The Battle of Lonato was fought on 3 and 4 August 1796 between the French Army of Italy under General Napoleon Bonaparte and a corps-sized Austrian column led by Lieutenant General Peter Quasdanovich. A week of hard-fought actions that began on 29 July and ended on 4 August resulted in the retreat of Quasdanovich's badly mauled force. The elimination of Quasdanovich's threat allowed Bonaparte to concentrate against and defeat the main Austrian army at the Battle of Castiglione on 5 August. Lonato del Garda is located near the SP 668 highway and the Brescia-Padua section of Autostrada A4 to the southwest of Lake Garda.
The Army of Italy was a field army of the French Army stationed on the Italian border and used for operations in Italy itself. Though it existed in some form in the 16th century through to the present, it is best known for its role during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars.
The Battle of Castiglione saw the French Army of Italy under General Napoleon Bonaparte attack an army of Habsburg Austria led by Feldmarschall Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser on 5 August 1796. The outnumbered Austrians were defeated and driven back along a line of hills to the river crossing at Borghetto, where they retired beyond the Mincio River. The town of Castiglione delle Stiviere is located 10 kilometres (6 mi) south of Lake Garda in northern Italy. This battle was one of four famous victories won by Bonaparte during the War of the First Coalition, part of the Wars of the French Revolution. The others were Bassano, Arcole, and Rivoli.
Lonato del Garda is a town and comune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy, northern Italy. Lonato is located about halfway between Milan and Venice, on the southwest shore of Lake Garda, the biggest lake in Italy.
On 29 July, the Austrians advanced out of the Alps to capture the towns of Gavardo and Salò on the west side of Lake Garda. The Austrians followed up this success by surprising and seizing the French base at Brescia on 30 July. An Austrian brigade captured Lonato del Garda on the 31st but was ejected from the town by a French counterattack after tough fighting. Also on the 31st, a French division briefly recaptured Salò, rescued a small band of compatriots, and fell back. This series of combats and other battles east of Lake Garda compelled Bonaparte to raise the Siege of Mantua.
The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, separating Southern from Central and Western Europe and stretching approximately 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) across eight Alpine countries : France, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,810 m (15,781 ft) is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).
Gavardo is a town and comune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy. As of 2011 Gavardo had a population of 11,786.
Salò is a town and comune in the Province of Brescia in the region of Lombardy on the banks of Lake Garda, on which it has the longest promenade. The city was the seat of government of the Italian Social Republic from 1943 to 1945, with the ISR often being referred to as the "Salò Republic".
Leaving only one division to observe the main Austrian army to the east, Bonaparte assembled overwhelming force and recaptured Brescia on 1 August. Quasdanovich regrouped around Gavardo on 2 August, while ordering an attack by several columns for the next day. On 3 August, one of the Austrian columns defeated a French brigade and captured Lonato for the second time. However, the French also attacked that day, capturing Salò and nearly taking Gavardo. With most of the Austrian forces placed on the defensive, Bonaparte massed against the solitary brigade in Lonato and crushed it. This disaster caused Quasdanovich to order a retreat on 4 August. In a final calamity, one withdrawing Austrian column was cut off and captured.
At the end of July an Austrian army set out from Trento with the purpose of relieving the besieged fortress of Mantua. While the main army under Field Marshal Dagobert von Wurmser drove south down the upper Adige River valley to the east of Lake Garda, the Right Column under Quasdanovich struck on the west side of Lake Garda. This 18,000-strong corps consisted of four mixed (cavalry and infantry) brigades led by General-Majors Peter Karl Ott von Bátorkéz, Heinrich XV, Prince of Reuss-Plauen, Joseph Ocskay von Ocsko, and Johann Rudolph Sporck.The Right Column also included two advanced guards, led by Obersts (colonels) Franz Joseph, Marquis de Lusignan and Johann von Klenau.
Trento is a city on the Adige River in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol in Italy. It is the capital of the autonomous province of Trento. In the 16th century, the city was the location of the Council of Trent. Formerly part of Austria and Austria-Hungary, it was annexed by Italy in 1919. With almost 120,000 inhabitants, Trento is the third largest city in the Alps and second largest in the Tyrol.
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy, and capital of the province of the same name.
Dagobert Sigismund, Count von Wurmser was an Austrian field marshal during the French Revolutionary Wars. Although he fought in the Seven Years' War, the War of the Bavarian Succession, and mounted several successful campaigns in the Rhineland in the initial years of the French Revolutionary Wars, he is probably most remembered for his unsuccessful operations against Napoleon Bonaparte during the 1796 campaign in Italy.
