Sunday 31 August 2014

The Execution of Général Moustache

Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine (Metz, France, 4th February 1740 – Paris, France, 28th August 1793) 

Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine

To France today for a trip to the National Razor in the company of Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine. Known as Général Moustache, Custine fell afoul of the Revolutionary Tribunal when his strategic mind failed him and he was censured for failing to properly command revolutionary forces against their loyalist opponents.

After a successful military career, Custine took a sideways move into politics but he was soon back in the forces, serving with distinction in a number of battles and campaigns. However, the Comte de Custine's career would soon falter, with fatal consequences.

Throughout 1792 and into 1793, it seemed that the Comte de Custine could not make a successful military move no matter what he did. Efforts to negotiate with his Prussian opponents failed and after series of high profile defeats and retreats he was recalled to Paris to account for himself before the Revolutionary Tribunal. 

Here he found himself accused of treason and conspiring with the Austro-Prussian High Command. At this point there can have been little doubt as to his fate and Général Moustache went to the guillotine on 28th August 1793.


Jemille de Nimes-Vertes said...

What a crazy time! If you ever come across anything about Marechal Guy-Andre-Pierre de Laval-Montmorency, please let me know. I am puzzled as to how such a high ranking man survived all this to die in 1798 in Paris. His wife died in 1795 - somewhere in France, likely Paris. So I know they weren't emigres. I wonder if the events of 1795 upset her so that she died. I have his death certificate, but it doesn't name cause of death. It gives his home address, so I guess that would mean that he didn't die in the Conciergerie or somewhere. Any thoughts?

Jemille de Nimes-Vertes said...

I just googled to see any relationship, and it seems he and my uncle were not amis. LaFayette said about their American Revolutionary experience, "Laval and Custine never stopped quarreling during the march." This was my uncle who was Marquis, son of the Duc who was Marechal. He also survived the Revolution and died in 1817. I know there's a story there about how they were able to make it through alive. Maybe the fact that they were de facto anti-royalists by fighting against the British king.

Catherine Curzon said...

It sounds as though there is quite a story there; I would agree that it's unlike he died in prison but as you say, it's surprising that he managed to make it as far as 1798. I'd be really interested in any further discoveries you make, you have such a fascinating lineage!