Antoine François, Count Andréossy, 1761-1828

Antoine Fran François, Count Andréossy (1761-1828) was a French engineer and diplomat who served in Italy and Egypt and as Napoleon's ambassador to Britain, Austria and the Ottoman Empire.

Andréossy was born in Languedoc on 6 March 1761 into a family of Italian extraction. He attended the School of Artillery at Metz where he performed brilliantly, and in 1781 he was commissioned into the French Artillery. He was promoted to captain in 1788.

After the outbreak of the French revolution Andréossy supported the principles of the revolution and remained with the army. He served on the Rhine in 1794.

In 1796-1797 he served under Napoleon during his first Italian Campaign. The French should have had 3,300 engineers in Italy, but had fewer than 2,000. Andréossy proved to be a capable improviser, and performed impressively. This began a period of close association with Napoleon. He took part in the Egyptian campaign, and was part of the group that returned to Europe with Napoleon. He took part in the coup of 18 Brumaire, and in January 1800 was rewarded with promotion to général of division.

During the Peace of Amiens (1803-1804) Andréossy served as the French Ambassador to Britain. He advised Napoleon to make every effort to maintain peace with Britain, and that the British government desired peace. Napoleon ignored this advice and soon provided a renewal of war. During this period Napoleon also made himself Emperor, and appointed Andréossy as his new Inspector-General of Artillery. He was also created a Count of the Empire.

During the 1805 campaign, which effectively ended with the Battle of Austerlitz (2 December 1805) Andréossy served with Napoleon's Head Quarters staff.

In 1808-1809 Andréossy served as Ambassador to Vienna, but he was unable to prevent the outbreak of the War of the Fifth Coalition. Napoleon quickly occupied Vienna, and Andréossy became Military Governor of the city. The same campaign saw Napoleon suffer his first major setback, at Aspern-Essling, but ended after his victory at Wagram.

From 1812 to 1814 Andréossy served as Ambassador to Constantinople, an area where French diplomacy had once again failed. Napoleon had hoped that the Ottoman Empire would remain at war with Russia during his invasion of 1812, but instead the two countries agreed a peace treaty and the Russians were able to move reinforcements north to help defeat the French.

Andréossy was recalled from Constantinople in 1814 after the First Bourbon Restoration. He rallied to Napoleon in 1815, but his career survived. In 1826 he was elected to the Academy of Sciences and in 1827 he was elected deputy for the Department of the Aube. He didn't enjoy his new post for long and died at Montauban in 1828.

Andréossy was also a prolific author, writing works on military history (including one on pontoon bridges in Italy), on artillery (including work on sieges), an account of the Languedoc Canal (giving credit to his own ancestor François Andréossy) and observations of the Egyptian Lakes and the Black Sea.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (29 October 2015), Antoine François, Count Andréossy, 1761-1828 ,

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