Bonaparte did not believe that major Austrian forces were capable of operating in the mountains west of Lake Garda.Consequently, only General of Division Pierre Francois Sauret's 4,500-man division defended the area, with garrisons in Salò on the western shore of the lake, Gavardo on the Chiese River west of Salò, and Desenzano del Garda at the southwestern corner of the lake. The French held Brescia with only three companies of infantry.
Desenzano del Garda is a town and comune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy, Italy, on the southwestern shore of Lake Garda. It borders the communes of Castiglione delle Stiviere, Lonato, Padenghe sul Garda and Sirmione.
See Castiglione 1796 Campaign Order of Battle for a detailed list of French and Austrian units.
In the Battle of Castiglione on 5 August 1796, the French Army of Italy under the command of General Napoleon Bonaparte defeated an Austrian army led by Field Marshal Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser. Castiglione and the Battle of Lonato were the major actions in a campaign which marked the first attempted relief of the Siege of Mantua. While Wurmser advanced east of Lake Garda with three columns, Peter Quasdanovich moved his column into the area west of Lake Garda. The Austrians pushed back the French forces and forced Bonaparte to raise the siege. However, the French commander massed against Quasdanovich and forced him to retreat after a week of see-saw fighting. After disposing of Quasdanovich, Bonaparte turned on Wurmser and defeated the main army also. In the sequel, the French pushed the Mantua garrison back and blockaded the city.
On 29 July, Ott's brigade attacked Salò while Ocskay's brigade moved against Gavardo. General of Brigade Jean-Baptiste Dominique Rusca was warned by a village curate of Austrian descent, but chose to disregard the information. Consequently, the Austrians took Sauret's division by surprise. The French general withdrew to Desenzano after a stiff fight in which 500 Frenchmen and two cannons were captured. At Salò, General of Brigade Jean Joseph Guieu and 400 men took refuge in the Palazzo Martinengo where they were blockaded by Ocskay's soldiers.
Jean-Baptiste Dominique Rusca was born in the County of Nice, part of the Kingdom of Sardinia. By profession a medical doctor, he advocated the cause of the French Revolution and was expelled by the Sardinian authorities. In 1793, he treated the French sick and wounded during the Siege of Toulon and was appointed to command a sapper battalion. He later fought in the Army of Italy and the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees before returning to Italy. By the time of the Montenotte Campaign in 1796, he was a general officer leading major units. He was captured by the Austrians during the 1799 Italian campaign. After commanding garrisons for several years, he led a division in Italy during the 1809 war. He was killed in action at Soissons during the War of the Sixth Coalition. Rusca is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.
Jean Joseph Guieu, also Jean Guyeux, joined the French royal army and quickly rose in rank during the French Revolutionary Wars. He fought in the War of the Pyrenees against Spain and became a general officer. After transferring to Italy, he held important commands under Napoleon Bonaparte in the Italian campaign of 1796-1797. He retired from the army in 1803 and his surname is one of the Names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.
Receiving a report that Brescia lay open to attack, Klenau advanced in the night with two squadrons of the Wurmser Hussar Regiment # 30, one battalion of DeVins Infantry Regiment (IR) # 37, and one company of the Mahony Jägers. The next morning, under cover of fog, he seized the city in a coup de main. The Austrians captured 600–700 able-bodied soldiers plus 2,000 more in the hospital. Among the prisoners were Colonels Jean Lannes, Joachim Murat and François Étienne de Kellermann. Quasdanovich soon arrived at Brescia with the brigades of Reuss and Sporck.At the same time, Ott's brigade advanced south from Salò and Gavardo to reach Ponte San Marco, where the Brescia-Verona highway crosses the Chiese just west of Lonato. Ocskay's troops besieged the French soldiers trapped in Salò. That night, Bonaparte determined to give up the Siege of Mantua and concentrate his main strength against Quasdanovich while subsidiary forces held Wurmser at bay.
On 31 July Ott's brigade at San Marco advanced to the east on Lonato. The Austrian general led two battalions of the Kheul Infantry Regiment Nr. 10, four companies of the Johann Jellacic Infantry Regiment Nr. 53, two companies of the Liccaner Grenz Infantry Regiment Nr. 60, and one squadron of the Erdödy Hussar Regiment Nr. 11. The initial attack flushed part of General of Division Hyacinthe Francois Joseph Despinoy's division out of Lonato. As the Hussars chased the fugitives to the east, they were repulsed by two waiting French artillery batteries. General of Division André Masséna with General of Brigade Claude Dallemagne's brigade and Despinoy with Generals of Brigade Nicolas Bertin's and Jean Cervoni's brigades then counterattacked the town. In a tough four-hour fight, the French drove Ott's outnumbered soldiers out of Lonato and pushed them back to San Marco.
