General Pierre Robert Lanusse
Born: November 21, 1768
Place of Birth: Habas, Landes, France
Died: May 3, 1847
Place of Death: Versailles, France
Pierre, called Robert, Lanusse was a French general and brother to the more well known general François Lanusse. His military career began when he joined a free company organized at Oloron as a lieutenant in 1793. Serving in the Army of the Western Pyrenees, he was taken prisoner during the attack on Brousset that summer. In October he and seven comrades successfully escaped and took refuge in Landes, where they were employed in civil functions. A few years later, in March of 1796 Lanusse followed his brother to the Army of Italy to take part in that campaign. The next year he was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant and he served as aide-de-camp to his brother. In 1798 Lanusse was promoted to lieutenant and he followed his brother to Egypt, continuing to serve as his aide-de-camp. At the combat of Damanhour in May of 1799, he was wounded by a shot to the right knee. The next year Lanusse was promoted to capitaine, and then in 1801 after his brother's death and the French surrender, he returned to France. Not long after his return he was appointed an aide-de-camp to Murat and he received a promotion to chef d'escadrons.
In 1805 Lanusse took part in the campaign against the Third Coalition and then on December 26th he was promoted to colonel of the 17th of the Line, which was part of the 1st Division of III Corps. With this unit, in 1806 he fought at Auerstädt, Czarnowo, and Golymin . Then in 1807 Lanusse fought at Eylau, and later that year was wounded at Heilsberg where his right shoulder was shattered. 1808 saw rewards for Lanusse, as he became a Knight of the Iron Crown and a général de brigade. He also followed Murat to Naples and became a général de division in service of Naples. In 1810 Lanusse was appointed commander of an infantry division in the Neapolitan Royal Guard, he became a Baron of the Empire, and he married the daughter of Marshal Pérignon.
At the end of 1811, General Lanusse returned to France as a général de brigade in the Imperial Guard. He took command of the 2nd Brigade of the Delaborde's division in the Young Guard and then led them throughout the Russian campaign. In 1813 Lanusse took command of the 1st Brigade of Dumoustier's division, he served at Lützen, he became a Commander of the Legion of Honor, and he was promoted to général de division. Shortly after his promotion that August, he took command of the 2nd Division at Magdebourg, where he remained until after Napoleon's abdication.
The restored Bourbons made Lanusse a Knight of Saint Louis but then later put him on non-activity. Upon Napoleon's return in 1815, Lanusse was placed in charge of the 3rd military division. After the Second Restoration of the Bourbon government, he was again placed on non-activity. In 1816 Lanusse resumed his military career and he retired in 1833.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated March 2023
© Nathan D. Jensen