Davout, Louis Nicolas (lwē nēkôläˈ dävōˈ) [key], 1770–1823, marshal of France. One of Napoleon's ablest generals, Davout defeated a Prussian army at Auerstedt (1806) and played a brilliant part in the victory at Wagram (1809). He also fought (1812) in the Russian campaign. Napoleon made him duke of Auerstedt, prince of Eckmühl, and gave him political posts including control of N Germany and Poland (1807–9). During the Hundred Days, Davout was minister of war, and after the final defeat of Napoleon (1815) and the restoration of King Louis XVIII he was for several years deprived of his rank and titles.
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