General François Rambeaud

Général de brigade of grenadiers who was killed leading his men in an assault during the siege of Acre

Born: May 20, 1745

Place of Birth: Voiron, Isère, France

Died: May 8, 1799

Cause of Death: Killed in action

Place of Death: Acre, Syria

Arc de Triomphe: RAMBAUD on the south pillar


A career soldier, François Rambeaud first joined the army in 1762 when he enlisted in the regiment of Conti. Over twenty years later he was finally commissioned as a sous-lieutenant of grenadiers. With the arrival of the Revolution, Rambeaud would begin to rise more quickly, for in 1791 he was named a Knight of Saint Louis and promoted to lieutenant, and then in 1792 he was promoted to capitaine.

Sent to the Army of Italy, Rambeaud served under Dagobert and in February of 1793 he seized Sospello from the Austrians. That June he was wounded by a shot to the neck, but only a few weeks later he received a promotion to chef de bataillon. February of 1794 saw Rambeaud again promoted, this time to chef de brigade. In 1795 he was named chief of staff of Garnier's division in the left wing of the army.

General Bonaparte arrived to command the Army of Italy in 1796, and Rambeaud served throughout the campaign of that year. That May he served under Despinoy at the siege of Milan, and then the next year he briefly commanded a brigade and was wounded while leading his men at the Battle of La Favorite.

In 1798 Rambeaud was designated for the Army of the Orient and after arriving in Egypt he was named chief of staff to Menou's division. In 1799 he took part in the expedition to Syria and that March he distinguished himself at Jaffa. In recognition of his service, General Bonaparte promoted Rambeaud to général de brigade and then employed him in Lannes' division. Next Rambeaud took part in the Siege of Acre, where during one of the many assaults on the city he led a group of two hundred grenadiers through a breach in the wall and entered the city. Unfortunately for them, they were soon overwhelmed and cut off, unable to retreat. Rambeaud led his men to take refuge in a mosque, but the enemy would not relent, and he and his men died in the fighting.


Updated February 2015

© Nathan D. Jensen