>Eugene was in command of the Army of Italy because he was the Viceroy, and Napoleon designated him commander of that army because of that fact,<
No argument - but remind me why he was Viceroy?
With regard to Noel, of course I have read that passage, he is disputing Thiers' account of the crossing of the Piave and I presume Thiers was basing his account on Macdonald's narrative. There is nothing uncommon in disputes over the events of a battle, even among those who were present.
>'Eugene's appointment as head of the army, made in 1806, was later criticized by several French generals, specifically Marshal Jacques Macdonald and Jean Pelet. Both Macdonald's and Pelet's memoirs were sued by the Napoleonic historian f Loraine Petre, and later JFC fuller, whose interpretation and analysis of Eugene's military abilities were less than falttering. Needless to say, the memoirs of both generals were extremely biased by their political loyalties and personal rivalries with Eugene; subsequently historians have relied primarily on these accounts for Eugene's performance in 1809.<
Macdonald did not criticise Eugene's appointment and always expressed the greatest respect for him, there was no political or personal rivalry involved. He, unlike some others, fully approved of Eugene taking over the army in 1812.
>Schneid also states later on the same page that Grenier was a better general than either Marmont or Macdonald, a viewpoint with which I definitely agree. I would also suggest that Grenier had a stronger character than either of the other two. <
I have no interest in opinions of relative military capacity which are highly subjective and can always be disputed, but no-one has ever suggested that Macdonald was lacking in strength of character - he had rather too much, if anything!