General Rochambeau

Vimeur, Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de (Comte de Rochambeau) (1725-1807) French General: Rochambeau was a professional soldier, entering the French Army at the age of 17 and serving with distinction in the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War. In 1780, he was made a lieutenant-general and placed in command of 5,000 men. His expedition landed in Rhode Island in July of that year, a risky venture since the French troops had not been requested by the Americans and their welcome was not certain. In addition, Rochambeau was to be placed as a subordinate to the less-experienced General Washington. The expedition was a success, both diplomatically and militarily, in no small part because of Rochambeau's patience, composure, and dependable competence, and the French troops helped bring about the success of the Yorktown campaign. After the war, Rochambeau was marginally involved in the early days of the French Revolution, serving as a Marshal in 1791. He retired from the army the next year, and was briefly imprisoned during the Reign of Terror.

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