|Second Battle of Bassano|
|Part of French Revolutionary Wars|
|Commanders and leaders|
|19,500 infantry||28,000 infantry|
|Casualties and losses|
|3,000 dead and wounded||2,800 dead and wounded|
The Second Battle of Bassano on 6 November 1796, saw a Habsburg army commanded by József 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.
See the Arcola 1796 Campaign Order of Battle for a list of the major units of both armies.
The second relief of the Siege of Mantua ended dismally for the Austrians after General Bonaparte defeated Feldmarschall Dagobert Sigismund von Würmser's field army at the Battle of Bassano on 8 September. After the battle Würmser elected to dash for Mantua. He reached the place safely only to have his 12,000 remaining soldiers driven into the fortress by the French on 15 September. Within six weeks 4,000 Austrians died of disease or wounds in the overcrowded city.
Emperor Francis II of Austria appointed Feldzeugmeister Alvinczi to assemble a new field army and mount the third relief of Mantua. Alvinczi, Feldmarschall-Leutnant Paul Davidovich, General-Major Johann Rudolph Sporck, and Major Franz von Weyrother planned the new operation, which called for a two-pronged offensive.Alvinczi accompanied the 28,000-strong Friaul Corps, led by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Peter Vitus von Quosdanovich, as it advanced from the Piave River toward the west. Feldmarschall-Leutnant Paul Davidovich led the 19,000-man Tyrol Corps, which was in the upper Adige River valley.
To face these threats, Bonaparte deployed a 10,500-man division under General of Division Claude-Henri Belgrand de Vaubois in the upper Adige valley, 9,500 soldiers led by General of Division André Masséna at Bassano on the Brenta River, and the 8,300 troops of General of Division Pierre Augereau at Verona. General of Division Charles Edward Jennings de Kilmaine with 8,800 soldiers blockaded Würmser's large garrison in Mantua, with a reserve of 1,600 cavalry troopers and General of Division Francois Macquard's reserve of 2,800 foot soldiers.
Davidovich's column began moving at the end of October. On 2 November, his corps clashed with Vaubois' outnumbered division near Cembra in the north. By 5 November Davidovich pushed the French out of Trento. Vaubois fell back to Calliano.
On 1 November, the Friaul Corps began crossing the Piave. In the face of Alvinczi's westward advance, Massena pulled out of Bassano early on 4 November. General-Major Friedrich of Hohenzollern-Hechingen's advance guard soon occupied the town. Feldmarschall-Leutnant Giovanni Provera with two brigades reached the Brenta farther south near Fontaniva to form Alvinczi's left flank.Bonaparte determined to attack the Austrians and called for Augereau and Macquard to join Masséna in resisting Alvinczi on the Brenta.
Bonaparte accompanied Augereau's division as it advanced north-east from Vicenza to Bassano. Masséna took a more southerly road and clashed with the Austrian left wing at Fontaniva late on 5 November. General-major Anton Lipthay pulled his troops back to the east side of the river. This set the stage for the battle, which began on 6 November.
At 7 a.m. Masséna attacked Lipthay's brigade at Fontaniva. From morning until 6 p.m., the French mounted as many as ten assaults on the Habsburg general's four battalions, with heavy losses on both sides. The 2nd and 3rd battalions of Splényi Infantry Regiment Nr. 51 gallantly defended the river crossing, losing 9 officers and 657 men out of 2,000 soldiers during the fighting before they were replaced in line by the Deutschmeister Infantry Regiment Nr. 4. Injured when his wounded horse fell on him, Lipthay resolutely remained at his post. In the afternoon, Provera reinforced him with troops from the brigades of Generals-major Anton Schübirz von Chobinin and Adolf Brabeck as the Austrians successfully held their ground against the French attacks.
Early in the morning Hohenzollern crossed the Brenta, followed by Quasdanovich's right wing. This wing included General-Major Anton Ferdinand Mittrowsky's brigade, which recently joined the army by descending the Brenta valley. The Austrians anchored their right flank in the Alpine foothills while their left flank curved back to touch the Brenta. Augereau's division began to arrive in the area in mid-morning and attacked Bassano in the early afternoon before all the Austrians crossed the river. After severe fighting, in which the village of Nove changed hands several times, the action ended at 10 p.m. One battalion of the Samuel Gyulai Infantry Regiment Nr. 32 suffered 390, or nearly 50 percent casualties. Though he issued a report claiming a victory, Bonaparte ordered a retreat that evening.
