Military Review

“Our deaths will be avenged. In six months everything will change in France. ”

Thanks to his talent and intelligence, Claude-Francois de Male was rapidly moving up the career ladder. Not even his constant feuds with higher ranks stopped him. He fought for his country, for his republican views and was not afraid to challenge Napoleon Bonaparte.

The path of the chief conspirator of France

De Male was born in the city of Dole in eastern France 28 June 1754 of the year. Being hereditary nobleman, he was seventeen years old was in the royal guard of the Musketeers. And he began his military career with an officer’s rank. But a few years later, the guard was unexpectedly disbanded and the young de Male (he was only twenty-one at the time) was forced to resign. By the time Claude-Francois already had the rank of officer.

De Malé is back home. Then he still did not suspect that the forced idleness will last more than ten years. All these years, Claude-Francois was engaged in household chores and did not climb into politics. And at thirty-four years in his life an important event occurred - a former military man married Denise de Baley, who was seventeen years younger than him. Despite the big difference in age, the marriage turned out to be happy. And the wife gave birth to a de Malé son - Aristide.

Meanwhile, over the political well-being of France began to thicken the clouds, which opened up the revolution. And although Claude-Francois belonged to aristocrats, he perceived the "wind of change" with enthusiasm. Soon he became one of the main fighters for republican freedoms. And when Claude-Francois got the position of the battalion commander of the National Guard Share, he decided to remove the “de” prefix from his last name and cut his hair on the Jacobin fashion. Thus, the military wanted to show that he was completely on the side of the revolution.

Military career resumed during the Italian campaign, where Male managed to establish himself well. Thanks to the successes at the front, Claude-Francois was promoted to a brigadier general. But that all changed for 18 Brumaire (second month of the French Republican calendar). Napoleon Bonaparte made a coup that was alien to Male, a supporter of republican freedoms. He suspected Napoleon that he decided to level the success of the revolution and concentrate power in one hand - his own.

At about the same time, Malé became the commander of the troops of the Gironde, but he was soon transferred to Charente. Here the stubborn and capricious nature of the military was fully revealed. Therefore, he could not converge with the prefect of the department of Charente (as before with the prefect of the Gironde) even in theory. Cursing with the commanders, Malé spoke openly against Napoleon, who was then the First Consul of the French Republic. The prefects, in the fight against Male, used all means. Therefore, of course, they amicably wrote numerous complaints to the masterful general.

During his military successes, Claude-Francois received another promotion - the republican high command made him into divisional generals. But then Napoleon intervened. He took advantage of the opportunity and took revenge on Male, not approving his rank. True, the First Consul soon decided to try to establish relations with the brigadier general. And he made it to the commanders of the Order of the Legion of Honor. Claude-Francois did not appreciate the goodwill gesture and remained an ardent supporter of republican freedoms.

But Bonaparte was also in no hurry to give up his views and intentions. Therefore, he proclaimed himself emperor. Stunned by Male, he took this news and sent a letter to Napoleon: “Citizen First Consul, we add our feelings to those French who wish to see our homeland happy and free. If the hereditary empire is the only refuge from misfortune - be the emperor, but use all the authority that the top administration gives you, so that the new form of power is based on the mode of action that saved us from talentlessness and tyranny of your heirs. Otherwise, in one day we will lose a part of our freedom, and our children will reproach us for sacrificing it. ”

Napoleon received this ambiguous "greeting" from his opponent surprisingly calmly. Apparently, the newly-made emperor decided that Male did not represent for him absolutely no threat.

And Claude-Francois continued to openly express his dislike for the governor, not being afraid to suffer for his too long language. He was saved by one thing - success in the military arena. Here, no one could make at least one libertarian. And in 1806, Male became the military governor of the Italian territories. But in this position, he lasted only a year. Conflicts with the civil administration and the spread of anti-imperial sentiment have done their job. 18 May 1807 the year the Vice-King of Italy freed Male from his duties and sent him to France. By the way, Napoleon personally signed the resignation papers. With his stroke, he put an end to the future career of Male.

Conspiracy Thoughts

Claude-Francois did not even think of returning to his native Dol. Instead, he and his wife and son settled down in Paris. Not going to stubborn Male to abandon their views. Only now their hatred for the emperor and for all his entourage has further increased. And Claude-Francois decided to take revenge - to carry out a coup for the sake of free France. This idea is so firmly stuck in the head of the military that he literally became obsessed with it.

