Bazaine, Achille François (äshēlˈ fräNswäˈ bäzănˈ) [key], 1811–88, French army officer. He served in Algeria, Crimea, Lombardy, and Mexico, and in the Franco-Prussian War he was given (Aug., 1870) the supreme command by Emperor Napoleon III. Unequal to the task, Bazaine allowed his army, which was entrenched at Metz, to be surrounded by the Prussians. The attempt of Marshal MacMahon to rescue him led to the disaster of Sedan. Bazaine then entered questionable diplomatic intrigues with the Germans, which led to his capitulation at Metz (Oct. 27). Convicted of treason in 1873, he was sentenced to 20 years of seclusion but escaped. He spent the rest of his life in Italy and Spain.
See P. Guedalla, The Two Marshals: Bazaine, Pétain (1943).
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