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, 1800
had catapulted Bonaparte into power his victories
in Italy and Egypt paved the way for him to become First
Consul. Now war would help him secure his position as
the uncontested leader of his nation. France was still
fighting Great Britain and Austria, and Bonaparte conceived
a daring plan to catch the Austrians by surprise.
the Spring of 1800, he took his soldiers over the Alps
40,000 men, field artillery, trekking across
treacherous layers of snow and ice through the Great
St. Bernard Pass. Not since the Carthaginian general
Hannibal had an army attempted such an outlandish offensive.
10,500 feet high
They dragged their guns in
pine trees theyd hollowed out like canoes.
And they took off across the mountains. On May 20,
Bonaparte made the crossing himself, riding a sure-footed
mule. It took the General and his armies just 6
the morning of June 14, he faced the Austrians at Marengo,
just forty-five miles from Milan. By the end of the
day, there were 6,000 French casualties, but nearly
twice as many Austrians had been killed or wounded.
The French had won.
would know just how close Bonaparte had come to being
defeated at Marengo. Nearly routed by the Austrians,
Bonaparte was saved from catastrophe only by the dedication
and skill of his corp commanders. Bonaparte rewrote
the official report of the battle, presenting it as having
gone precisely as planned. "My power depends on my glory,"
Bonaparte said, "and my glory on my victories."
Bonaparte had only been in power for six months.
And the people of France had seen other political
regimes which had only lasted a year. And they said,
well Bonaparte might not last either. After Marengo,
things changed. Ordinary people as well as people
in the ruling class now thought Bonaparte would
the next year, the Emperor of Austria ordered a halt
to the fighting and signed a treaty with France. Great
Britain followed the year after. For the first time
in ten years, all of Europe was at peace.