Augustin Daniel Belliard

Augstin-Daniel Belliard, statue by Willem Geefs

Augustin Daniel Belliard, comte Belliard et de l'Empire (25 May 1769 in Fontenay-le-Comte, Vendée – 28 January 1832 in Brussels)[1] was a French general.


Belliard became an officer between 1792 and 1793 under Dumouriez in Belgium. He then fought under Hoche in Italy between 1796 and 1797, near Castiglione, Caldiero, Arcole, and promoted to général de brigade on the 18 November 1796.

A participant of the 1798 Egyptian expedition, he fought in the Battle of the Pyramids, became governor of Upper Egypt, and advanced with his troops into Nubia. He also fought back the enemy cavalry at the battle of Heliopolis. He played a major role in the taking of Bulal and Cairo. However, with the departure of Napoleon and the arrival of British troops under General Ralph Abercromby the situation changed for the French and the victories ended. After string of British victories Beliard became trapped in Cairo was besieged by a combined British and Ottoman force culminating with Belliard's surrender on 22 June 1801.


In 1805, he fought against Austria, Prussia and Russia, under Joachim Murat.

King Joseph Bonaparte left Madrid with his 5,850-strong reserve on 23 July 1809 to fight at the Battle of Talavera. Wanting to face the combined British and Spanish army with his maximum strength, the king left Belliard, the governor of Madrid, with only about 4,000 troops. Belliard's force consisted of one brigade from the division of Jean-Joseph, Marquis Dessolles and a few pro-French Spanish troops. There were three potential threats, a Portuguese column of unknown strength led by Robert Thomas Wilson, the Spanish Army of La Mancha under Francisco Javier Venegas, and an insurrection. In case any of the threats developed, Belliard was ordered to withdraw into the Retiro forts for a last-ditch defense.[2] After his defeat at Talavera, Joseph ordered Belliard to send away all non-combatants from Madrid and prepare to defend the Retiro. However, Venegas failed to take advantage of his opportunity, Wilson's force was too weak, and the crisis passed.[3]

During the Russian campaign in 1812, he fought at Dresden, Leipzig and Hanau, again under Murat. He was severely wounded in the battle of Craonne.

After Napoleon was overthrown, Louis XVIII awarded him the title Peer of France (Pair de France). When Napoleon returned from Elba in 1815, Belliard became commander of the Mosel forces. After the Battle of Waterloo, he surrendered to Louis XVIII, had his title Pair taken away, was imprisoned for month, but then released and reinstated as Pair in 1819.

Rue Belliard in Brussels is named General Belliard, as is a street in Antwerp.


  1. ^ ROBINET, Jean-François (1899). Dictionnaire historique de la Révolution et de l'Empire 1799-1815. Paris: Librairie historique de la Révolution et de l'Empire.
  2. ^ Oman (1995), II, 499
  3. ^ Oman (1995), II, 569-571


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