Newsletter No. 201 June 9, 2016

Newsletter No. 201 June 9, 2016

french baton
Baton of François Achille Bazaine, Marshal of France, 1811-1888

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

4 thoughts on “Newsletter No. 201 June 9, 2016

  1. This baton is on a website even as I write. You can’t miss it. I got in touch with the French people and told them where to look. If I get a reward, I will give it to the people at Catholic charities. If it isn’t chronic whining, it’s making fakes and if not, it’s thievery. Do the French still use the guillotine?

    1. Since I published this, six people have told me where it is. I said they should contact the French authorities. No, they do not cut heads off in France any more. Convicted thieves or receivers of stolen property are forced to listen To Wayne Newton records while strapped to a chair. The guillotine is much quicker.

    1. Right on. I have had five such notifications since the article went up. I suppose the French authorities have heard about this by now. I hope they get the historical piece back.

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