|Battle of Saorgio|
|Part of the French Revolutionary Wars|
Saorge looking north toward the Col de Tende
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Saorgio was fought from 24 to 28 April 1794 between a French First Republic army commanded by Pierre Jadart Dumerbion and the armies of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont and the Habsburg Monarchy led by Joseph Nikolaus De Vins. It was part of a successful French offensive designed to capture strategic positions in the Maritime Alps and Ligurian Alps, and on the Mediterranean coast. Tactical control of the battle was exercised by André Masséna for the French and Michelangelo Alessandro Colli-Marchi for the Coalition. Saorge is located in France, about 70 kilometres (43 mi) northeast of Nice. At the time of the battle, the town was named Saorgio and belonged to Piedmont.
In the history of France, the First Republic, officially the French Republic, was founded on 22 September 1792 during the French Revolution. The First Republic lasted until the declaration of the First Empire in 1804 under Napoleon, although the form of the government changed several times. This period was characterized by the fall of the monarchy, the establishment of the National Convention and the Reign of Terror, the Thermidorian Reaction and the founding of the Directory, and, finally, the creation of the Consulate and Napoleon's rise to power.
Pierre Jadart Dumerbion or Pierre Jadart du Merbion joined the French army as a junior officer in 1754 and fought in the Seven Years' War. As an experienced officer, he was promoted to colonel in 1792 at the start of the French Revolutionary Wars. He soon became a general officer and found himself commanding the Army of Italy. In April 1794 he won the Battle of Saorgio over the armies of Habsburg Austria and the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont by using a strategic plan drawn up by his newly appointed artillery officer, Napoleon Bonaparte. Though he was the victor, Dumerbion was unable to personally take the field because of his age and poor health. In September 1794, his army again beat the Coalition forces at the First Battle of Dego. He retired in 1795 and died in 1797. DUMERBION is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe on Column 23.
The Habsburg Monarchy – also Habsburg Empire, Austrian Monarchy or Danube Monarchy – is an unofficial umbrella term among historians for the countries and provinces that were ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg between 1526 and 1780 and then by the successor branch of Habsburg-Lorraine until 1918. The Monarchy was a typical composite state composed of territories within and outside the Holy Roman Empire, united only in the person of the monarch. The dynastic capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague. From 1804 to 1867 the Habsburg Monarchy was formally unified as the Austrian Empire, and from 1867 to 1918 as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Since September 1792, the Piedmontese defenses around Saorge had resisted capture. In early April 1794, the French struck northeastward along the Italian Riviera, quickly seizing the small port of Oneglia. From there, Masséna struck north to capture two towns in the upper Tanaro valley before turning west to outflank the positions around Saorge. After some fighting, the Austro-Piedmontese withdrew to the north side of the Col de Tende (Tenda Pass) which the French occupied. Dumerbion's troops also seized a large portion of the Italian Riviera. The action occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. The engagement is significant in military history because a newly appointed artillery general by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte drew up the plans for the offensive.
The Italian Riviera, or Ligurian Riviera is the narrow coastal strip which lies between the Ligurian Sea and the mountain chain formed by the Maritime Alps and the Apennines. Longitudinally it extends from the border with France and the French Riviera near Ventimiglia to Capo Corvo which marks the eastern end of the Gulf of La Spezia and is close to the border with Tuscany. The Italian Riviera thus includes nearly all of the coastline of Liguria.
Oneglia was a town in northern Italy on the Ligurian coast that was joined to Porto Maurizio to form the Comune of Imperia in 1923.
The Tanaro, known as Tanarus in ancient times and Tane or Tani in piedmontese language, is a 276-kilometre (171 mi) long river in northwestern Italy. The river begins in the Ligurian Alps, near the border with France, and is the most significant right-side tributary to the Po in terms of length, size of drainage basin, and discharge.
The Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont stood at a disadvantage in a war with France because two of its territories lay on the French side of the Alps. These lands were the County of Nice on the Mediterranean coast and the Duchy of Savoy in the north. Aware of his awkward situation, King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia attempted to secure an alliance with Habsburg Austria at the same time as he held diplomatic talks with the French.In spring 1792, war broke out between the French First Republic and Sardinia. The French government ordered General Anne-Pierre, marquis de Montesquiou-Fézensac to invade Savoy on 15 May, but that officer decided that he needed more time to prepare. During the summer, King Victor Amadeus frantically haggled with Austria to get military assistance. On 22 September, Austria finally agreed to provide an Auxiliary Corps of 8,000 troops under Feldmarschallleutnant Leopoldo Lorenzo Count of Strassoldo. However, the Convention of Milan came too late.
The County of Nice is a historical region of France located around the south-eastern city of Nice, and roughly equivalent to the modern arrondissement of Nice.
From 1416 to 1860, the Duchy of Savoy was a state in Western Europe. It was created when Sigismund, King of the Romans, raised the County of Savoy into a duchy for Amadeus VIII. The duchy was a subject of the Holy Roman Empire with a vote in the Imperial Diet. From the 16th century, Savoy belonged to the Upper Rhenish Circle. Throughout its history, it was ruled by the House of Savoy and formed a part of the larger Savoyard state.
Victor Amadeus III was King of Sardinia from 1773 to his death. Although he was politically conservative, he carried out numerous administrative reforms until he declared war on Revolutionary France in 1792. He was the father of the last three mainline Kings of Sardinia.
On 21 September 1792, Montesquiou invaded Savoy and resistance collapsed. The general reported to his government that the people welcomed his army.The town of Chambéry was occupied on 24 September. Sardinian General Lazary, a 70-year-old relic, proved unable to mount an effective defense. A second French force captured Nice without bloodshed on 27 September and went on to seize Villefranche-sur-Mer two days later. At the behest of its leaders, Savoy was incorporated into France on 27 November. On 23 September, a French naval squadron under Rear Admiral Laurent Jean François Truguet sailed to the Piedmontese port of Oneglia where an 800-man battalion disembarked. The troops sacked the town and murdered some monks before taking to their ships again. On 18 November 1792, the Sardinians repulsed their adversaries at Sospel (Sospello). The French retreated to L'Escarène and went into winter quarters.
Chambéry is a city in the department of Savoie, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in eastern France.
Nice is the seventh most populous urban area in France and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes département. The metropolitan area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits, with a population of about 1 million on an area of 721 km2 (278 sq mi). Located in the French Riviera, on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Alps, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast and the second-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region after Marseille. Nice is approximately 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from the principality of Monaco and 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the French-Italian border. Nice's airport serves as a gateway to the region.
Villefranche-sur-Mer is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region on the French Riviera and is located near the French~Italian border next to the Principality of Monaco.
Dismayed by the incapacity of his generals, King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia begged the Austrians to send a commander to direct the combined Austrian and Piedmontese armies. The Austrian government appointed Feldzeugmeister Joseph Nikolaus De Vins to fill the post on 21 December 1792. Even so, Austria was aware that the French were trying to negotiate a peace with the Sardinians, and the Austrians did not fully trust their ally. The execution of King Louis XVI of France on 21 January 1793 appalled the other crowned heads of Europe and further isolated France.
Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste, was the last King of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. He was referred to as Citizen Louis Capet during the four months before he was guillotined. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis, son and heir apparent of Louis XV, Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin of France. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he assumed the title "King of France and Navarre", which he used until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of "King of the French" until the monarchy was abolished on 21 September 1792.
