigned as the commander of the 1st Division of Lannes’ V Corps (the famous ‘Grenadiers Reunis’) in August 1805. From 1805 to 1807 Oudinot fought at Wertingen in October 1805, was wounded (again) at Hollabrunn in November and was replaced by Duroc.
He took possession of Neufchatel in March 1805 and was given command of two regiments of dragons a pied under Lefebvre in October 1806 and in November he was assigned to organize and command the famous division of grenadiers and voltigeurs, leading it at Osrtolenka, the siege of Danzig and was then assigned to the Reserve Corps under Lannes, serving at Friedland in June 1807, where he was instrumental in Lannes’ excellent delaying action against the Russians. He replaced Lannes as the commander of the Reserve Corps in July 1807.
Oudinot was made a count of the Empire in July 1808 and served in the Army of the Rhine under Davout. He formed and commanded a new corps that consisted of 36 battalions of grenadiers and voltigeurs ‘reunis’ in December 1808. He served in the new II Corps of the Army of Germany under Lannes in April 1809, fighting at Phaffenhofen and Landshut and commanded Tharreau’s division in the II Corps. He was wounded again at Essling in May and was assigned as the II Corps commander after Lannes mortal wounding at Essling. Oudinot crossed the Danube in July with the army’s advance guard and was again wounded at Wagram and was promoted to marshal of the Empire in July 1809.
Oudinot was designated as the commander of the Armee du Nord in January 1810 and later that month of the Armee du Brabant. In April he was designated as the commander of the Corps of Observation in Holland and was the commander of the 2d Corps of Observation in January 1812 and commanded the II Corps of the Grande Armee in Russia. He served at Deweltovo, Dunabourg, Jaboukovo, Oboiarszina, Polotsk, where he was seriously wounded. He handed over command of the II Corps to St Cyr in August after being wounded. He reassumed command of the II Corps in October and fought at Lochnitza and at the Berezina, where he was again wounded and was wounded again at Plechtenitzow in late Novermber. He was then replaced by Victor in December 1812.
He was designated as the commander of the XII Corps of the Grande Armee for the 1813 campaign and fought at Bautzen, Hoyersweda, and Luckau and was given command of three corps, the IV, VII, and XII and advanced against Berlin in August. He was defeated at Gross-Beeren that month and was replaced by Ney and given command of two Young Guard divisions in September. He fought at Leipzig and continued with the Grande Armee into France where he fought and was wounded twice more at Brienne in January 1814. He commanded the VII Corps in Champagne in February and served at La Rothiere, Mormant, Mery-sur-Seine, and Bar-sur-Aube, where he was saved from a serious wound by the round hitting the plague of his Grand Eagle of the Legion of Honor.
After the first abdication, Oudinot did not serve with Napoleon again and remained loyal to the returned Bourbons. He incurred a total of 34 wounds during his service.
Marshal Oudinot’s decorations:
-Count of the Empire.
-Grand Eagle of the Legion of Honor.
-Chevalier of the Order of the Iron Crown of Italy.
-Commander of the Order of St Henry of Saxony.
-Chevalier 1st Class of the Order of Saint Vladimir of Russia.
-Grand Cross of the Black Eagle of Prussia.
-Grand Cross of the Red Eagle of Prussia.
-Grand Cross of the Order of Maximilien-Joseph of Bavaria.
-Grand Cross of the Order of Pays-Bas.
-Chevalier de Saint-Louis.
-Chevalier du Saint-Esprit.
-Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III of Spain.
-Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor.
Other sources on Friedland
Preview of Eidahl (ABEBooks has for sale for $55)
Napoleon arrived at the battlefield around noon. "Oudinot rode up to him his horse dripping with blood and his clothes riddled with holes." Napoleon wanted to know if the Russians had crossed the Alle. Luckily explained that they had then promised, " ... Give me some reinforcements and I will drive all the Russians into the water. " Napoleon handed Oudinot a pipe and responded, "You surpass yourself. Wherever you are, you are feared, but it is for me to finish the day. ". P.220. Kyle Orlan Eidahl. The Military Career of Nicolas Charles Oudinot (1767-1847). Florida State Univ., 1990.
Oudinot's division was part of Lannes Reserve Corps at Friedland. It took part in Lannes' outstanding delaying action the 13-14 June 1807.
One brigade was on Lannes' right flank and the rest of the division was committed to the Forest of Sortlack on the French right flank.
After the main army arrived, Lannes corps was moved to the French center and after the Russian left flank was routed/destroyed, Lannes attacked the Russian right flank along with Oudinot and Mortier's VIII Corps, defeating Gortschakoff.