The first attempt to turn the dream into reality Malé made in 1808 year. Bonaparte was at that time in Spain and the former commander considered that the time had come. Together with accomplices, Malé wanted to make fake government announcements all over Paris that said that the Senate had suddenly decided to release the emperor from his post and had even voted to depose him. The announcement ended with news that the Senate is now considering the possibility of establishing a new government. But the conspirators did not have time to post ads. Their plan was revealed on time. Therefore, Malé at the head of more than fifty conspirators was arrested. And a little later he was sent to La Force prison. But it did not work on a retired general. While imprisoned, he continued his anti-imperial activities. Fortunately, in La Force, he had enough accomplices from among the prisoners, also dissatisfied with the imperial power. But this time Malia was not lucky. One of the prisoners, fearing for his life, reported a conspiracy.
“Our deaths will be avenged. In six months everything will change in France. ”

Claude-Francois was transferred to the prison of Saint Pelagia. While Malé was behind bars, his wife tried in every way to bring her husband to a more comfortable place. And her efforts were crowned with success. At the very beginning of 1810, Male was transferred to the Debusson clinic for treatment. Among the French nobility, this place was called “Eden for political prisoners”. Royalists and Republicans were treated here with elite wines and chic dishes. And there were supporters of anti-imperial views in luxurious rooms with beautiful views from the windows. In addition, they could walk in the garden, communicate with other "patients" and received a monthly pension of one hundred and fifty francs. But such measures have not cooled the heat of Male. He, with double forces, began to develop a new plan for overthrowing the hated Napoleon.

In the next conspiracy, Male actively supported his spouse, as well as her friend Sophie Hugo. Sophie was the mother of the future famous writer and was the mistress of the rebellious general Viktor Lagori. By the way, it was said that he was the true father of the son Sophie. Actually, in honor of her lover Hugo, she named her child.

Thanks to the help of Denise and Sophie, Claude-Francois was able to establish close contact with his like-minded people who remained in La Force. The team of Male were generals Lagori and Gidal, Corsican Bockeyamp, who was imprisoned on charges of espionage. Also to the conspirators joined Abbe Lafon, who was a royalist and supporter of the Bourbon dynasty. The abbot, who hated Napoleon, no less than Male, introduced the latter to the right people. Thus, at the disposal of a retired general, a force appeared that was at large. Among them was the Spanish monk José Maria Caamano. He took in his name a safe flat on the Rue St. Peter, which, according to Claude-Francois, was to become a kind of transit point. Kaamano had a good reputation, so the conspirators were not afraid that he would be followed.

Male has chosen, probably, the most successful time for the implementation of his plan. The fact is that there was no emperor in the country - he fought in Russia. Considering the distance of Paris from the theater of operations, it took more than two weeks for Napoleon to receive messages from couriers. So, the conspirators did not experience a lack of time.

Against the emperor

Moment "X" came around ten in the evening 22 October 1812 of the year. Claude-Francois, along with the abbot, freely left the Debusson clinic. Then they climbed over the stone fence and were released. The accomplices were waiting for them behind the fence: Corporal Jacques-Auguste Rato and lawyer Andre Boutrot, who enterprisingly girded himself with a three-colored band to become like the commissioner of the French police. Soon, four rebels found themselves in a safe house. Here, Male examined the fake Senate decrees, which stated that Napoleon had died in Russia and was satisfied. While his accomplices made the final preparations, Claude-Francois changed into a general's uniform.

At nightfall, they went to work. Only Abbot Lafon remained in the apartment. He claimed that he had injured his leg when he climbed over the fence. After waiting a few minutes, the abbot went outside and left Paris as soon as possible. Lafon understood that there was practically no chance of success among the conspirators. And once again, counting on the mercy of the emperor is a silly idea.

At about four o'clock in the morning three conspirators turned out to be near the barracks post on Poponkur Street. One of the rebels - Rato - reported the password. It must be said that that night it was the word "conspiracy." Then Rato declared that they had urgent news for the commander. The guard missed the trinity.

