Dominique René Vandamme is promoted to Brigadier-General at the age of 22
Vandamme was even younger than Napoleon when he became general. He was a dashing swashbuckler of whom Napoleon had said: ‘Every army needs one but if there were two, I would have to shoot one of them.’
Outspoken and confrontational, Vandamme was an excellent career soldier and division commander. He was rough, proud and ambitious. He had a high opinion of himself and low opinion of others. As a result, he was often at odds with those around him. He quarreled and refused to obey marshals and kings who were placed above him. Napoleon recognised his military ability, as well as the imperfections of his character. Vandamme was never promoted to marshal, an honour he strongly believed he deserved, and it became the greatest disappointment of his career.