On 28 February 1793, 12,000 French troops under Lieutenant General Armand Louis de Gontaut, Duke of Biron battled with 7,000 Sardinian soldiers under Charles-François Thaon, Count of Saint-André at Levens. In this French success, each side lost 800 casualties. In addition, the French captured two of their enemy's six cannons.The Sardinian army held a powerful defensive position at Saorge (Saorgio), blocking access to the strategically important Col de Tende (Tenda Pass). On 8 June 1793, the Army of Italy under General of Division Gaspard Jean-Baptiste Brunet won a minor victory over the Sardinians in the area of L'Aution Peak west of Saorge. The forces clashed again in the First Battle of Saorgio on 12 June. This time the French were defeated. The Sardinian units involved in these fights were two battalions each of the Cacciatori and Swiss Christ Infantry Regiments, one battalion each of the Saluzzo, Sardinia, and Lombardy Infantry Regiments. Also engaged were two companies of French volunteers, the Cacciatori de Canale, Light Infantry, 1st, 3rd, and 5th Grenadier Battalions, and the Vercelli, Casale, and Acqui Provincial Regiments. The attack was "ill-conceived" and ended in "disaster".
Armand Louis de Gontaut, Duc de Lauzun, later duc de Biron, and usually referred to by historians of the French Revolution simply as Biron was a French soldier and politician, known for the part he played in the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars. In 1773, he was Grand second warden of Grand Orient de France.
Charles-François Thaon de Revel et de Saint-André was an army commander for the Kingdom of Sardinia during the War of the First Coalition. He fought in the War of the Austrian Succession and during the years of peace gained promotion until he was made major general in 1780. He was forced to abandon Nice to the invading Republican French army in 1792. The following year he defeated the French at Saorgio. He played a minor part in 1799 during the War of the Second Coalition. He went to Sardinia after the end of that conflict and died at Cagliari.
Levens is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes département in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.
The allies tried to mount a counteroffensive, but this effort was crippled by the new commander's slowness. De Vins planned to recapture both Savoy and Nice, which a number of officers objected to. Because he suffered badly from gout, De Vins planned to control both offensives from the capital of Turin. The Duke of Montferrat, who led the counter-invasion of Savoy, was to follow strict daily orders from De Vins. Since Turin was 45 miles (72 km) distant, the arrangements were impractical. In the event, a French force under General of Division François Christophe de Kellermann repulsed Lieutenant General Cordon's Savoy column at the Battle of Epierre on 15 September 1793. The French suffered 500 casualties out of 8,000 troops, while the Sardinians lost 1,000 men out of 6,000 engaged.
The Count of Saint-André was directed to advance on Nice from Saorgio. This effort was made difficult by tension between Saint-André and his Austrian subordinate Feldmarschallleutnant Michelangelo Alessandro Colli-Marchi. Meanwhile, De Vins' chief of staff, Eugène-Guillaume Argenteau managed to get himself on bad terms with most of the Piedmontese officer corps. At this time, portions of southern France rebelled against the revolutionary government. Large French republican forces had to be sent to suppress the revolt at the Siege of Toulon, giving Piedmont a chance to recover its lost territory. King Victor Amadeus and De Vins left the capital in August to oversee the southern front where they planned to start operations on 7 September.On 18 October, six Piedmontese battalions of the Aosta, Guardia, and Piedmont Infantry Regiments defeated the French at Gilette. Three days later there was an inconclusive skirmish at Utelle involving the 5th Grenadiers. The offensive ended when heavy snow fell in the mountains, forcing the king to give up the campaign and return to his capital in November.
At the start of 1794, the Piedmontese occupied a formidable defensive position that ran from Roquebillière on the west through the Col de Raus, L'Aution Peak, and Colle Basse to Saorge. From Saorge, the line ran northeast to Cima di Marte, Col Argente, and Monte Saccarello. The line was so strong that an outflanking move to the east seemed the obvious move. Sardinian General Dellera feared that the French might seize the Colle di Nava northwest of Oneglia. He wanted to occupy Briga Alta northeast of Saorgio but De Vins refused to authorize it. However, Dellera convinced the army commander to move an Austrian force from the Po River valley to Dego. In addition, De Vins ordered 4,000 Sardinian troops to protect the area around Oneglia.
