Military Wiki
Camille Alphonse Trézel
Born (1780-01-05)5 January 1780
Died April 11, 1860(1860-04-11) (aged 80)
Place of birth Paris
Place of death Paris
Allegiance France
Years of service 1801–1856
Rank Major-general
Battles/wars Battle of Ligny
Battle of Macta
Awards Legion of Honour (Grand Officer)
Other work Minister for War

Camille Alphonse Trézel (5 January 1780, Paris – 11 April 1860, Paris) was a French général de division, Minister for War and peer of France during the July Monarchy. He was Assistant Chief of the General Staff on the Morea expedition, and served in the 1830s in the French conquest of Algeria, where he suffered a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Macta.


In 1801, Alphonse Camille Trezel entered as a draftsman in the office of the war and obtained in 1803 the rank of lieutenant in the body of topographical engineers. Posted in 1804 to Army of Holland, he was promoted the following year to assistant engineer geographer. After the Polish campaign, as a lieutenant, he was appointed acting aide to General Gardanne, in the embassy of France to Persia (1807–1808); aide to General Armand Charles Guilleminot on his return in 1809; he was secretary of the Committee on Delimitation of Illyria, was promoted to captain (1810), and transferred to the Spanish army. Recalled to Germany in late 1811, he worked at the surveying Hanseatic department, on the campaign to Rome, became lieutenant-commander (1813), Chief of Staff of the 13 ((e)) Division, and worked with the defense of Mainz.

For Hundred Days, he was called to the Grand Army, and showed such bravery in the Battle of Ligny, where a shot he took the left eye, he was promoted to brigadier general by the decree of July 5, 1815. This appointment was canceled the following month by the Bourbons, and he resumed his place in the headquarters in 1818 as a colonel, and was attached to the commission of delimitation of the East (1816–1818), then the filing of war (1822). He distinguished himself again in the Spanish Civil War of 1820–1823, and was a member of the advisory committee of staff and secretary of the committee reorganization. He joined the Morea expedition as Deputy Chief of Staff (1828), and was promoted to field marshal in 1829.

Algerian campaign

In 1831, he went to Africa. He commanded the expedition of Bougie and was wounded in the leg while taking possession of the city on September 29, 1833. Called to replace Louis Alexis Desmichels, in the province of Oran, he won several victories against the Zmalas and Douairs, commanded by Agha Mustapha Ben Ismail, Chief of the Douairs, Agha Kadour Ben El Morsly, chief of the Beni Amer (Mobile, and Agha Benaouda Mazari, chief of the Zmal. At the June 16, 1835 camp of Valmy Figuiers (El Karma), a treaty was concluded between the Chief and General Trezel, whereby Zmal Douairs and recognized each subject, tributaries and soldiers of France.[Clarification needed] These tribes refused to pay the zakat (Ashura) was the Emir Abd el-Kader.[Clarification needed]

The general saw himself obliged to demonstrate against Abd-el-Kader for the protection of these tribes that wanted to punish the emir. This demonstration led to the disaster of the Battle of Macta on June 28, following another defeat the day before in the forest of Muley Ismail. In both attacks, Trezel was attacked by ten thousand men, when he had only 1,700 men and 600 horses.

In his report to the governor, Trezel still calling for him solely responsible for the disaster,[Clarification needed] it says: "I submit without complaint and blame any severity that the royal government deems necessary to exercise to me," and He adds that antithesis ... "Hoping he will not refuse to reward the brave who have distinguished themselves in these two fights. Count Erlon, who was governor, withdrew his command.[Clarification needed]

Recalled to France, he returned to Algeria the following year to take part in the Constantine Expedition of 1836, during which he was seriously wounded and recalled to France. In 1837, during the Constantine Expedition of 1837 on the same city, he was given command of the 2((e)) Brigade. He was promoted to lieutenant general on November 11, 1837, and became the staff director of the Department of War (May 15, 1839) and committee member of staff.

He was raised in the dignity of Peer of France on July 21, 1846. He became war minister under Jean-de-Dieu Soult on May 9, 1847, instead of Alexandre Pierre Chevalier Moline de Saint-Yon. He held these positions in the government of François Guizot until the fall of the July Monarchy on February 24, 1848.

Automatically set to retire on June 8, 1848, in 1853, he was called by Philippe d'Orleans and Robert d'Orléans to become military governor and retained this office until the majority of the Comte de Paris in 1856.



  • Notice sur le Ghilan et le Mazenderan, in : Voyage en Arménie et en Perse, fait dans les années 1805 et 1806, par P.-Amédée Jaubert, Paris, Pélicier et Neveu, 1821, in-8


  • (French) Narcisse Faucon, Le livre d'Or de l'Algérie, Challamel et Cie Éditeurs Librairie Algérienne et Coloniale, 1889


  • Jean-Baptiste Dumas, Un fourrier de Napoléon vers l'Inde : les papiers du lieutenant-général Trézel, ... : première partie : 1780-1812, Paris, H. Charles-Lavauzelle, 1915
Political offices
Preceded by
Alexandre Pierre Chevalier Moline de Saint-Yon
French minister of War
9 May 1847 – 24 February 1848
Succeeded by
Marie Alphonse Bedeau

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