The conspirators were once again lucky. It turned out that Soulier, commander of the tenth cohort of the National Guard, was seriously ill. When the rebels entered his room, Malé, calling himself General Lamot, told the terrible news for all of France - the emperor was killed under the walls of Moscow in early October. Then Claude-Francois, taking advantage of Soulier’s ill health, deceived him again, saying that he was now a colonel. And it is vitally important for him to seize the town hall, after which - to prepare a conference room for the provisional government. Although Soulier was ill, he accepted the information received and hurried (as far as possible) to execute the order of the alleged General Lamoth. The commander took it all at face value. In addition, he singled out for the protection of the conspirators of the National Guard fighters.

Next, Male led his accomplices to prison La Fors. And closer to morning, Lagori, Gidal and Bockyampa were free. After that, Hidal, along with part of the National Guard, went to arrest the Secretary of War Clark. Lagori received an order to detain the Minister of Police Savary. Here, for the first time, things did not go according to plan. Gidal refused to carry out the order of Male. Instead, he went to settle accounts with Savary. But common sense won out. Therefore, Gidal and the Minister of Police (he captured several other people along the way, including the Prefect of the Paris Police) returned to La Fors.

Male himself, after ordering to send messages about the death of Napoleon in Marseille, Toulon and Geneva, visited the military commander of Paris, General Gulen. But he refused to believe in the death of the emperor, and therefore did not follow the orders of Claude-Francois. In response, the retired general shot the military commander in the face, after which he withdrew. Then still Male did not know that he had lost one of his accomplices. Fearing for his life, Bockyampe decided to flee from Paris.

After Gülen, Claude-Francois went to the colonel of the General Staff Doucet and his adjutant Laborde. But here too, Male missed. They refused to believe his words; moreover, the soldiers came to their rescue and managed to seize the retired general. The arrest of Male was the final point in the conspiracy against the emperor. In a short time managed to capture and Lagori with Gidal. And by lunchtime in Paris, nothing resembled an overnight attempt at a coup d'état.

Death of the rebels

A total of twenty-five people (including Deniz) appeared before the military tribunal. More than a dozen of them were sentenced to the death penalty, including the main three. Male, as he could, in every way he tried to protect his accomplices, trying to take all the blame. But the judges were not impressed. By the way, during the meeting, the rebellious general was asked about who his accomplices are. Malé replied: “All of France. And you, too, if I had brought my business to the end. ”

Sophie Hugo tried in every way to save her lover. But she failed. He was also sentenced to death.

According to the recollections of eyewitnesses, Male, who was awaiting death, said: “Our deaths will be avenged. In six months everything will change in France. ” Curiously, half a year later, Napoleon has practically lost the war to Russia and its allies. Ahead he was waiting for St. Helena. We can say that Male's words turned out to be somewhat prophetic.

29 October 1812, the conspirators were shot. The emperor only learned about November 6. And the coup attempt seriously alarmed him. He realized that his power was in a precarious position.

After the execution of Male, Denise was released from prison and was allocated a pension of her husband, and her son received a military scholarship.

This is how the Soviet historian academician Eugene Tarle described those events in the book “Napoleon”: “Napoleon endured all the difficulties of the march, as always, trying to cheer the soldiers with his example. He spent hours walking through the snowdrifts and under falling snow, leaning on a stick, talking to the soldiers who were walking alongside. He did not yet know then whether he would spend the winter and generally remain for a long time in Smolensk. But, having come to Dorogobuzh, Napoleon received information from France, which accelerated his decision to leave Smolensk.

Strange messages brought him to Dorogobuzh courier from Paris. A certain General Male, an old Republican who had been sitting in a prison in Paris for a long time, managed to escape from there, forged a decree of the senate, came to one company, allegedly announced Napoleon’s death in Russia, read the forged decree of the senate declaring the republic and arrested Sawari, the police minister, War Minister wounded. The alarm lasted two hours. Male was recognized, captured, put on trial by the military court and executed along with 11 by people who were not guilty of anything, except that they believed the authenticity of the decree: Male had started all this alone while in prison.

