The Third Coalition
Guides to Battlefields
of Danube Campaign
on the campaign
April 1805, the time looked perfect for the members of the
Third Coalition - Britain, Austria, Russia, Sweden and some
German states - to strike back at France.
French fleet could not gain control of the English Channel
and the mass of the Grande Armee was camped near Boulogne
awaiting orders to invade Britain.
was decided that a concerted invasion would put the upstart
Napoleon Bonaparte in
his place and so plans were made to attack Italy and Bavaria.
only problem was that the French emperor had foreseen such
attempts and had secretly moved the Grande Armee across
the Rhine and then the Danube, cutting off Austria's General
Karl Mack from his supply lines and forcing him to surrender
his army at Ulm.
then set off for Vienna, where he captured the enemy capital
and forced Russia's General
Mikhail Kutusov into two rearguard actions at Durrenstein
Italy, Marshal Massena
defeated Archduke Charles
at Caldiero forcing him
out of that country.
Bonaparte proved himself the master of tactics by tempting
the Russian and Austrian armies, led by their emperors,
into attacking him 110 kilometres north of Vienna at Austerlitz.
out that his forces were weak, Bonaparte retreated before
the enemy armies only to swiftly counterattack when fast-marching
reinforcements arrived to help him.
Austro-Russian army was split in two and then destroyed
with a loss of 27,000 men compared with 9000 French casualties.
surrendered immediately and later ceded parts of Germany
and Italy to France, while the Russians retreated to their
Bonaparte was on the verge of being master of Europe.