The First Coalition (4)

1792 to 1797

General Jean Moreau and Jourdan took on Archduke Charles along the Rhine, with Jourdan trying to pin the new Austrian commanders forces to allow his colleague to cross the mighty river and invade Bavaria.

Charles beat Jourdan at Wetzlar, forcing him back across the Rhine, and then pursued Moreau. He caught him at Malsh where neither side could get an advantage and then returned his attentions to Jourdan. Charles beat the Frenchman at Amberg, and then Wurzburg, while Moreau bested the Austrian covering force at Freidberg.

However, with his colleague pushed back it left Moreau in an untenable position and he, too, retreated.

The two nations then signed an armistice.

The war in Italy saw the rise of one of the great military leaders - General Napoleon Bonaparte - who transformed a ragtag army of half-starving troops into a fine fighting force.

His first problem was being faced by two enemies, the Austrians under General Jean Beaulieu and General Michael Colli's Piedmontese army.

Getting in between the two forces, Bonaparte split them further at Montenotte and defeated Beaulieu at Dego. Turning on Colli, the French general hammered his army at Mondovi.

Colli then called for a halt to hostilities and two weeks later Piedmont quit the war. Another clash with the Austrians, this time at Lodi, cleared Lombardy of the enemy and Bonaparte then kept then pressure on the withdrawing Beaulieu and followed him into the Tyrol.

A new danger loomed when General Dagobert Wurmser led another army into northern Italy to break the siege of the fortress of Mantua, the last toehold the Austrians had in the region.


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