|Born||24 February 1817|
|Died||16 August 1882(aged 65)|
|Place of birth||Nevers, France|
|Place of death||Versailles, France|
|Rank||Général de division|
At the Battle of Sedan on 1 September 1870, he succeeded to command of the French army when Marshal Mac-Mahon was wounded early in the morning. By that time, it was obvious that a disastrous defeat was inevitable. Ducrot summed up the situation with the famous remark
Nous sommes dans un pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés. (We are in a chamber pot, and we're going to be shit on.)
Ducrot ordered the army to withdraw, but then General de Wimpffen presented a commission authorizing him to succeed Mac-Mahon. Wimpffen overruled Ducrot, and ordered a counterattack that failed completely. Emperor Napoleon III then surrendered the army to the Prussians.
Ducrot refused to sign the articles of surrender, and was imprisoned by the Prussians. He soon escaped, and took part in the Siege of Paris.
Ducrot commanded the most important French attack against the Prussian besiegers (the Battle of Villiers), 29 November - 3 December 1870. After the defeat of this attack, Ducrot urged the French government to make peace.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wood, James, ed (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.
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