André Masséna, 1st Duc de Rivoli, 1st Prince d'Essling (born Andrea Massena; 16 May 1758 – 4 April 1817) was a French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the original eighteen Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon, with the nickname l'Enfant chéri de la Victoire ("the Dear Child of Victory"). Many of Napoleon's generals were trained at the finest French and European military academies, but Masséna was among those who achieved greatness without the benefit of formal education. While those of noble rank acquired their education and promotions as a matter of privilege, Masséna rose from humble origins to such prominence that Napoleon referred to him as "the greatest name of my military Empire." His military career is equaled by few commanders in European history. In addition to his battlefield successes, Masséna's leadership aided the careers of many. A majority of the French marshals of the time served under his command at some point.
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