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Charles Baudin


Charles Baudin

Charles Baudin
Portrait of Charles Baudin
Born 1792 (1792)
Sedan, France
Died June 7, 1854 (aged 61–62)
Ischia, Italy
Allegiance France
Service/branch  French Navy
Years of service 1808-1848
Rank Admiral
Battles/wars Battle of Waterloo
Pastry War
Battle of Lazzaroni
Other work Military attaché to Buenos Aires

Charles Baudin (1792 in Sedan, France – 7 June 1854 at Ischia, Italy), was a French admiral, whose naval service extended from the First Empire through the early days of the Second Empire.

From 1800, Baudin served as a midshipman on Géographe and took part in her expedition to Australia.

By the age of 16, Baudin had already lost an arm, in an 1808 fight against the Royal Navy in the Indian Ocean while he served on Piémontaise. In 1812, as Lieutenant and Commander of the brig Renard off Genoa, he received the order to convey 14 munitions-laden cargo vessels to Toulon. Although he was pursued by English cruisers, he was able to take his squadron safely to St. Tropez, notably engaging HMS Swallow on 11 June. In Toulon he was promoted to Captain. After the battle of Waterloo he was prepared to lead his defeated Emperor Napoleon I through the midst of the English cruisers; Napoleon, however, could not make up his mind in time.

After the Restoration, Baudin was forced into retirement, and in 1816 joined the merchant marine. Under the July Monarchy, however, he returned to military service. In 1838, he became a Rear Admiral and became Commander-in-Chief of the squadron sent to Mexico during the so-called "Pastry War." In this conflict he commanded the French forces at the Battle of Veracruz on 27 November 1838, against the fort of Vera Cruz, San Juan de Ulúa. The fort gave itself up the next day.

In January 1839, Baudin was named a Vice Admiral and in the following year he was entrusted with a military and diplomatic mission to Buenos Aires. He also received command over the fleet in South American waters. In 1841, he took over the Ministry of Marine, but quickly resigned and became maritime prefect in Toulon.

In 1848, after the February Revolution, he became commander-in-chief of France’s Mediterranean Fleet. In this position, he took part in the Battle of Lazzaroni and of troops against Naples, and then moved toward Sicily, where he was defeated by the forces of Carlo Filangieri.

In 1849, Baudin returned with his family to Ischia, where he died on 7 June 1854. Not long beforehand, he had been named a full Admiral.

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