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he was able to maintain himself and to wait for Dessolles. The At the same time, dissatisfied with the marching of the Austrian latter, moving up the Valtelline, by now fought his way to the infantry, he sent the following characteristic reproof to their Stelvio pass, but beyond it the defile of Tauffers (S.W. of Glurns) commander: “The march was in the service of the Kaiser. was entrenched by Loudon, who thus occupied a position Fair weather is for my lady's chamber, for dandies, for sluggards. midway between the two French columns, while his irregulars He who dares to cavil against his high duty (der Grosssprecher beset all the passes and ways giving access to the Vintschgau and wider den hohen Dienst) is, as an egoist, instantly to vacate his the lower Engadine. In this situation the French should have command. Whoever is in bad health can stay behind. The been destroyed in detail. But as usual their speed and dash gave so-called reasoners (raisonneurs) do no army any good. ..." them the advantage in every manæuvre and at every point of One day later, under this unrelenting pressure, the advanced
posts of the Allies reached Cremona and the main body the On the 25th Lecourbe and Dessolles attacked Loudon at Oglio. The pace became slower in the following days, as many Nauders in the Engadine and Tauffers in the Vintschgau re- bridges had to be made, and meanwhile Moreau, Schérer's Lecourbe spectively. At Nauders the French passed round successor, prepared with a mere 20,000 men to defend Lodi,
the filanks of the defence by scrambling along the high Cassano and Lecco on the Adda. On the 26th the Russian hero Dessages mountain crests adjacent, while at Tauffers the attacked him all along the line. The moral supremacy had ia Tirol
assailants, only 4500 strong, descended into a deep passed over to the Allies. Melas, under Suvárov's steru orders, ravine, debouched unnoticed in the Austrians' rear, and captured flung his battalions regardless of losses against the strong position tooo men and 16 guns. The Austrian leader with a couple of of Cassano. The story of 1796 repeated itself with the rôles companies made his way through Glurns to Nauders, and there, reversed. The passage was carried, and the French rearguard finding himself headed off by Lecourbe, he took to the mountains. under Sérurier was surrounded and captured by an inferior corps His corps, like Aufienberg's, was annihilated.
of Austrians. The Austrians (the Russians at Lecco were hardly This ended the French general offensive. Jourdan had been engaged) lost 6000 men, but they took 7000 prisoners, and in defeated by the archduke and forced or induced to retire over the all Moreau's little .army lost half its numbers and retreated in Rhine. Masséna was at a standstill before the strong position many disconnected bodies to the Ticino, and thence to Alessandria. of Feldkirch, and the Austrians of Hotze were still massed at Everywhere the Italians turned against the French, mindful of Bregenz, but the Grisons were revolutionized, two strong bodies the exactions of their commissaries. The strange Cossack of Austrians numbering in all about 20,000 men had been cavalry that western Europe had never yet seen entered Milan destroyed, and Lecourbe and Dessolles had advanced far into on the 29th of April, eleven days after passing the Mincio, and Tirol. A pause followed. The Austrians in the mountains needed next day the city received with enthusiasm the old field marshal, time to concentrate and to recover from their astonishment. whose exploits against the Turks had long invested him with a The archduke fell ill, and the Vienna war council forbade his halo of romance and legend. Here, for the moment, his offensive army to advance lest Tirol should be "uncovered,” though culminated. He desired to pass into Switzerland and to unite Bellegarde and Hotze still disposed of numbers equal to those his own, the archduke's, Hotze's and Bellegarde's armies in one of Masséna and Lecourbe. Masséna succeeded Jourdan in general powerful mass. But the emperor would not permit the execution command on the French side and promptly collected all available of this scheme until all the fortresses held by the enemy in forces of both armies in the hilly non-Alpine country between Upper Italy should have been captured. In any case, MacBasel, Zürich and Schaffhausen, thereby directly barring the donald's army in southern Italy, cut off from France by the roads into France (Berne-Neuchâtel-Pontarlier and Basel- rapidity of Suvárov's onslaught, and now returning with all Besançon) which the Austrians appeared to desire to conquer. speed to join Moreau by force or evasion, had still to be dealt The protection of Alsace and the Vosges was left to the fortresses. with. There was no suggestion, it would appear, that the Rhine between Suvárov's mobile army, originally 90,000 strong, had now Basel and Schaffhausen was a flank position sufficicnt of itself dwindled, by reason of losses and detachments for sieges, to to bar Alsace to the enemy.