French General Pierre Jadart Dumerbion commanded the Army of Italy. Competent but old, he had seen too many generals sent to the guillotine for failing or for having the wrong political views.Two of his predecessors suffered this fate, Brunet on 15 November 1793 and Biron on 31 December 1793. In order to stay out of trouble, Dumerbion determined to consult the all-powerful Representatives on mission before acting. At this time, the representatives were Augustin Robespierre and Antoine Christophe Saliceti and both were influenced by freshly-promoted General of Brigade Napoleon Bonaparte, the army's new artillery chief. Bonaparte drew up a strategic plan and Dumerbion listened. Bonaparte planned to launch a drive northeast along the coast to capture Oneglia, a nest of Sardinian privateers that preyed on the Genoa-to-Nice grain trade. From Oneglia, the French would turn north to seize Ormea, outflanking the enemy's defenses from the east. While these moves were implemented, the main army would distract the Coalition defenders by advancing directly on Saorge. Of Dumerbion's 43,000-man field army, 20,000 men formed the attacking force, divided into three columns and a reserve.
On 6 April 1794, Dumerbion opened the offensive. Crossing neutral territory belonging to the Republic of Genoa, the French seized the port of Oneglia on the 9th. Argenteau, who commanded the local Piedmontese division, occupied Ormea and strung out his 10 battalions in an attempt to link the Saorge defenses in the west with Dego in the east. The French advance, led by General of Division André Masséna, brushed aside Argenteau's men and captured Ormea around 17 April and Garessio on the 19th. Colli, the newly appointed commander at Saorge, now found that his position was outflanked.De Vins advised Colli to hold the position but to send back any forces not needed for immediate defense. Relations between the allies were so bad at this time that some Piedmontese officers believed that De Vins was plotting to betray them. On the French side, Auguste Marmont claimed that the ailing Dumerbion stayed in Nice during the entire operation.
On 24 April there was a clash at Saorge, as the French main army advanced north. Colli's defenders included three battalions of the Alvinczi Infantry Regiment Nr. 19, the 3rd Battalion of the Strassoldo Infantry Regiment Nr. 27, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Archduke Anton Infantry Regiment Nr. 52, and the 2nd and 9th Battalions of the Karlstadt Grenz infantry regiment. On the same day, Masséna successfully attacked the Col Argente with General of Brigade Amédée Emmanuel François Laharpe's division.On 27 April, the French seized La Brigue, inflicting heavy losses on the Sardinians. These belonged to the Cacciatori, Guardia, and Tortona Infantry Regiments, the 1st Grenadier Battalion, two companies of French volunteers, and the Cacciatori di Pandini company.
The French seized Saorgio on 28 April after Colli withdrew. He abandoned the Col de Tende and retreated to Limone Piemonte, just north of the pass. In early May, Colli fell back to Borgo San Dalmazzo near the fortress of Cuneo.On the coast, the French advanced to seize Albenga and Loano. General of Division François Macquard occupied the Col de Tende, while farther east Masséna deployed his troops to hold the ridges between Ormea and Loano. In the fighting near Saorge, historian Digby Smith stated French losses as 1,500 killed and wounded, while the allied casualties numbered 2,800. Losses for the other battles are not given.
Bonaparte and the representatives on mission proposed a new operation to exploit the victory, but it was vetoed by Lazare Carnot. The defeat shocked the Austrians and Sardinians into signing a treaty on 29 May. The Sardinians promised to hold the Alpine passes while the Austrians pledged to defend the coast.The next action in the area was the First Battle of Dego on 21 September 1794.
Jean-Mathieu-Philibert Sérurier, 1st Comte Sérurier led a division in the War of the First Coalition and became a Marshal of France under Emperor Napoleon. He was born into the minor nobility and in 1755 joined the Laon militia which was soon sent to fight in the Seven Years' War. After transferring into the regular army as an ensign, he was wounded at Warburg in 1760. He fought in the Spanish-Portuguese War in 1762. He married in 1779 after a promotion to captain. A newly minted major in 1789, the French Revolution sped up promotion so that he was colonel of the regiment in 1792. After leading Army of Italy troops in a number of actions, he became a general of brigade in 1793 and a general of division the following year.
The Battle of Millesimo, fought on 13 and 14 April 1796, was the name that Napoleon Bonaparte gave in his correspondence to one of a series of small battles that were fought in Liguria, Northern Italy between the armies of France and the allied armies of Austria and of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont.
