General Antoine Charles Bernard Delaître

Antoine Charles Bernard Delaître
Aide-de-camp to Kléber who later commanded the Mamelukes of the Imperial Guard

Born: January 13, 1776

Place of Birth: Paris, Paris, France

Died: July 2, 1838

Place of Death: Paris, France

Arc de Triomphe: DELAITRE on the south pillar


The son of a secretary of the king, Antoine Charles Bernard Delaître began his military career by entering the military school of Thiron, but he left there at the end of 1791. In 1794 he was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant and appointed aide-de-camp to General Canclaux in the Army of the West. Delaître's next notable career move came in 1798 when he joined the staff of the Army of the Orient. Serving on the campaign in Egypt, he became General Kléber's aide-de-camp that November. The following year Delaître took part in the expedition to Syria and he therefore took part in the assaults on Acre. At his first assault he was wounded by a blast of grapeshot that fractured his right leg, and then during his second assault he was hit by a shot to the hip. Delaître survived and received a promotion to capitaine later that year while remaining an aide-de-camp to Kléber. However, after Kléber's death in 1800, Delaître returned to France.

Once back in France, in 1802 Delaître was appointed captain quartermaster general of the Mamelukes of the Consular Guard. In 1805 he served with the Mamelukes during the campaign against the Third Coalition. After the successful conclusion of the campaign, he was promoted to chef d'escadrons and given command of the Mamelukes of the Imperial Guard. The next year Delaître led the Mamelukes at Jena in October and then at Lopaczyn in December where he was wounded in the thigh. When the campaign resumed that winter, he and his men took part in the charges at the Battle of Eylau.

In April of 1807 Delaître left the Mamelukes when he was appointed major in the 1st Polish Lancers of the Imperial Guard. The next year he was made a Baron of the Empire and he followed Napoleon on campaign in Spain, serving at Somosierra . In 1809 Delaître and his men served on the Danube campaign against Austria, and afterwards he was sent back to Spain in 1810.

At the start of 1811, Delaître received a promotion to colonel of the 7th Chasseurs à Cheval. He continued to serve in Spain for the remainder of the year and then rejoined the Grande Armée in 1812 for the campaign against Russia. That April Delaître was promoted to général de brigade and then in July he was given command of the 30th Brigade of Light Cavalry in IX Corps. The next month his brigade was attached to Partouneaux's 28th Division, and during the retreat that followed Delaître fought at the Battle of the Berezina where he was wounded and taken prisoner.

General Delaître was held prisoner by the Russians until after Napoleon's abdication in 1814. When he returned to France, the restored Bourbons named him a Knight of Saint Louis but also put him on non-activity. When Napoleon resumed power in 1815 for the Hundred Days, Delaître was put under the orders of General Loison and he organized the National Guard of the 2nd military division. After Napoleon's second abdication, he was put on non-activity but he resumed his military career in 1816.


Updated February 2022

© Nathan D. Jensen