half that number, and serious differences arose between the It is now time to turn to events in Italy, where the Coalition Vienna government and himself. If he offended the pride intended to put forth its principal efforts. At the beginning of of the Austrian army, he was at least respected as a leader who March the French had 80,000 men in Upper Italy and some 35,000 gave it victories, but in Vienna he was regarded as a madman in the heart of the Peninsula, the latter engaged chiefly in sup- who had to be kept within bounds. But at last, when he was porting newly-founded republics. Of the former, 53,000 formed becoming thoroughly exasperated by this treatment, Macdonald the field army on the Mincio under Schérer. The Austrians, came within striking distance and the active campaign recommanded by Kray, numbered in all 84,000, but detachments commenced. In the second week of June, Moreau, who had reduced this figure to 67,000, of whom, moreover, 15,000 had not retired into the Apennines about Gavi, advanced with the inyet arrived when operations began. They were to be joined by a tention of drawing upon himself troops that would otherwise Russian contingent under the celebrated Suvárov, who was to have been employed against Macdonald. He succeeded, for command the whole on arrival, and whose extraordinary person- Suvárov with his usual rapidity collected 40,000 men at Alessality gives the campaign its special interest. Kray himself was andria, only to learn that Macdonald with 35,000 men was a resolute soldier, and when the French, obeying the general order coming up on the Parma road. When this news arrived, Macto advance, crossed the Adige, he defeated them in a severely donald had already engaged an Austrian detachment at Modena fought battle at Magnano near Verona (March 5), the French and driven it back, and Suvárov found himself between Moreau losing 4000 killed and wounded and 4500 taken, out of 41,000. The and Macdonald with barely enough men under his hand to Austrians lost some 3800 killed and wounded and 1500 prisoners, enable him to play the game of “interior lines.” But at the out of 46,000 engaged. The war, however, was undertaken not crisis the rough energetic warrior who despised " raisonneurs," to ancihilate, but to evict the French, and, probably under orders displayed generalship of the first order, and taking in hand all his from Vienna, Kray allowed the beaten enemy to depart.
scattered detachments, he manæuvred them in the Napoleonic Suvárov appeared with 17,000 Russians on the 4th of April. fashion. His first step was to set Russian officers to teach the Austrian On the 14th Macdonald was calculated to be between Modena, Surárov.
troops—whose feelings can be imagined-how to Reggio and Carpi, but his destination was uncertain. Would he
attack with the bayonet, his next to order the whole continue to hug the Apennines to join Moreau, or army forward. The Allies broke camp on the 17th, 18th and would he strike out northwards against Kray, who 19th of April, and on the 20th, after a forced march of close on with 20,000 men was besieging Mantua ? From 30 m., they passed the Chiese. Brescia had a French garrison, but | Alessandria it is four marches to Piacenza and nine to Mantua, Suvárov soon cowed it into surrender by threats of a massacre, while from Reggio these places are four and two marches which no one doubied that he would carry into execution. I respectively. Piacenza, therefore, was the crucial point is
Macdonald continued westward, while, in the other case, nothing Valley between Disentis and Feldkirch. The archduke's opera. could save Kray but the energetic conduct of Hohenzollern's tions now recommenced. detachment, which was posted near Reggio. This latter, however, Charles and Hotze stood, about the 15th of May, at opposite was soon forced over the Po, and Ott, advancing from Cremona ends of the lake of Constance. The two together numbered about to join it, found himself sharply pressed in turn. The field marshal 88,000 men, but both had sent away numerous detachments to the had hoped that Ott and Hohenzollern together would be able to flanks, and the main bodies dwindled to 35,000 for ihe archduke win him time to assemble at Parma, where he could bring on a and 20,000 for Hotze. Masséna, with 45,000 men in all, retired battle whichever way the French took. But on receipt of Ott's slowly from the Rhine to the Thur. The archduke crossed the report he was convinced that Macdonald had chosen the western Rhine at Stein, Hotze at Balzers, and each then cautiously felt his route, and ordering Ott to delay the French as long as possible by way towards the other. Their active opponent attempted to stubborn rearguard actions and to put a