Leaving Oberst-Leutnant Anton Vogel and two battalions to hold Brescia, Quasdanovich advanced with Reuss, Sporck, Klenau, and Lusignan from Brescia to the southeast. He reached Montichiari, south of Lonato, in mid-morning and spent most of the day there. That evening, he returned to San Marco to join Ott, leaving Klenau in Montichiari. Also on 31 July, Sauret marched to Salò and defeated Ocskay in a pitched battle. The Austrians retreated to Gavardo. Having rescued Guieu and his men, Sauret returned to Desenzano, where he rendezvoused with Masséna and Despinoy.
On 1 August, Bonaparte assembled 12,000 men under Generals of Division Pierre Augereau and Charles Edward Jennings de Kilmaine and moved northwest from Goito toward Brescia, pushing Klenau's weak force before him. Shaken by his setbacks at Lonato and Salò, Quasdanovich ordered all of his troops north to Gavardo.Bonaparte recaptured Brescia without opposition, and was soon joined there by Masséna and Despinoy. Klenau moved northeast toward Gavardo to join Quasdanovich. Vogel retreated to Caino in the mountains.
On 2 August, Quasdanovich regrouped at Gavardo and sent Ocskay's brigade to reoccupy Salò. With Brescia now secure, Bonaparte ordered Masséna to San Marco, while Augereau and Kilmaine marched back to Montichiari. Despinoy held Rezzato and Brescia where he was joined by a demi-brigade from Milan. Bonaparte directed Guieu, who replaced the injured Sauret, to march from Lonato to retake Salò the next day. Forces under Despinoy from Brescia and Dallemagne from Lonato were sent to attack Gavardo.
During the night, Ocskay at Salò started south along the lake road. Guieu marched north on an obscure lane, completely missing Ocskay, who reached Lonato's outskirts via Desenzano. Keeping Sporck's brigade to hold Gavardo, Quasdanovich sent Ott and Reuss south on 3 August.
Ocskay's brigade attacked Lonato at dawn, defeated BG Jean Pijon's brigade, and captured its commander. Masséna, whose division lay between San Marco and Lonato, counterattacked the Austrians from the west at mid-day. Bonaparte directed the battle. Assaulted by the brigades of Pijon (now led by Colonel Jean-Andoche Junot) on the north, BG Claude Victor and BG Antoine Rampon in the center, and BG Jean Lorcet on the south, Ocskay's outnumbered men were driven from Lonato and pursued toward Desenzano. But Junot's men, plus the Guides and the 15th Dragoons, captured Desenzano first, freeing 150 French prisoners from Pijon's morning fight. Hemmed in by his enemies, Ocskay surrendered with the rump of his brigade. The rest scattered across the countryside. During the fighting in Desenzano, Junot suffered severe saber cuts on his head from Austrian cavalrymen.
Moving from Rezzato, Despinoy attacked Ott piecemeal and was repulsed. After some fighting, the French general withdrew toward Brescia. Doggedly, Dallemagne moved around Ott's east flank and even reached Gavardo twice, but each time the Austrians drove him back. Dallemagne retreated to Brescia, where he reported sick. Casualties and other details of these fights are unknown. Because of the French attacks, Ott did not advance farther south than Paitone, south of Gavardo. At some time during the day, Klenau reinforced Ott. Reuss was sent cross-country to establish contact with Ocskay.
With his brigade of 1,800 men, Reuss soon appeared at Desenzano, recaptured the town, and rescued a number of prisoners from Ocskay's command. After learning the fate of Ocskay's brigade and finding that Massena's victorious division was closing in on him, Reuss beat a hasty retreat back to Gavardo, harassed by the French. He lost a number of prisoners on his retreat. Others were rescued by Major Gustave Maelcamp's small Austrian flotilla on the lake.
Meanwhile, Guieu reached Salò, found it unoccupied, and turned west to menace Gavardo. The French soon came upon and captured Quasdanovich's artillery park. But Sporck counterattacked and recaptured the guns.The day ended with Sporck holding the heights west of Salò while the French controlled the town. That evening, Quasdanovich ordered Ott to join him on the heights. Reuss turned up with his brigade during the night with the tidings of Ocskay's disaster. A council of war determined to retreat. Having heard nothing from Wurmser, Quasdanovich hoped to rejoin his colleague by marching around the north end of Lake Garda.
