From the tender age of 14 up to his death at 64, Joseph Maria von Rechberg was prominently involved in many of the most important events at the end of the Ancien Regime and the chequered history of the Order of Malta. Rechberg was a boy when he participated in the fatal campaign of Algiers, as already a most respected military man he participated years later prominently in the defence of Malta against the French. It was Rechberg who fired the last bullet against Napoleon’s French armada, long after Grand Master Hompesch had surrendered the island. The newly discovered fact that Rechberg had warned the government of the Order about an imminent French attach puts the surrender of Malta in June 1798 in a new light. In the turbulent years of the early 19th Century he served a spy and envoy for his Order. The Napoleonic wars, namely the french campaign in Russia and the Battle of Waterloo are world history. Joseph Maria von Rechberg was prominently involved in them.