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Jean Léchelle
Born (1760-04-02)April 2, 1760
Died 11 November 1793(1793-11-11) (aged 33)
Place of death Nantes
Allegiance First French Republic
Service/branch Army
Years of service 1791-1793
Rank Général de division
Commands held Armée des côtes de Brest
Armée de l'Ouest
Battles/wars French Revolutionary Wars
War in the Vendée (Battle of Cholet
Virée de Galerne
Battle of Entrammes)

Jean Léchelle (2 April 1760, Puyréaux – 11 November 1793) was a French general of the French Revolutionary Wars.


He was master of arms at Saintes when the French Revolution broke out and, enrolling in the National Guard of Charente-Inférieure, served in 1791 as lieutenant-colonel of the first volunteers' battalion from Charente.

On 17 August 1793 he was promoted to general, and was commander-in-chief of the Armée des côtes de Brest from 6 October to 27 October 1793. Protected by Bouchotte, minister for war, on 30 September 1793 he was called to be commander-in-chief of the new armée de l'Ouest. Despite his lack of education, he had successes at Mortagne and the battle of Cholet. Obeying instructions from the comité de salut public and decrees from the National Convention, he burned and completely devastated his opponents, but was beaten at the battle of Entrames (October 1793), where he lost nearly 10,000 men. Insulted by his own soldiers, he was condemned by the représentants en mission sent to the Vendée. Merlin de Thionville had him arrested and brought to Nantes, where he died in prison of uncertain causes (chagrin or poison) after a few days.


  • "Jean Léchelle", in Louis Gabriel Michaud, Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne : histoire par ordre alphabétique de la vie publique et privée de tous les hommes avec la collaboration de plus de 300 savants et littérateurs français ou étrangers, 2nd edition, 1843–1865
  • Révolution française by Jules Michelet

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