The First Coalition (5)
1792 to 1797
divided his force and sent General
Peter Quasdanovich to cut Bonaparte's lines of supply.
using interior lines - the tactic of getting between enemies
and defeating them in detail before they can unite - the
French commander pinned Wurmser and then beat Quasdanovich
men then felt the full force of the French at Castiglione,
from which they fled back to the Tyrol.
After he regained his composure, Wurmser tried a new attempt
to help Mantua, but again
split his forces.
Paul Davidovich remained to protect the Tyrol, while Wurmser
moved down towards Mantua.
beat Davidovich at Caliano
and then sped on a cruel forced march to catch the main
He caught Wurmser at Bassano
and while he beat him, the bulk of the Austrians managed
to get through to Mantua.
garrison was 28,000 men, but they were not enough to break
out of General Andre Massena's
A third rescue attempt was made by Austria and General
Josef Alvintzy moved against the French.
a third time the Austrians split their forces and while
a French covering force held off Davidovich, Bonaparte hit
Alvintzy at Caldiero.
battle ended in Alvintzy's favour, but at the desperate
battle of Arcola the young
French general routed the Austrians.
in 1797, Vienna made its last move to free the trapped troops
in Mantua. Alvintzy, who was clearly no fast learner, split
his army and attacked the French at Rivoli
without the weight of his full force.
this, he began well and Bonaparte was under pressure until
reinforcements arrived and gave him the decisive upper hand.
won Rivoli, Bonaparte then returned to Mantua to help a
surrounded General Jean Serurier
caught between the Mantua garrison and another relieving
Austrian army under General Johann Provera.
reinforcements allowed Serurier to again bottle up Wurmser's
garrison, while Bonaparte encircled Provera's men and forced
was the last straw for Wurmser and the troops and people
in Mantua, the siege had cost them 18,000 dead - mainly
victorious Bonaparte now set his sights on Vienna. Although
opposed by Archduke Charles,
the French crossed the Alps and were only 100 miles from
the Austrian capital when the emperor Francis
I requested peace.
set out the terms for the treaty of Leoben - the recognition
of France's claim over the Austrian Netherlands and the
acceptance of the Cisalpine Republic in northern Italy.
the turmoil of previous years, 1798 was relatively quiet
in revolution terms. France occupied Switzerland, creating
the Helvetian republic, and Rome, Roman Republic, and there
was an ill-fated landing of French troops in Ireland.
Jean Humbert's force had been sent to assist an Irish rebellion
against Britain but found it had been squashed as brutally
as France's dealing in La Vendee and Quiberon.
battle of Vinegar Hill smashed the rebels and Humbert's
troops were eventually surrounded by Lord Cornwallis and
forced to surrender.