garrison into Piacenza take advantage of their separation, and an irregular fight took under a general who was to hold out “on peril of his life and place in the Thur valley (May 25), but Masséna, finding Hotze honour," he collected what forces were ready to move and close on his right flank, retired without attempting to force a hurried towards Piacenza, the rest being left to watch Moreau. decision. On the 27th, having joined forces, the Austrians He arrived just in time. When after three forced marches the dislodged Masséna from his new position on the Töss without main body (only 26,000 strong) reached Castel San Giovanni, difficulty, and this process was repeated from time to time in the Ott had been driven out of Piacenza, but the two joined forces next few days, until at last Masséna halted in the safely. Both Suvárov and Macdonald spent the 17th in closing position he had prepared for defence at Zürich. He
Zürich. up and deploying for battle. The respective forces were Allies had still but 25,000 of his 45,000 men in hand, for he 30,000, French 35,000. Suvárov believed the enemy to be maintained numerous small detachments on his right, behind the only 26,000 strong, and chiefly raw Italian regiments, but his Zürcher See and the Wallen See, and on his left towards Basel temperament would not have allowed him to stand still even These 25,000 occupied an entrenched position 5 m. in length; had he known his inferiority. He had already issued one of his against which the Austrians, detaching as usual many posts to peculiar battle-orders, which began with the words, “ The protect their flanks and rear, deployed only 42,000 men, of whom hostile army will be taken prisoners and continued with 8000 were sent on a wide turning movement and 8000 held in directions to the Cossacks to spare the surrendered enemy. reserve 4 m. in rear of the battlefield. Thus the frontal attack But Macdonald too was full of energy, and believed still that he was made with forces not much greater than those of the defence could annihilate Ott before the field marshal's arrival. Thus and it failed accordingly (June 4). But Masséna, fearing perhaps the battle of the Trebbia (June 17-19) was fought by both sides to strain the loyalty of the Swiss to their French-made constitution in the spirit of the offensive. It was one of the severest struggles by exposing their town to assault and sack, retired on the stb. in the Republican wars, and it ended in Macdonald's retreat He did not fall back far, for his outposts still bordered the with a loss of 15,000 men-probably 6000 in the battle and Limmat and the Linth, while his main body stood in the valley of 9000 killed and prisoners when and after the equilibrium was the Aar between Baden and Lucerne. The archduke pressed broken--for Suvárov, unlike other generals, had the necessary Masséna as little as he had pressed Jourdan alter Stokach surplus of energy after all the demands made upon him by a (though in this case he had less to gain by pursuit), and awaited great batile, to order and to direct an effective pursuit. The the arrival of a second Russian army, 30,000 strong, under Allies lost about 7000. Macdonald retreated to Parma and Korsákov, before resuming the advance, meantime throwing out Modena, harassed by the peasantry, and finally recrossed the covering detachments towards Basel, where Masséna had a Apennines and made his way to Genoa. The battle of the division. Thus for two months operations, clsewhere than in Trebbia is one of the most clearly-defined examples in military Italy, were at a standstill, while Masséna drew in reinforcements history of the result of moral force--it was a matter not merely and organized the fractions of his forces in Alsace as a skeleton of energetic leading on the battlefield, but far more of cducating army, and the Austrians distributed arms to the peasantry of the troops beforehand to meet the strain, of ingraining in the South Germany. soldier the determination to win at all costs. “It was not," In the end, under pressure from Paris, it was Masséna who says Clausewitz, “a case of losing the key of the position, of resumed active movements. Towards the middle of August, turning a flank or breaking a centre, of a mistimed cavalry charge Lecourbe, who formed a loose right wing of the French army in or a lost battery.. it is a pure trial of strength and expense of the Reuss valley, was reinforced to a strength of 25,000 men, and force, and victory is the sinking of the balance, if ever so slightly, pounced upon the extended left wing of the enemy, which had in favour of one side. And we mean not merely physical, but stretched itself, to keep pace with Suvárov, as far westward as the even more moral forces."