On the morning of 3 August, Wurmser's 4,000-man advance guard under GM Anton Lipthay lay eight kilometers to the south of Lonato near Castiglione delle Stiviere. The Austrian commander planned to move to Quasdanovich's help, but the French pre-empted him. Augereau launched an enveloping attack on Lipthay with 11,000 soldiers. Despite being greatly outnumbered, Lipthay put up a terrific fight, giving ground only grudgingly. He was, however, forced to abandon Castiglione and fall back southeast toward Solferino. Lipthay's stubborn defense allowed Wurmser time to concentrate his forces. GM Anton Schübirz marched to the sound of the guns and counterattacked Augereau's left flank near Solferino. FML Paul Davidovich formed his division in support. By the end of the day, Wurmser had the bulk of his 20,000 soldiers on hand. French losses are not known, but BG Martial Beyrand was killed, BG Jean Robert was wounded, and "great losses had been suffered by both sides." The Austrians lost about 1,000 casualties, including GM Franz Nicoletti wounded.
Quasdanovich issued orders to retreat north toward Lake Idro at 2:00 am. In the confusion, one Austrian column found itself cut off from the rest of the corps and made a desperate march to the southeast to reach Wurmser. The Austrians marched into Lonato early in the morning, nearly capturing Bonaparte. The French army commander, with only 1,200 soldiers on hand, bluffed his enemies into giving up.Oberst Knorr surrendered one battalion each of De Vins IR # 37 and Erbach IR # 42, a total of 2,000 men and 3 cannons. Bonaparte sent Guieu to observe the Austrian withdrawal.
In the battles on 3 and 4 August, the Austrians lost 23 cannons and at least 5,000 killed, wounded and captured. French losses were at least 2,000. [ citation needed ]More importantly, Quasdanovich's defeat allowed Bonaparte to mass over 30,000 men against Wurmser's 25,000, resulting in a French victory in the Battle of Castiglione on 5 August. This defeat forced Wurmser to withdraw to Trento and abandon the campaign.
The Battle of Rivoli was a key victory in the French campaign in Italy against Austria. Napoleon Bonaparte's 23,000 Frenchmen defeated an attack of 28,000 Austrians under General of the Artillery Jozsef Alvinczi, ending Austria's fourth and final attempt to relieve the Siege of Mantua. Rivoli further demonstrated Napoleon's brilliance as a military commander and led to French occupation of northern Italy.
The Battle of Arcole or Battle of Arcola was a battle fought between French and Austrian forces 25 kilometres (16 mi) southeast of Verona during the War of the First Coalition, a part of the French Revolutionary Wars.
The Battle of Bassano was fought on 8 September 1796, during the French Revolutionary Wars, in the territory of the Republic of Venice, between a French army under Napoleon Bonaparte and Austrian forces led by Count Dagobert von Wurmser. The engagement occurred during the second Austrian attempt to raise the Siege of Mantua. It was a French victory, however it was the last battle in Napoleon`s perfect military career as two months later he would be defeated at the Second Battle of Bassano, ending his victorious streak. The Austrians abandoned their artillery and baggage, losing supplies, cannons, and battle standards to the French.
In the Battle of Rovereto on 4 September 1796 a French army commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte defeated an Austrian corps led by Paul Davidovich during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. The battle was fought near the town of Rovereto, in the upper Adige River valley in northern Italy.
Peter Karl Ott von Bátorkéz joined the Austrian army and fought in the wars against the Kingdom of Prussia, Ottoman Turkey, and the First French Republic in the last half of the 18th century. During the French Revolutionary Wars, he rose in rank to general officer and twice campaigned against the army of Napoleon Bonaparte in Italy. He played a key role in the Marengo campaign in 1800. He was Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian Hussar regiment from 1801 to 1809.
During the Siege of Mantua, which lasted from 4 July 1796 to 2 February 1797 with a short break, French forces under the overall command of Napoleon Bonaparte besieged and blockaded a large Austrian garrison at Mantua for many months until it surrendered. This eventual surrender, together with the heavy losses incurred during four unsuccessful relief attempts, led indirectly to the Austrians suing for peace in 1797. The siege occurred during the War of the First Coalition, which is part of the French Revolutionary Wars. Mantua, a city in the Lombardy region of Italy, lies on the Mincio River.
