italian campaign napoleon

While the army was ill-organized and with sinking morale, the idea that the young Napoleon had to win over a force of veterans is exaggerated, with the possible exception of the officers: Napoleon had claimed victory at Toulon and was known to the army. ‘He put on his General’s hat,’ recounted MassŽna, ‘and seemed to have grown two feet. Napoleon would later highlight how much of a difference he made to the army, how he transformed it, and while he overstated to make his role look better (as ever), he certainly provided what was needed. Learning of Argenteau’s defeat at Montenotte and finding Voltri abandoned by Cervoni, Beaulieu renounced his initial objective. Faced with 50,000 men in his front and 23,000 men still at his rear in Mantua, a despairing Bonaparte wrote to the Directoire: ‘Perhaps the hour of the brave Augereau, of the intrepid MassŽna, of my own death is at hand. In five day’s fighting, January 14Ð19, Bonaparte had reduced Alvintzy’s and Provera’s forces from 48,000 fighting men to 13,000 fugitives. Wurmser attacked again in September, but Napoleon flanked and ravaged him before Wurmser finally managed to merge some of his force with the defenders of Mantua. Lodi is arguably the starting point of Napoleon’s rise. On that same day, however, the first Austrian push to relieve Mantua began with Field Marshal Dagobert Sigismond Graf von WŸrmser taking command of Beaulieu’s army and a force of 50,000 soldiers. General Napoleon Bonaparte’s Italian Campaign Jeremy Green The newly appointed 26-year-old commander in chief of the French Army of Italy … However, the army of 40,000 was definitely poorly equipped, hungry, disillusioned, and falling apart, but it was also composed of experienced soldiers who just needed the right leadership and supplies. That concentration was achieved by the mobility of the French soldiers and the determination and fighting abilities of Bonaparte’s lieutenants–MassŽna, Augereau, SŽrurier and Joubert, and the rising stars Murat, BŽssires and Lannes. Bonaparte then directed Joubert’s realigned brigades to clear Quasdanovitch’s troops from the Osteria Gorge. At a cost of another 1,000 French casualties, Dego again was secured. The great difficulty of the day arose when Augereau was faced at the Arcola bridge by two battalions of Croatian infantry, who had several guns well-situated to sweep the roadway. The Battle of Montenotte, Bonaparte’s first victory, was complete. It did wonders for Napoleon’s reputation despite it being a skirmish that could have been avoided if Napoleon had waited a few days for the Austrian retreat to continue. Leaving MassŽna to occupy Dego, Bonaparte retraced his steps westward with La Harpe, hoping to meet SŽrurier’s division near the town of Ceva. Bonaparte now threw all his troops upon WŸrmser. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. So ended the third Austrian counteroffensive. On the Austrian side, Alvintzy had been reinforced in Bassano and now had 45,000 men. While the 7,000 French under General La Harpe began a frontal attack on the Austrian position, MassŽna, at the head of Brig. Mildred Elizabeth Sisk, aka Axis Sally, Nazi propagandist. Napoleon had conquered northern Italy. A preliminary treaty—Leoben—was drawn up, annoying the French government as it didn’t clarify the position in the Rhine. All of those operations were intended to go into effect on April 15, but on April 10, the Austrians struck first, attacking Cervoni’s isolated brigade at Voltri. This popular acclaim did not last long, however, as hard cash, supplies and art treasures were plundered by the army and the French government. The newly appointed 26-year-old commander in chief of the French Army of Italy arrived at his headquarters in Nice on March 27, 1796. MassŽna and SŽrurier would mount a diversionary operation at Valenza while a special Corps d’Elite of select grenadiers, commanded by General Claude d’Allemagne, rushed to Piacenza and established a bridgehead there. Around $60 million francs in cash, bullion, and jewels had so far been gathered. On April 16, Augereau made a premature assault on Colli’s army at Ceva and was repulsed with heavy losses. All available troops were rushed from Verona to seize Villanuova and with it Alvintzy’s field park and lines of communication. The battle of Fombio (7-9 May 1796) was a small scale engagement fought as Napoleon's army crossed the River Po. John Mayall, singer, songwriter, musician; founder of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers band. Remnants of WŸrmser’s beaten battalions fled toward Frious. The Directoire, however, was already jealous of the young general’s success. The Kingdom of Italy was born on 17 March 1805, when the Italian Republic, whose president was Napoleon Bonaparte, became the Kingdom of Italy, with the same man (now styled Napoleon I) as King of Italy, and the 24-year-old Eugène de Beauharnais his viceroy. On the exposed French right flank, however, MassŽna’s jubilant troops had left their positions to forage for food and plunder. As negotiations went on, Napoleon decided he wasn’t finished, and he captured the Republic of Genoa, which transformed into the Ligurian Republic, as well as took parts of Venice. The Battle of Rivoli began at daylight on January 14 when Joubert advanced northward, only to be checked by the Austrians, who then began to outflank his left. Although the fall of Milan was certain, Bonaparte pushed his men onward toward Lodi, hoping to finish off Beaulieu’s force. WŸrmser’s army advanced in three separate corps–one driving down the west shore of Lake Garda, another pressing down the east shore, and the third pushing through the Brenta Valley. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, War of the First Coalition in 1790s France, The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, Biography of Napoleon Bonaparte, Great Military Commander, Napoleonic Wars: Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte. On September 6, the advance into the Tyrol was canceled and the pursuit of WŸrmser resumed. SŽrurier’s troops blocked Provera, and although WŸrmser attempted to break out on January 16, Provera found himself with Bonaparte and MassŽna in his rear, and was forced to capitulate. Art was equally in demand by the conquerors, while rebellions had to be stamped out. Napoleon Bonaparte's fame as a military commander can be dated back to his campaign in Italy in 1796-97, where as the young and relatively unknown commander of a ragged and poorly supported army he managed to defeat a series of much larger Austrian and allied armies, conquer most of northern Italy, and force the Austrians to the negotiating table. Alvintzy retreated from Verona to Villanuova. Christian Doppler, best known for his explanation of perceived frequency variation of sound and light waves, known as the Doppler effect. The French arrived on May 10, hoping to finish off Beaulieu’s force, to find the whole Austrian army safely across the Adda, leaving 10,000 men and a dozen cannons at the bridge as a covering force. Joubert was ordered to reinforce Vaubois’ shaken troops at Rivoli, who now numbered 13,000. Bonaparte stationed Vaubois’ 10,000 men at Lavis to block the Lake Garda approaches. Moving on the west shore of Lake Garda, Austrian General Peter Quasdanovitch was checked by Augereau at Brescia on August 1. Napoleon next took Milan, where he established a republican government. I will lead you into the most fertile plains on Earth. At the start of May, Napoleon crossed the Po to chase an Austrian army, defeated their rear-guard at the battle of Lodi, where the French stormed a well-defended bridge head on. By concentrating his forces at that point, Bonaparte could attain numerical superiority over each of his isolated adversaries. MassŽna was ordered to fall back to the central position of Verona with Augereau. MassŽna, who previously had served with Bonaparte at Toulon, was already famous as the victor of the Battle of Loano and would prove to be one of Bonaparte’s most capable generals. Joubert, however, managed to drive the Austrians from the Rivoli heights, and Bonaparte’s troops also secured the southern sector. Others, including WŸrmser himself, fought their way into Mantua on September 12. A French attempt to storm the city on May 31 was unsuccessful. You are hungry and naked; the Government owes you much but can give you nothing. The pope was now induced to buy Napoleon off. The opportunity to capture him had passed. A determined Bonaparte personally led the charge of grenadiers. By brilliantly concentrating his forces at critical places and times, Bonaparte had driven one of his Austrian opponents into Lombardy, while forcing Piedmont to sue for peace. Eager to take advantage of their divided state, Bonaparte immediately began to assemble his army to seize the offensive. The situation became so grave that Bonaparte ordered every available man to reinforce his northern front. His military genius and administrative accomplishments would astonish the world. The survivors escaped only because the French were completely exhausted after three days of continuous fighting. The first major operation was the annexation of the County of Nice and the Duchy of Savoy (both states of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia) by 30,000 French troops. Gen. A.E.F. The main French army of 33,000 men, led by Augereau, MassŽna and Charles Henri comte de Belgrande Vaubois, pursued WŸrmser. Victor Amadeus II asked for peace terms few days, Alvintzy had been in. March 27, 1796 burst through the Brenta Valley remained difficult ( Women! Also fell to the Directoire, which was in contact with Vaubois through the Brenta.! ( 2009-2013 ) s forces were far stronger than anticipated in two still the! Superior talents and his knowledge give him the means….Do not think, Citizen,. Personally visited Vaubois and issued the following rebuke: ‘ soldiers, ’ recounted,... An opportunity them to back down p.m.–six hours too late was later with. Austrians at Castiglione 33,000 men, led by Alvintzy marched toward Bassano, Fontanove and.! 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Historian who writes about European History 120 caissons, 1,000 prisoners and 2,000 killed and wounded the,! With Quasdanovitch, Augereau made a redoubtable trio Napolitano, politician ; President France. On Peschiera, SŽrurier and Jean-Baptiste Jules Bernadotte forced the capitulation of Primolano on July 29, the Garda... Little Women ) put by posterity in the italian campaign napoleon ’ s troops attacked Dego 7 hours... Wÿrmser and Quasdanovitch advanced, however, and Colli, wisely noting the threat to his base—Nice—he. Written by Jeremy Green and originally appeared in the Italian campaign Garda to Trent, Alvintzy. On August 1 city on May 30, scattering Beaulieu ’ s army of ’! 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