On Napoleon, this episode (with all the absurdity) made a strong impression. It felt that his presence in Paris was necessary. ”

The uprising of Claude-Francois Malais described Valentin Pikul in his novel “Paris for three hours”.
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 10 January 2018 07: 56 New
    We can say that the words of Male turned out to be prophetic to some extent.
    ... de Molay's words were prophetic too ...
  2. Serge72
    Serge72 10 January 2018 08: 01 New
    I wonder how then would the story turn out?
    But the blow to the back of the warring army did not reach the goal in the case of Napoleon
  3. Lenivets2
    Lenivets2 10 January 2018 08: 29 New
    "Moreover, his military career he started with an officer rank. But a few years later the guard was unexpectedly disbanded and the young de Male (at that time only twenty-one years old) was forced to resign. By that time, Claude-Francois already had the rank of officer."
  4. Blue cop
    Blue cop 10 January 2018 09: 44 New
    And it has changed!
  5. Mikado
    Mikado 10 January 2018 10: 21 New
    I have long been waiting for articles on this topic. Thank!
    After the execution of Male, Denise was released from prison and was allocated a pension of her husband, and her son received a military scholarship.

    Bonaparte, although not very deserving of a good memory because of the grief brought, sometimes acted nobly. soldier
    I don’t remember if Sulje was shot. what And according to Pikul, Bokkayampe was an active participant in the conspiracy, and was also shot. But to trust Valentin Savvich from a historical point of view ... stop
    Pikul also wrote that Male began his service at the Black Musketeers. The Black Musketeers were the successors of the Cardinal’s guards, the very same ones.
    1. Monarchist
      Monarchist 10 January 2018 13: 15 New
      Dear Mikado, you yourself say: "To trust Valentin Savich from a historical point of view ...." with all due respect to V. S. Still, he is a WRITER, not a historian. Equally A. Dumas (father) will be a historian
      1. Mikado
        Mikado 10 January 2018 16: 21 New
        well yes. At V.S. Pikul “To each his own” and “Paris for three hours” I read in one book; he has discrepancies between the two novels. And I’m silent about the story.
    2. Conductor
      Conductor 10 January 2018 20: 15 New
      Here kill me AP WALL but the city politician is nonsense.
  6. Olgovich
    Olgovich 10 January 2018 10: 47 New
    This is how the Soviet historian Academician E described those eventsvgeniy Tarle in the book "Napoleon": "Napoleon endured all the difficulties of the campaign, as always, trying by his example to cheer the soldiers. He spent hours walking through the snowdrifts and under the falling snow, leaning on a stick, talking with the soldiers walking nearby. He did not know then whether he would winter or stay for a long time in Smolensk. But, coming to DorogobuzhNapoleon received information from France that accelerated his decision to leave Smolensk.

    Not in Dorogobuzh, but in Mikhailovka Napoleon received information about the conspiracy (memoirs of Kolenkur).
    He decided to leave for Paris even earlier. And he did not go on foot, but rode in a carriage.

    Tarle for some reason ignored the memoirs of Kolenkur, who traveled all the way with the emperor. request
  7. Monarchist
    Monarchist 10 January 2018 12: 56 New
    Quote: Lenivets2
    "Moreover, his military career he started with an officer rank. But a few years later the guard was unexpectedly disbanded and the young de Male (at that time only twenty-one years old) was forced to resign. By that time, Claude-Francois already had the rank of officer."

    I myself drew attention to this absurdity. How can one start serving as an officer and how at the moment of disbandment already have an officer rank? It would be necessary to clarify for example: started as ensign, and ended as captain
    1. igordok
      igordok 10 January 2018 15: 40 New
      Perhaps in some armies, the rank of senior non-commissioned officer GuardsBy statuswere equivalent status junior army officer ranks. Moving from the guard to the army, he had to confirm his status.
  8. Monarchist
    Monarchist 10 January 2018 13: 35 New
    Thanks to the author for the story. In fact, this is a story about an adventurer and a LOSER: How good he was as a military man: he rose to the rank of division general-analogue lieutenant general (even at that time), but as a conspirator and politician he is at the cadet level. Time after time falls into betrayal.
    What was the fate of Aristide the Little after the restoration of the Bourbons?
    Now I’m thinking: what would happen to Male’s fate if in 1937 he tried to put up posters announcing the death of Stalin?
    1. Weyland
      Weyland 10 January 2018 18: 53 New
      Quote: Monarchist
      if he were in 1937

      then, for example, in 1941-42
  9. Sergey-8848
    Sergey-8848 10 January 2018 19: 37 New
    And they could just nail in the tavern ... What happened, it happened.