This French marshal’s baton was presented to Bazaine and later was donated, by his family, to the French government in Paris. His Second Empire marshal’s baton was on display at the Musée de l’Armée at Las Invilides, 7th Arrondissment, Paris.
On May 17, 1987, this baton, and several other historical French military objects, were stolen from the museum.
During the theft, a museum security guard was shot, and fatally wounded, by the thieves. In exiting the museum grounds, the thieves shot and wounded a 10 year old child. The baton vanished but has been reputed to have fallen into the hands of an unscrupulous dealer.
The French authorities have offered a generous reward to anyone assisting them in locating and retrieving this baton.
Anyone with information is requested to contact:
Direction régionale de la Police Judiciaire de Paris
Address: 1 Avenue Claude Vellefaux, 75475 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 57 27 67 00
The baton has a hollow copper/bronze tube with a blue, velvet covering. Alternating in 10 rows are attached flame-gilded eagles of the Second Empire. Attached to the ends of the baton are flame-gilded bronze caps. On the top cap are the words in Latin: “Terror belli decus pacis,” “The Fear of War Begets Peace.” On the end of this cap is the eagle of the Second Empire. On the bottom cap is the Imperial French seal and name of the recipient, Bazaine. Its length is about 21 inches overall.
François Achille Bazaine was born February 13, 1811, and died September 28, 1888.
He was sentenced to death by the government of the Third Republic, for his surrender of the fortress city of Metz and his army of 180,000 men to the Prussians on 27 October 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War.
This sentence was commuted to 20 years imprisonment in exile, from which he subsequently escaped.
He eventually settled in Spain where aged 77, he died alone and impoverished in 1888