First Italian Campaign |
The Egyptian Campaign |
Second Italian Campaign |
The Ulm-Austerlitz Campaign |
The Prussian Campaign |
The Peninsular War |
The Austrian War |
The Russian Campaign |
From Lützen to Elba |
The Waterloo Campaign
Italian Campaign, 1796-97
April 2, 1796, Bonaparte led his army forward into Italy.
He was badly outnumbered. His 38,000 French soldiers
faced 38,000 Austrians and their allies 25,000
Piedmontese. Bonaparte's plan was to isolate the Austrians
from the Piedmontese, then conquer each separately.
He would strike first at Piedmont.
goes up in the mountains
He spreads his forces
out. The enemy doesnt know where he is so they
begin to spread their forces out. Then at the last
minute he quickly concentrates his forces, he achieves
mass superiority at one point and then blasts them.
Its lightning. Napoleons armies could
go up to thirty miles a day, the enemy were rolling
on along at about six or seven miles a day.
Napoleon said there's nothing theoretical about war.
You do what you have to do. You do it fast, and you
surprise the enemy and shock him if you can. Move
quickly and be ruthless about it.
just two weeks, he broke the back of Piedmonts
army, crushing their troops with lightning attacks at
the battles of Montenotte and Mondovi. One Piedmontese
officer would later complain: "They sent a young
madman who attacks right, left, and from the rear. It's
an intolerable way of making war."
April 26, Piedmont surrendered. Bonaparte demanded gold
and silver, and paid his troops the first real money
they had seen in years. "Soldiers," he said, "we thank
Piedmont defeated, Bonaparte now pursued the Austrians,
who retreated to the east, bewildered by the 26-year-old general and his new way of making war. As the
Austrians fled, their rear guard hoped to slow Bonaparte
down by making a stand at the little Italian village