Jean Lui Renye

Jean Lui Renye

Division general
Date of Birth: 14.01.1771
Country: France

Biography of Jean Louis Rénie

Jean Louis Rénie was born on May 25, 1811, into a bourgeois family. He studied engineering in Paris starting from May 1790. On September 2, 1792, he joined the artillery as a volunteer. He fought under the leadership of Dumouriez, Pichegru, and Moro. On October 21, 1792, he was promoted to captain in the Northern Army. From September 5, 1793, he served as the staff adjutant of a battalion, and from February 1794, he served in the staff brigade under General Suam. On June 13, 1794, he was promoted to brigade general. In November 1794, he commanded a brigade in the 1st division of the Northern Army. On March 31, 1795, he replaced General Lefebvre as the Chief of Staff of the Northern Army. On July 13, he returned to commanding a brigade. From February 14, 1796, he served as the Chief of Staff of the Moselle-Rhine Army under General Moro. He was included in the group of generals sent on the Egyptian campaign in 1798, and on April 20, he was given a division consisting of the 9th and 85th line infantry, the 22nd mounted grenadier, and the 18th dragoon regiments. On June 10, he occupied Gozzo. He distinguished himself in the Battle of the Pyramids and on August 5, he defeated the Mameluks near El Hamkah. On August 12, 1798, he was appointed governor of one of the provinces. He participated in the expedition to Syria and fought at El Arish, Heliopolis, and other battles. When Napoleon Bonaparte left Egypt, Rénie remained in Africa. Rénie constantly opposed General Menou and criticized his actions sharply. After the defeat of the French army in June 1801, he returned to France, where he continued his attacks on Menou. He remained without an assignment for a long time and only on September 29, 1803, he became the commander of the stationary troops of the Italian Republic. From December 13, he was the commander of the stationary troops in Toulon. From October 5, 1804, he was the commander of the 2nd (later 1st) division of the Observation Corps under General L. Sen-Sir in Naples. From January 1806, he commanded the right wing of the Neapolitan army under Marshal A. Masséna. On February 27, he took command of the 2nd corps of the Neapolitan army (divisions of Rénie and Verdier). He participated in the battles in Calabria and Campotenese. On January 12, 1807, he replaced Masséna as the commander of the French army in Calabria. He fought successfully at Miletus (May 27, 1807) and Scilla (December 31, 1807). On February 28, 1808, he was replaced by General Mathieu. On July 31, 1808, he was appointed Minister of War and the Navy of the Kingdom of Naples, temporarily commanding the Neapolitan army. He fought in Germany in the 1809 campaign. On July 2, 1809, he was appointed governor of Lobau Island, and after 7 days, he became the commander of the Saxon corps under the overall leadership of General E. Bogarne. From October 30, 1809, he commanded the 2nd reserve (from January 31, 1810 - 2nd infantry) division of the Spanish Army. In February 1810, he operated in Upper Extremadura. From April 17, 1810, he commanded the 2nd corps of the Portuguese Army under Masséna. He participated in the battles at Ciudad Rodrigo, Almeida, Bussaco, Sorball. In October, he commanded the right flank of the French positions at Torres Vedras. During the Battle of Fuente de Onor (3-05.05.1811), he led the right flank of the army. In June 1811, Rénie replaced Marshal Marmont as the commander of the 2nd Portuguese Army. On January 23, 1812, he was recalled from Spain and on March 3, he was appointed the commander of the 7th corps of the Grand Army, which consisted mainly of Saxon units. On June 30, 1812, his corps crossed the Neman River at Grodno. On July 15, his brigade under Klengel was surrounded by the divisions of E.I. Chaplits and K.O. Lambert near Kobryn, surrendered, and in the battle, about 1,000 Saxons were killed, while the Russians took 2,320 prisoners (including Klengel himself), 8 guns, and 4 flags. On August 12, together with the Schwarzenberg corps (about 38,000 men in total), he attacked the units of the 3rd Army under General Tormasov (about 18,000 men) near Gorodechno. The main burden of the battle fell on his troops. He participated in the battles at Lepel and Volkovysk. In September, he was pushed back behind the Bug River by the troops of P.V. Chichagov. He fought with his Saxons in the 1813 campaign at Kalish, Glogau, Bauzen, Reichenbach, and Herzliu. In August 1813, he was subordinate to Marshal Oudinot, and on August 23, 1813, he was expelled from Grossbeeren by the corps of General Bülow. Under the command of M. Ney, he took part in the battles at Dennewitz, Dessau, and Wittenberg. During the "Battle of Nations" at Leipzig on October 18, his corps was defeated, and some Saxons switched sides, while Rénie himself was among the troops trapped in Leipzig and was taken prisoner on October 19. He was freed in February 1814 and returned to France.

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