St Gothard. The movement began on the 14th, and in two days To return now to the Alpine region, where the French offensive the Austrians were driven back from the St Gothard and the had culminated at the end of March. Their defeated left was Furka to the line of the Linth, with the loss of 8000 men and many behind the Rhine in the northern part of Switzerland, the half- guns. At the same time an attempt to take advantage of victorious centre athwart the Rhine between Mayenfeld and Masséna's momentary weakness by forcing the Aar at Döttingen Chur, and their wholly victorious right far within Tirol between near its mouth failed completely (August 16–17). Only 200 Glurns, Nauders and Landeck. But neither the centre nor the men guarded the point of passage, but the Austrian engineers right could maintain itself. The forward impulse given by had neglected to make a proper examination of the river, and Suvárov spread along the whole Austrian íront from left to right. unlike the French, the Austrian generals had no authority to Dessolles' column (now under Loison) was forced back to waste their expensive battalions in forcing the passage in boats. Chiavenna. Bellegarde drove Lecourbe from position to position No one regarded this war as a struggle for existence, and no one towards the Rhine during April. There Lecourbe added to the but Suvárov possessed the iron strength of character to send remnant of his expeditionary column the outlying bodies of thousands of men to death for the realization of a diplomatic Masséna's right wing, but even so he had only 8000 men against success—for ordinary men, the object of the Coalition was to Bellegarde's 17,000, and he was now exposed to the attack of upset the treaty of Campo Formio. This was the end of the Hotze's 25,000 as well. The Luziensteig fell to Hotze and Chur to archduke's campaign in Switzerland. Though he would have Bellegarde, but the defenders managed to escape from the preferred to continue it, the Vienna government desired him to converging Austrian columns into the valley of the Reuss. return to Germany. An Anglo-Russian expedition was about to Having thus reconquered all the lost ground and forced the land in Holland, and the French were assembling fresh forces on French into the interior of Switzerland, Bellegarde and Hotze the Rhine, and, with the double object of preventing an invasion of parted company. the former marching with the greater part of his forces to join Suvárov, the latter moving to his right to reinforce of Castricum, see Fortescuc's Hist. of the British Army, vol. iv., and
1 For this expedition, which was repulsed by Brune in the battle the archduke. Only a chain of posts was left in the Rhine I Sachot's Brune en Hollande.
South Germany and of inducing the French to augment their | upward to the centre of the s-and to force his way through the forces in Alsace at the expense of those in Holland, the archduke French cordon to Zürich, and if events, so far as concerned his left affairs in Switzerland to Hotze and Korsákov, and marched own corps, belied his optimism, they at any rate justihed his away with 35,000 men to join the detachment of Sztarray choice of the shortest route. For, aware of the danger gathering (20,000) that he had placed in the Black Forest before entering in his rear, Masséna gathered up all his forces within reach Switzerland His new campaign never rose above the level of a towards his centre, leaving Lecourbe to defend the St Gothard war of posts and of manœuvres about Mannheim and Philipps- and the Reuss valley and Soult on the Linth. On the 24th he burg. In the latter stage of it Lecourbe commanded the French forced the passage of the Limmat at Dietikon. On the and obtained a slight advantage.
25th, in the second battle of Zürich, he completely Suvárov's last exploit in Italy coincided in time, but in no other routed Korsákov, who lost 8000 killed and wounded, respect, with the skirmish at Döttingen. Returning swiftly from large numbers of prisoners and 100 guns. All along the line the the battlefield of the Trebbia, he began to drive back Moreau to Allies fell back, one corps after another, at the moment when ibe Riviera. At this point Joubert succeeded to the command Suvárov was approaching the foot of the St Gothard. on the French side, and against the advice of his generals, gave On the 21st the field marshal's headquarters were at Bellinzona, battle Equally against the advice of his own subordinates, the where he made the final preparations. Expecting to be four days feld marshal accepted it, and won his last great victory at Novi en route before he could reach the nearest friendly ea the 13th of August, Joubert being killed. This was followed magazine, he took his trains with him, which inevitably the Alps. by another rapid march against a new French“ Army of the Alps" augmented the difficulties of the expedition. On the (Championnet) which had entered Italy by way of the Mont 24th Airolo was taken, but when the far greater task of Cenis. But immediately after this he left all further operations in storming the pass itself presented itself before them, even the Italy to Melas with 60,000 men and himself with the Russians and stolid Russians were terrified, and only the passionate protests an Austrian corps marched away, via Varese, for the St Gothard of the old man, who reproached his “children” with deserting to combine operations against Masséna with Hotze and Korsákov their father in his extremity, induced them to face the danger It was with a heavy heart that he left the scene of his battles, in At last after twelve hours' fighting, the summit was reached which the force of his personality had carried the old-fashioned | The same evening Suvárov pushed on to Hospenthal, while a * linear” armies for the last time to complete victory in the flanking column from Disentis made its way towards Amsteg early summer he had himself suggested, eagerly and almost over the Crispalt. Lecourbe was threatened in rear and pressed angrily, the concentration of his own and the archduke's armies in front, and his engineers, to