The Battle of Mondovì was fought on 21 April 1796 between the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte and the army of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont led by Michelangelo Alessandro Colli-Marchi. The French victory meant that they had put the Ligurian Alps behind them, while the plains of Piedmont lay before them. A week later, King Victor Amadeus III sued for peace, taking his kingdom out of the First Coalition. The defeat of their Sardinian ally wrecked Austrian Habsburg strategy and led to the loss of northwest Italy to the First French Republic.
The Second Battle of Dego was fought on 14 and 15 April 1796 during the French Revolutionary Wars between French forces and Austro-Sardinian forces. The battle was fought near Dego, a hamlet in northwestern Italy, and ended in a French victory.
The Battle of Montenotte was fought on 12 April 1796, during the French Revolutionary Wars, between the French army under General Napoleon Bonaparte and an Austrian corps under Count Eugène-Guillaume Argenteau. The French won the battle, which was fought near the village of Cairo Montenotte in the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont. The modern town is located in the northwestern part of Italy. On 11 April, Argenteau led 3,700 men in several assaults against a French mountaintop redoubt but failed to take it. By the morning of the 12th, Bonaparte concentrated large forces against Argenteau's now-outnumbered troops. The strongest French push came from the direction of the mountaintop redoubt, but a second force fell on the weak Austrian right flank and overwhelmed it. In its hasty retreat from the field, Argenteau's force lost heavily and was badly disorganized. This attack against the boundary between the Austrian and Sardinian armies threatened to sever the link between the two allies. This action was part of the Montenotte Campaign.
Belvédère is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France. The village of Belvédère is an attractive village sitting above the river Vésubie at the entrance of the Gordolasque valley.
Saorge is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France. Highway E74 which runs north from Menton, passes through Saorge on its way to the Col de Tende where it crosses into Italy.
In the Battle of Ceva on 16 April 1796, troops of the First French Republic under Pierre Augereau fought against part of the army of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont led by General Giuseppe Felice, Count Vital. Augereau assaulted the strong defensive position without success. At the direction of the Sardinian army commander, Feldmarschal-Leutnant Michelangelo Colli, Vital withdrew on the 17th in order to avoid being trapped by a second French division.
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.
Johann Peter de Beaulieu, also Jean Pierre de Beaulieu, was a Walloon military officer. He joined the Austrian army and fought against the Prussians during the Seven Years' War. A cultured man, he later battled Belgian rebels and earned promotion to general officer. During the French Revolutionary Wars he fought against the First French Republic and attained high command. In 1796, a young Napoleon Bonaparte won some of his first victories against an army led by Beaulieu. He retired and was the Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian infantry regiment until his death.
The Battle of Loano occurred on 23–24 November 1795 during the War of the First Coalition. The French Army of Italy led by Barthélemy Schérer defeated the combined Austrian and Sardinian forces under Olivier, Count of Wallis.
François Macquard or François Macquart joined the French royal army as an infantryman, fought in the Seven Years' War, and rose slowly from the ranks to become an officer in the 1780s. While serving in Italy during the French Revolutionary Wars, he became a general officer. In the Italian campaign of 1796, he fought in several actions under the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte.
In the Montenotte Campaign between 10 and 28 April 1796 General Napoleon Bonaparte's French Army of Italy broke the link between Feldzeugmeister Johann Peter Beaulieu's Austrian army and Feldmarschallleutnant Michelangelo Alessandro Colli-Marchi's Sardinian army. In subsequent engagements, the French defeated the Austrians, pursued Colli to the west, and forced the Sardinians to withdraw from the First Coalition against France. Actions were fought at Voltri on 10 April, Monte Negino (Legino) on 11 April, Montenotte on 12 April, Millesimo on 13 April, Dego on 14–15 April, Ceva on 16 April, San Michele Mondovi on 19 April, and Mondovì on 21 April.
