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Nicolas Catinat

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Nicolas Catinat (1637 - 1712), marshal of France, entered the Gardes Françaises at an early age and distinguished himself at the siege of Lille in 1667.

He became a brigadier ten years later, maréchal de camp in 1680, and lieutenant-general 1688. He served with great credit in the campaigns of 1676-1678 in Flanders, was employed against the Vaudois in 1686, and after taking part in the siege of Philippsburg at the opening of the War of the League of Augsburg, he was appointed to command the French troops in the south-eastern theatre of war. In 1690 he conquered Savoy, and in 1691 Nice; the battle of Staffarda, won by him over the duke of Savoy in 1690, and that of Marsaglia in 1693, were amongst the greatest victories of the time.

In 1696 Catinat forced the duke to make an alliance with France. He had in 1693 been made a marshal of France. At the beginning of the war of the Spanish Succession, Catinat was placed in charge of operations in Italy, but he was much hampered by the orders of the French court and the weakness of the forces for their task. He suffered a reverse at Carpi (1701) and was soon afterwards superseded by Villeroy, to whom he acted as second-in-command during the campaign of Chieri. He died at St Gratien in 1712. His memoirs were published in 1819.

See E de Broglie, Catinat, 1637-1712 (Paris, 1902).

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