hold off the Disentis column, had in Switzerland with a view, not to conquering that country, but broken the Devil's Bridge. Discovering this, he left the road, to forcing Jourdan and Masséna into a grand decisive battle. threw his guns into the river and made his way by fords and But, as we have seen, the Vienna government would not release water-meadows to Göschenen, where by a furious attack he him until the last Italian fortress had been reoccupied, and cleared the Disentis troops off his line of retreat. His rearguard wben finally he received the order that a little while before he had meantime held the ruined Devil's Bridge. This point and the so ardently desired, it was too late. The archduke had already tunnel leading to it, called the Urner Loch, the Russians attempted left Switzerland, and he was committed to a resultless warfare in to force, with the most terrible losses, battalion after battalion the high mountains, with an army which was a mere detachment crowding into the tunnel and pushing the foremost ranks into
and in the hope of co-operating with two other detach- the chasm left by the broken bridge. But at last a ford was ordered to ments far away on the other side of Switzerland. As discovered and the bridge, cleared by a turning movement, Swizer for the reasons which led to the issue of such an order, was repaired. More broken bridges lay beyond, but at last
it can only be said that the bad feeling known to exist Suvárov joined the Disentis column near Göschenen. When between the Austrians and Russians induced England to recom- Altdorf was reached, however, Suvárov found not only Lecourbe bend, as the first essential of further operations, the separate in a threatening position, but an entire absence of boats on the concentration of the troops of each nationality under their own Lake of the Four Cantons. It was impossible in those days the generals. Still stranger was the reason which induced the tsar to Axenstrasse did not exist) to take an army along the precipitous give bis consent. It was alleged that the Russians would be eastern shore, and thus passing through one trial after another, bealthier in Switzerland than the men of the southern plains! each more severe than the last, the Russians, men and horses From such premises as these the Allied diplomats evolved a new and pack animals in an interminable single file, ventured on the plan of campaign, by which the Anglo-Russians under the duke of path leading over the Kinzig pass into the Muotta Thal. The York were to reconquer Holland and Belgium, the Archduke passage lasted three days, the leading troops losing men and Charles to operate on the Middle Rhine, Suvárov in Switzerland horses over the precipices, the rearguard from the fire of the and Melas in Piedmont-a plan destitute of every merit but that enemy, now in pursuit. And at last, on arrival in the Muotta of simplicity
Thal, the field marshal received definite information that It is often said that it is the duty of a commander to resign Korsákov's army was no longer in existence. Yet even so it was rather than undertake an operation which he believes to be faulty. long before he could make up his mind to retreat, and the pursuers So, however, Suvárov did not understand it. In the simplicity gathered on all sides. Fighting, sometimes severe, and never of bis loyalty to the formal order of his sovereign he prepared to altogether ceasing, went on day after day as the Allied column, carry out his instructions to the letter. Masséna's command now reduced to 15,000 men, struggled on over one pass after (17.000 men) was distributed, at the beginning of September, another, but at last it reached Ilanz on the Vorder Rhine (October along an enormous S, from the Simplon, through the St Gothard 8). The Archduke Charles meanwhile had, on hearing of the and Glarus, and along the Linth, the Züricher See and the disaster of Zürich, brought over a corps from the Neckar, and Limmat to Basel. Opposite the lower point of this S, Suvárov for some time negotiations were made for a fresh combined (18.000) was about to advance. Hotze's corps (25,000 Austrians), operation against Masséna. But these came to nothing, for the extending from Utznach by Chur to Disentis, formed a thin line archduke and Suvárov could not agree, either as to their own relaToughly parallel to the lower curve of the S, Korsákov's Russians tions or as to the plan to be pursued. Practically, Suvárov's (30,600) were opposite the centre at Zürich, while Nauendorfi retreat from Altdorf to Ilanz closed the campaign. It was his with a small Austrian corps at Waldshut faced the extreme upper last active service, and formed a gloomy but grand climax to the point
. Thus the only completely safe way in which Suvárov career of the greatest soldier who ever wore the Russian uniform. could reach the Zürich region was by skirting the lower curve of the S, under protection of Hotze. But this detour would be
MARENGO AND HOHENLINDEN long and painful, and the ardent old man preferred to cross the The disasters of 1799 sealed the fate of the Directory, and mountains once for all at the St Gothard, and to follow the valley placed Bonaparte, who returned from Egypt with the prestige of the Reuss to Altdorf and Schwyzie. to strike vertically 1 of a recent victory, in his natural place as civil and military
head of France. In the course of the campaign the field strength | Genoa Between them Switzerland, secured by the victory of of the French had been gradually augmented, and in spite of Zürich, offered a starting point for a turning movement ca losses now numbered 227,000 at the front. These were divided either side—this year the advantage of the flank position was into the Army of Batavia, Brune (25,000), the Army of the recognized and acted upon. The Army of Reserve was assembling Rhine, Moreau (146,000), the Army of Italy, Masséna (56,000), around Dijon, within 200 m. of either theatre of war The and, in addition, there were some 100,000 in garrisons and depots general plan was that the Army of Reserve should march through in France.
