'Je vois par votre lettre que vous êtes jaloux de gloire : c'est le moyen de faire de grandes choses', Napoleon to Suchet, 1800.
Born Lyons, 2 March, 1770, died Marseilles, 3 January, 1826. Married Honorine Antoine de Saint-Joseph (her mother was Marie-Anne-Rose Marseille-Clary, sister-in-law of Joseph Bonaparte) in 1808 Elected lieutenant colonel en chef of the 4e bataillon de volontaires de l'Ardèche, 20 September 1793 Captured British general O'Hara at the siege of Toulon, December 1793 In the Armée d'Italie 1794-97, fought at Dego, Cossaria, Lodi, Borghetto, Castiglione, Bassano, Cerea, Saint-Georges, (under Masséna) Arcole, Neumarkt Brune's chief of staff in Switzerland, Feburary-March 1798 Général de Brigade, 23 March, 1798 Chief of staff in Armée d'Italie 22 August, 1798 Deprived of his office on refusing to take up his appointment as chief of staff for the Armée d'Helvétie, December 1798 Joubert's General Chief of Staff, July 1799 (fought at the Battle of Novi, taking over command on Joubert's death) Interim commander of the Armée d'Italie in place of Championnet, 31 December 1799 to 5 January 1800 Commander of the Left Wing of the the Armée d'Italie under Masséna, 8 January, 1800 Cut off from Masséna during the retreat, 8 April, 1800 Failed in his attack on Monte San Giacomo, 19 April, 1800 Driven back from Loano, 1 May, 1800 Retreated to the river Var, a bridgehead over which he held, 22 and 26 May, 1800 Occupied Genova on 22 June, 1800; commander of the centre of the Armée d'Italie (divisions Boudet and Gazan) under Masséna and under Brune (divisions Loison and Gazan), September 1800 Took Volta (21 December) and fought at Pozzolo (25 December) Governor of Padua, January 1801 General inspector of the infantry, 24 July 1801 Comandant of the 4e corps of the Grande Armée under Soult, 26 August, 1805 – this became the 3rd division of the 5e corps of the Grande Armeé under Lannes, 10 October, 1805 Fought at Ulm, Hollabrunn and Austerlitz, 2 December, 1805 Grand aigle of the Légion d'Honneur, 8 February, 1806 Fought at Saalfeld (10 October), Iéna (14 October), Pultusk (26 December), and Ostrolenka (16 February, 1807) Commander of the 1er division of the 5e Corps under Masséna, 24 February, 1807 Provisional commander of the 5e Corps of the Grande Armée in Silesia, August 1807 Chevalier of the Couronne de Fer Commandeur of the Ordre de Saint-Henri de Saxe Comte de l'Empire, 19 March 1808 Commander of the 1er division of the 5e Corps under Mortier in the Armée de l'Espagne, 2 October, 1808 Fought at the siege of Saragossa (December 1808) Commandant (in place of Junot) of the 3e Corps of the Armée de l'Espagne (which became the Armée d'Aragon), 5 April, 1809 Beaten back by Blake at the Battle of Alcanitz, 23 May, 1809 Victory over Blake at Maria (15 June), Belchite (18 June), the Bridge of Alventosa (January 1810) Occupied Segorbe (3 March), failed at Valencia (March), siege and taking of Lerida (30 April – 14 May), siege and taking of Mequinenza (20 May – 8 June), siege and taking of Tortoza (June 1810 – 2 January, 1811), siege and taking of Taragona (4 May – 28 June 1811) Maréchal de France, 8 July, 1811 Took Monserrat, 24 July, occupied Murviedro (27 September), victory over Blake at Puebla de Benaguasil (1 October), took the fort of Oropesa (11 October), victory at Sagonte (25 October – wounded in the shoulder by a bullet), took the fort of Sagonte (26 October), blockaded Valencia (26 October), received the town's capitulation 10 January, 1812 Duc de Albufera, 24 January, 1812 Took the fort of Peniscola (4 February), beaten at Castalla (13 april 1813), raised the siege of Taragona (12 June), evacuated Valencia (July 1813) Commander in chief of the Armées de Catalogne et d'Aragon, April 1813 Raised once again the siege of Taragona, 15 August, 1813 Governor of Catalonia, 15 November Colonel general of the Imperial Guard in place of Bessières, 18 November 1813 Victory at Molinas del Rey (15 January 1814), evacuated Catalonia (April 1814) Commander in chief of the Armée du Midi, 22 April, 1814 Pair de France, 4 June, 1814 Governor of the 14e division militaire à Caen, 21 June, 1814 Commandeur de Saint-Louis, 24 September, 1814 Governor of the 5e division militaire à Strasbourg, 30 November, 1814 Commandant of the 5e Corps d'observation in Strasbourg, 26 March, 1815 Sent to Lyons as commandant supérieur of the 6e, 7e, 8e, 9e, et 19e division militaires, 4 April, 1815 Commandant en chef of the 7e Corps d'observation (Armée des Alpes), 26 April, 1815 Pair de France, 2 June, 1815 Invaded Savoy, l2 June, 1815 and evacuated the country, 30 June, 1815 Agreed a convention in Lyons with Austrians for the evacuation to the town, 12 July, 1815 Struck off the list of Pairs de France during the Second Restauration Removed by Louis XVIII from being governor of the 5e division militaire, 27 December, 1815 Again nominated Pair de France, 5 March, 1819
Born into a wealthy silk-making family, Suchet had a remarkably successful military career, particularly in Spain. Like Miollis, he was briefly governor of a department in French Italy, in this case Padouan or il Padovano (the area around Padua). Unlike the other Maréchals whom Napoleon harshly criticised on Saint Helena, Suchet never lost Napoleon's high esteem (despite serving militarily during the first Restoration).
Bergeron, B., Le Maréchal Suchet, 1986 Rousseau, F., La carrière de Maréchal Suchet, Paris: Didot, s.d. (but pre-1899) Suchet, L.-G., Mémoires, Paris: Didot, 1828