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Joseph Leonz Andermatt (1740 – 1817)

On 31 August 1790, a mutiny within the garrison of Nancy in France was crushed. The uprising broke out on 5 August because the soldiers were convinced that their officers had made unfair deductions from their pay. For his role in suppressing the revolt, Joseph Leonz Andermatt, an officer in the Swiss Châteauvieux regiment that was part of the Nancy garrison, was awarded the title of knight of the Order of Saint Louis.

30.08.2019 | Defence Communication



Joseph Leonz Andermatt was born in Baar on 5 May 1740. At the age of 18, after completing his schooling, he enlisted in the French forces during the Seven Years' War. From 1763 onwards, he served in the Spanish army as an officer for five years, and then returned to France, where, having attained the rank of captain, he took command of a company in 1769.

After the storming of the Royal Palace of the Tuileries on 10 August 1792, in which the Swiss guards were massacred, he returned to Switzerland. The following year, he served in the forces of the Kingdom of Sardinia as a lieutenant colonel and commander of a battalion. In 1797, however, he was arrested for refusing to fight against Austria with the French. In the spring of 1798, Andermatt returned to Zug where he built up the militia forces and led them against the French army that had invaded the Confederation. It was only when the Helvetic Republic was founded that he took sides with the revolutionary forces.

At the outbreak of the War of the Second Coalition in 1799, Joseph Leonz Andermatt was appointed general of the brigade of the Helvetic Legion, and the year after, still as a brigadier colonel, joined the Swiss army. In 1801 he instigated a federalist coup against the Helvetic Republic, and was promoted to general. However, he soon distanced himself from the federalists, actively supporting the centralist coup d'état by assuming command of the government troops that were sent against the reactionists.

As a senator for the Canton of Zug, a post he had held since 1801, he participated in the Paris Council, convened on 30 September 1802 by Napoleon with the aim of stabilising the political situation in the Helvetic Republic, which was formally abolished on 21 February 1803 with the issue of the Act of Mediation. On ending his career, Joseph Leonz Andermatt retired to his estate in Baar, where he died on 2 February 1817.





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