La dernière campagne de Desaix
On 14 June 1800, while the army led by the First Consul was withdrawing before the Austrians, Desaix, together with the Boudet division, succeeded in gaining a timely advantage on the plain of Marengo, whose final outcome and consequences are well known, but less so the actual circumstances in which it occurred. It was he who obtained the success at San Giuliano which saved Bonaparte from the Tarpeian Rock and propelled him to the position of Consul for Life. The memory of this crucial event, in which Desaix lost his life, was for long an embarrassment to the main beneficiary. Bonaparte, in order to repay his debt of esteem, endeavoured to magnify the heroic death of his lieutenant, while simultaneously depriving Desaix of the merit of victory, which he reserved for himself in a version of the battle more in keeping with his status as infallible military genius.