Pierre Ducos
Medium: Television, Book
Nationality: French
Rank: Major
Appearances: Sharpe's Skirmish, Battle, Enemy, Honour, Siege, Revenge
Actor: Féodor Atkine
Pierre Ducos is a political animal, spymaster, and master manipulator. He was a protégé of Joseph Fouché, the notorious secret policeman of the revolutionary period. Following this he came into the service of the young General Napoleon Bonaparte.


Ducos is described as short, his face scarred by smallpox. Weak and timid when physically confronted, he claims to detest ‘unnecessary violence’ but is utterly indifferent to the suffering of others. He is despised and feared by most of his colleagues, who nonetheless obey him out of fear. Ducos seems entirely motivated by his dedication to the ideals of the French Revolution, continuing to use the Republican Calendar long after it has been abolished (Sharpe's Enemy). He has no personal friends, and his only indulgence is the occasional visit to prostitutes (Sharpe's Battle).

Until he first crosses paths with Richard Sharpe, his schemes were largely successful, and he is well regarded by Napoleon, who sent him to Spain to resolve what Napoleon described as the "Spanish Ulcer". He is said to have bribed the Spanish commander of Badajoz to hand the keys of the garrison to the French.

He was first mentioned in the short story Sharpe's Skirmish, and first comes in conflict with Sharpe in 1812, during Sharpe's Battle. During the events of Sharpe's Enemy, he viley insults Sharpe's wife, Teresa. Sharpe pulls his sword, but rather than harm Ducos during a truce, insults him with the destruction of his spectacles in return.

In 1813, Ducos uses Helene Leroux to set a trap that he hopes will destroy Sharpe. When he later captures and tortures Sharpe, he destroys Sharpe's prized telescope in retaliation for his own broken spectacles. Sharpe used the broken instrument to stab his torturer and escape.

In 1814, Ducos anticipates the fall of Napoleon and steals the Imperial treasury, implicating Sharpe and Frederickson for the crime, and retires to the comfort of a villa in Naples. He is once again bested by Sharpe, who escapes from custody and captures Ducos.

As he seems to do with his most implacable enemies, Sharpe did not take personal revenge, but turns Ducos over to the authorities, who sentence him to a traitor's death. He was shot by firing squad and dies in a fortress ditch. He was buried in an unmarked grave.


Ducos flees when Sharpe escapes the Fort of Santa Maria in Sharpe's Honour, and is shot and apparently wounded by a looter at film's end. He reappears in Sharpe's Siege, behind Calvet's attack on the castle held by Sharpe.

Sharpe is next set up by Ducos in Sharpe's Revenge, being charged with stealing the Emperor's treasury, which Ducos himself has made off with, down to Naples. Frederickson manages to find Ducos via his order for new spectacles. In the final confrontation, Sharpe shoots Ducos off his horse, and he is then dragged, presumably dead.