Jean Lannes was a talented soldier who rose from the ranks to become one of Napoleon’s original eighteen marshals of France. During the campaign in Italy he personally intervened to save Bonaparte’s bacon at the bridge of Arcola and thereby earned the eternal affection of the Emperor. Some of the other marshals weren’t quite so keen on him however - notably Murat with whom he had a long running feud.
Lannes was always in the thick of things and commanded the left of the Grand Armee at Austerlitz and further distinguished himself at Jena and Friedland. The Emperor took him along to Spain in 1808 where he won a rare French victory at Tudela. At Ratisbon in 1809, when his men were looking shaky, Lannes seized a ladder and ran forward shouting “I was a grenadier before I was a marshal!” then attempted to scale the walls himself. On the second day of Aspern-Essling he was mortally wounded by a shot from a 3-pounder cannon and carried from the field. The Emperor later said of him “that he had found a pygmy and lost a giant.”
Marcus Hinton never included a figure of Lannes in the personality figure series but Roy suggested that he probabaly chose the subjects in order to represent as many different uniforms as possible rather than for reasons of popularity. So I decided to use my vintage casting of FN224 French General in cocked hat (one-piece casting) to represent marshal Lannes and here he is – in pygmy version.