Miguel Pack Martins
As Masséna was one of the few marshals with experience in commanding an army with forces larger than one army corps, Napoleon nominated him commander-in-chief of the Army of Portugal (Armée du Portugal). He was not the only Marshal of the Empire in that army, as the Commander of the VI Corps since its formation at Étaples in 1803 was Michel Ney, from the same class of 1804 as Masséna. Made the Duke of Elchingen after a battle won in 1805 which helped the French close the “Ulm trap”, Ney was known by various nicknames by the soldiers, the most popular being Le Rougeaud (The Redhead) or the “Red Lion”, in recognition of his bravery, red hair, and impetuous character. In 1810, Ney was not as celebrated as Masséna, Davout, Lannes, or Soult, even though he was an experienced and well-known commander who had made important contributions to the Napoleonic campaigns of 1805 to 1807, and had been in Spain since 1808. In a way, he was still on his path to greater glories and an even greater fall.
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