French casualties totalled 3,000, including 508 men and 1 howitzer captured. Austrian losses numbered 2,823 and two cannons captured. Provera's left wing lost 208 killed, 873 wounded, and 109 captured. Quosdanovich's right wing suffered 326 killed, 858 wounded, and 449 captured.Though Alvinczi ordered a pursuit, the fast-marching French successfully broke contact and retreated to Verona. On 7 November, Davidovich routed Vaubois at the Battle of Calliano. The two setbacks placed Bonaparte in a dangerous situation, as the two arms of the Austrian offensive threatened to close around him. Meanwhile, Würmser's large garrison remained in his rear.
Alvinczi continued to press ahead, sending Hohenzollern's advance guard to the outskirts of Verona by 11 November. The following day, Bonaparte unsuccessfully attacked the Austrians at the Battle of Caldiero. The French army commander's troubles were far from over. The deciding action of the campaign was the Battle of Arcole on 15–17 November.
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 the French consolidation 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 French Revolutionary Wars continued from 1795, with the French in an increasingly strong position as members of the First Coalition made separate peaces. Austria and Great Britain were the main remaining members of the coalition. The rebellion in the Vendée was also finally terminated by General Hoche.
The Battle of Castiglione saw the French Army of Italy under General Napoleon Bonaparte attack an army of Habsburg Monarchy 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.
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.
Baron Paul Davidovich or Pavle Davidović became a general of the Austrian Empire and a Knight of the Military Order of Maria Theresa. He played a major role in the 1796 Italian campaign during the French Revolutionary Wars, leading corps-sized commands in the fighting against the French army led by Napoleon Bonaparte. He led troops during the Napoleonic Wars and was Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian infantry regiment.
Giovanni Marchese di Provera, or Johann Provera, born c. 1736 – died 5 July 1804, served in the Habsburg army in Italy during the French Revolutionary Wars. Provera played a significant role in three campaigns against General Napoleon Bonaparte during the Italian Campaign of 1796.
In the Battle of Caldiero on 12 November 1796, the Habsburg army led by József Alvinczi fought a First French Republic army commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte. The French assaulted the Austrian positions, which were initially held by the army advance guard under Prince Friedrich Franz Xaver of Hohenzollern-Hechingen. The defenders held firm until reinforcements arrived in the afternoon to push back the French. This marked a rare tactical setback for Bonaparte, whose forces withdrew into Verona that evening after having suffered greater losses than their adversaries. The action occurred during the War of the First Coalition, which was part of the French Revolutionary Wars. Caldiero is a town located about 15 km (9.3 mi) east of Verona.
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.
Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló joined the Habsburg army in 1756 and fought the Prussians, Ottoman Turks, and French during a long military career. During the French Revolutionary Wars, he fought in several campaigns. He commanded a division in the 1796-1797 Italian campaign against the army of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian Uhlan regiment from 1792 to 1797 and a Hussar regiment from 1797 to 1801.
Adam Bajalics von Bajaháza, also Adam Bajalić von Bajaházy or Adam Bayalitsch, entered Austrian military service and fought against Prussia, Ottoman Turkey, and France. During the 1796–1797 Italian campaign against Napoleon Bonaparte, he commanded a brigade or a division in several actions.
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.
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.
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 Battle of Calliano on 6 and 7 November 1796 saw an Austrian corps commanded by Paul Davidovich rout a French division directed by Claude Belgrand de Vaubois. The engagement was part of the third Austrian attempt to relieve the French siege of Mantua during the French Revolutionary Wars. The battle was preceded by a clash at Cembra on 2 November and followed by actions at Rivoli Veronese on 17 and 21 November.
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.
Anton Ferdinand Count Mittrowsky von Mittrowitz und Nemyšl, or Anton Mittrovsky, served in the Habsburg army for many years. He was promoted to general officer in the spring of 1796, just in time to lead a brigade against Napoleon Bonaparte during the 1796-1797 Italian Campaign of the French Revolutionary Wars. He played a pivotal role in the Battle of Arcole, nearly defeating Bonaparte. He fought in Italy again in 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars and became the Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian infantry regiment from 1806 until his death three years later.
Anton Schübirz or Anton Schubirz von Chobinin fought for Habsburg Austria against Ottoman Turkey and the French First Republic. He participated in several noteworthy actions during the French Revolutionary Wars. As a newly promoted general officer in Italy, he led a brigade in an all-night action against the French at Codogno, part of the Battle of Fombio in May 1796. In the sparring before the Battle of Castiglione, he showed initiative in bringing his troops to the assistance of a fellow general. He also fought at Fontaniva, Caldiero, and Arcole in the autumn of 1796. This was the theater of war where a young French general named Napoleon Bonaparte earned his fame. Schübirz retired from the army in 1798 and died three years later.