Polish general and statesman. Born 1763, died 1813.
Józef Antoni Poniatowski was the nephew of the last king of Poland, Stanislaw August Poniatowski. Following early service in the Austrian army (in which his father, Andrzej Poniatowski, had served as a field marshal), he became a general in the army of Poland. Poniatowski participated in the struggle against the Russian invasion of 1792, and again in the Kosciuszko Insurrection of 1794. The Third Partitioning of Poland in 1795 caused him to retire to his home in Warsaw (Warszawa).
Following Napoleon's creation of the Duchy of Poland in 1807, Poniatowski became Minister of War and a general once more, and he succeeded in reclaiming Galicia (Galicja) from the Austrians. Poniatowski remained loyal to Napoleon to the end, and during the Battle of Leipzig (October 1813), where he died, he became the first and only foreigner to be honoured with the rank of marshal of France.
After his death, Poniatowski was allowed a military burial with full honours. He lies interred in the Wawel cathedral in Cracow (Krakow), traditional burial place of the kings of Poland. In the mind of many Poles, he was the real "last king of Poland".