Pierre François Sauret de la Borie led a combat division under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte during the Castiglione Campaign in 1796. He enlisted in the French army as a private in 1756. During the Seven Years' War he fought at Hastenbeck and Rossbach. He became a first lieutenant in 1789 and a lieutenant colonel in 1792. Assigned to the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees, served with distinction during the War of the Pyrenees against Spain. He was promoted to general officer in 1793 and became one of three infantry division commanders in the field army. He led his division at Palau, Boulou, Collioure, Black Mountain, Roses, and Bascara. He transferred to the Army of Italy in 1795. Bonaparte called him a very good soldier, but unlucky. He retired from active military service in order to enter politics.
Joseph Ocskay von Ocskó joined the army of the Habsburg Empire and rose to the rank of general officer during the French Revolutionary Wars. He fought in numerous actions in the 1796-1797 Italian campaign against the French army commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte. In particular, he led a combat brigade during the first, third, and fourth Austrian attempts to relieve the Siege of Mantua.
In the Battle of Arcole on 15 to 17 November 1796, the French Army of Italy commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte won a victory over the army of Austria led by Jozsef Alvinczi. The battle was part the third relief of the Siege of Mantua in which Alvinczi's army repulsed Bonaparte at the Second Battle of Bassano on 6 November and at the Battle of Caldiero on 12 November. Meanwhile, Paul Davidovich's Austrian Tyrol Corps clashed with Claude Vaubois' French division at Cembra on 2 November. Davidovich defeated Vaubois at the Battle of Calliano on 6–7 November and Rivoli Veronese on 17 November. After Bonaparte's triumph at Arcola, he turned on the Tyrol Corps, beat it at Rivoli on 21 November, and forced it to retreat north into the mountains.
Anton Lipthay de Kisfalud, also Anton Liptai or Anton Liptay, served in the Austrian army, attained general officer rank, and fought in several battles against the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte during the French Revolutionary Wars.
The Second Battle of Bassano on 6 November 1796, saw a Habsburg Austrian army commanded by Jozsef Alvinczi fight Napoleon Bonaparte's French Army of Italy. The Austrians repulsed persistent French attacks in a struggle in which both sides suffered heavy losses. The engagement, which happened two months after the more famous Battle of Bassano, marked the first tactical defeat of Bonaparte's career and occurred near Bassano del Grappa in Northern Italy during the French Revolutionary Wars. The action was part of the third relief of the Siege of Mantua during the War of the First Coalition.
In the Battle of Bassano on 8 September 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte and his French Army of Italy routed an Austrian army led by Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser. Afterward, Wurmser gathered the intact parts of his army and marched for Mantua. On 15 September, the French defeated the Austrians and drove them into the fortress. This raised the numbers of the underfed and malaria-ridden garrison to nearly 30,000 men. These actions and the Battle of Rovereto occurred during the second attempted relief of the Siege of Mantua.
The Battle of Borghetto, near Valeggio sul Mincio in the Veneto of northern Italy, took place during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. On 30 May 1796, a French army led by General Napoleon Bonaparte forced a crossing of the Mincio River in the face of opposition from an Austrian army commanded by Feldzeugmeister Johann Peter Beaulieu. This action compelled the Austrian army to retreat north up the Adige valley to Trento, leaving the fortress of Mantua to be besieged by the French.
Prince Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen, Viceroy of Lombardy-Venetia was the fourth of six sons born into the reigning family of the Principality of Reuss. At the age of fifteen he joined the army of Habsburg Austria and later fought against Ottoman Turkey. During the French Revolutionary Wars he became a general officer and saw extensive service. He commanded a corps during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1801 until his death, he was Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian infantry regiment.
Claude Dallemagne started his career in the French army under the Bourbons, fought in the American Revolutionary War, rose in rank to become a general officer during the French Revolutionary Wars, took part in the 1796 Italian campaign under Napoleon Bonaparte, and held military posts during the Napoleonic Wars.
Jean Joseph Magdeleine Pijon or Jean Pigeon, born 7 September 1758 – died 5 April 1799, was a French general who was killed in combat during the French Revolutionary Wars. He led an attack column at Loano in late 1795. He commanded a brigade in Napoleon Bonaparte's French Army of Italy during several famous campaigns. In 1796 he fought at Lonato where he was briefly captured, Rovereto where he was in the forefront of the action, Bassano, Cerea where he led the advance guard, and early in the Arcole campaign where he was wounded. In Italy during 1799, he fought at Verona and met his death at Magnano. His surname is one of the 660 names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.