Klod-Alexander Boneval

Klod-Alexander Boneval

One of the most amazing adventurers of the 18th century, known as Ahmet Pasha
Date of Birth: 14.06.1675
Country: Turkey

  1. Biography of Claude-Alexandre Bonneval
  2. Early Military Career
  3. Service in Austria and Betrayal
  4. Conversion and Life in Constantinople
  5. Encounter with Casanova and Later Years

Biography of Claude-Alexandre Bonneval

Claude-Alexandre Bonneval, also known as Ahmed Pasha, was one of the most remarkable adventurers of the 18th century. He was born on June 14, 1675, in Cussac, Limousin, into a noble family related to the Bourbons. He was educated in a Jesuit college but his rebellious nature led him to join the navy at the age of 13. Despite his bravery, he was not promoted due to various extortions. When he insulted the military minister, Shamilliar, he was sentenced to death by a military court.

Early Military Career

Bonneval was able to buy a position in the bodyguard regiment in 1698 and obtained his own regiment in 1701. He participated in the Italian campaign under the command of Catina and fought with distinction in the Netherlands in Marshal Luxembourg's army. Despite his heroism, he was denied promotions due to his extortions. In 1704, he insulted military minister Shamilliar, which led to his trial. He requested retirement from the Duke of Vendôme and traveled through Italy during the winter of 1705-1706. Bonneval became friends with Marquis de Langallerie, who switched sides and joined the Austrians. After being noticed by Prince Eugene during a battle, Bonneval accepted his offer and joined the Austrian army as a Major General.

Service in Austria and Betrayal

From then on, Bonneval, known for his incredible bravery, served in foreign armies and fought fiercely against his own country in Italy and Flanders. He distinguished himself during battles in Diép, La Gogue, and Cadiz. A duel forced Bonneval to leave the navy, and in 1714, he was present when Prince Eugene met with Marshal Villars in Flanders. Promoted to Lieutenant Field Marshal, he participated in the Turkish campaign and was severely wounded during the battle of Peterwardein in 1716. This injury forced him to wear a bandage for the rest of his life. After the war, he settled in Vienna but his interference in the family affairs of Prince Eugene led to his displeasure, and he was sent to the Netherlands as a Field Marshal.

Conversion and Life in Constantinople

In Brussels, Bonneval had a quarrel with Governor Marquis de Priz and began secret relations with French and Spanish diplomats. As a result, he was arrested and imprisoned for a year before being expelled from Austria. He then traveled to Constantinople, where he converted to Islam under the name Ahmed Pasha. He was appointed as a Three-Tailed Pasha, transformed the Turkish artillery, and fought against Russia and Persia. However, his own carelessness and court intrigues soon angered the Sultan, and he was sent for an honorable exile to a small province near the Black Sea.

Encounter with Casanova and Later Years

In Constantinople, Bonneval met the famous adventurer Casanova, who described their meeting. Despite his conversion, Bonneval maintained his French habits and customs. He expressed his desire to return to Europe but died in Constantinople on March 22, 1747, at the age of 72. He was buried in Pere Cemetery, where his grave can still be found with a Turkish inscription: "God is eternal: may He rest the soul of Ahmed Pasha, the chief of artillery in the year 1160 of the Hegira" (1160 Hegira corresponds to 1747 CE).