The Montenotte Campaign began on 10 April 1796 with an action at Voltri and ended with the Armistice of Cherasco on 28 April. In his first army command, Napoleon Bonaparte's French army separated the army of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont under Michelangelo Alessandro Colli-Marchi from the allied Austrian army led by Johann Peter Beaulieu. The French defeated both Austrian and Sardinian armies and forced Sardinia to quit the First Coalition. The campaign formed part of the Wars of the French Revolution. Montenotte Superiore is located at the junction of Strada Provinciale 12 and 41 in the Liguria region of northwest Italy, 15 kilometres (9 mi) northeast of Carcare municipality. However, the fighting occurred in an area from Genoa on the east to Cuneo on the west.
Michelangelo Alessandro Colli-Marchi, or Michele Angelo Alessandro Colli-Marchei or Michael Colli, joined the Austrian army, became a general officer, and led the army of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont for three years, including its unsuccessful campaign against Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796.
Mathias Rukavina von Boynograd, also Mathias Rukawina, Mathias Ruccavina, Mate Rukavina, was a Croatian general in the Habsburg Monarchy imperial army service. He joined the army in 1755 and fought against the Kingdom of Prussia, Ottoman Turkey, and the First French Republic. For most of his career he served with the light infantry from the military border with Turkey. He earned the rank of general officer during the French Revolutionary Wars, distinguishing himself at Loano. During the 1796 Italian campaign, he commanded a brigade in several battles against the French army led by Napoleon Bonaparte. He was Inhaber (Proprietor) of an Austrian infantry regiment in 1803–1804.
Joseph Nikolaus Freiherr de Vins or Joseph de Wins, joined the army of Habsburg Austria and fought in the Seven Years' War where he was decorated for bravery. By 1773 he earned promotion to general officer. From 1783 he held important posts on the Military Frontier and led an independent corps in Croatia during the Austro-Turkish War. In the French Revolutionary Wars he commanded the joint forces of Austria and the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont from 1792 until 1795. Though the French were held at bay during his tenure, his slowness and poor health prevented Piedmont's lost territories from being recovered. Throughout the period much tension existed between the two allies. Ironically, the day after De Vins resigned, the French attacked and badly defeated his replacement. He was Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian infantry regiment from 1784 until his death.
The Battle of Voltri was an engagement occurring on 10 April 1796 during the French Revolutionary Wars and taking place in Voltri, a suburb of Genoa, Italy.
The First Battle of Saorgio saw a Republican French army commanded by Gaspard Jean-Baptiste Brunet attack the armies of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont and Habsburg Austria led by Joseph Nikolaus De Vins. The local Sardinian commander in the Maritime Alps was Charles-François Thaon, Count of Saint-André. Though the French were initially successful in this War of the First Coalition action, their main assaults against the strong defensive positions on the Massif de l'Authion and the Col de Raus failed with serious losses. Saorge is now located in France about 70 kilometres (43 mi) northeast of Nice, but in 1793 Saorgio belonged to Piedmont. In April 1794 the French seized the positions from the Austro-Sardinians in the Second Battle of Saorgio.
The Battle of Epierre was part of a larger War of the First Coalition campaign that pitted a Republican French army led by François Christophe de Kellermann against a numerically stronger Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont army commanded by the Prince Maurizio, Duke of Montferrat. Under the overall leadership of the Austrian commander in chief Joseph Nikolaus De Vins, Montferrat launched an offensive in mid-August 1793 to recapture the Duchy of Savoy from the French. Because the French were preoccupied with the Siege of Lyon, the Piedmontese recovered most of the Maurienne and Tarentaise Valleys, but they were stopped just short of Albertville and the reconquest of Savoy. In September, Kellermann launched a counteroffensive in which he adroitly switched his troops between valleys in order to drive back the Piedmontese. At Épierre, the French under Jean-Denis Le Doyen defeated the Marquis of Cordon in a local action. By 8 October the Piedmontese abandoned all their gains and withdrew to the crests of the Graian Alps. In spite of his victory, the suspicious politicians in Paris put Kellermann in arrest and he was imprisoned until November 1794.