Switzerland to close on the right wing of the Army of the Rhine. Most of these field armies were in a miserable condition owing Thus supported to whatever degree might prove to be necessary, to the losses and fatigues of the last campaign. The treasury Moreau was to force the passage of the Rhine about Schaffhausen, was empty and credit exhausted, and worse still—for spirit and to push back the Austrians rapidly beyond the Lech, and then, enthusiasm, as in 1794, would have remedied material de if they took the offensive in turn, to hold them in check for ficiencies—the conscripts obtained under Jourdan's law of 1798 ten or twelve days. During this period of guaranteed freedom (see CONSCRIPTION) came to their regiments most unwillingly the decisive movement was to be made. The Army of Reserve, Most of them, indeed, deserted on the way to join the colours. augmented by one large corps of the Army of the Rhine, was to A large draft sent to the Army of Italy arrived with 310 men descend by the Splügen (alternatively by the St Gothard and instead of 10,250, and after a few such experiences, the First even by Tirol) into the plains of Lombardy. Magazines were Consul decided that the untrained men were to be assembled in to be established at Zürich and Lucerne (not at Chur, lest the the fortresses of the interior and afterwards sent to the active plan should become obvious from the beginning), and all likely battalions in numerous small drafts, which they could more routes reconnoitred in advance. The Army of Italy was at first easily assimilate. Besides accomplishing the immense task of reorganizing existing forces, he created new ones, including the Consular Guard, and carried out at this moment of crisis two such far-reaching reforms as the replacement of the civilian drivers of the artillery by soldiers, and of the hired teams by horses belonging to the state, and the permanent grouping of divisions in army corps.
As early as the 25th of January 1800 the First Consul provided for the assembly of all available forces in the interior in an
“ Army of Reserve” He reserved to himself the The Army of Reserve. command of this army,' which gradually came into
being as the pacification of Vendée and the return of some of Brune's troops from Holland set free the necessary nucleus troops. The conscription law was stringently reenforced, and impassioned calls were made for volunteers (the latter, be it said, did not produce five hundred useful men). The district of Dijon, partly as being central with respect to the Rhine and Italian Armies, partly as being convenient for supply purposes, was selected as the zone of assembly Chabran's division was formed from some depleted corps of the Army of Italy and from the depots of those in Egypt. Chambarlhac's, chiefly of young soldiers, lost 5% of its numbers on the way to Dijon from desertion-a loss which appeared slight and even satisfactory after the wholesale débandade of the winter months. Lechi's Italian legion was. newly formed from Italian refugees. Boudet's division was originally assembled from some of the southern garrison towns, but the units composing it were frequently changed up to the beginning of May. The cavalry was deficient in saddles, and many of its units were new formations.
ITALIAN CAMPAIGNS The Consular Guard of course was a corps d'Elite, and this and
1794-1800 two and a half infantry divisions and a cavalry brigade coming from the veteran “Army of the West” formed the teal backbone of the army. Most of the newer units were not even armed till they had left Dijon for the front.
to maintain a strict defensive, then to occupy the Austrians Such was the first constitution of the Army of Reserve. We until the entry of the Reserve Army into Italy was assured, and can scarcely imagine one which required more accurate and finally to manœuvre to join it. detailed staff work to assemble it-correspondence with the Moreau, however, owing to want of horses for his pontoon district commanders, with the adjutant-generals of the various train and also because of the character of the Rhine above armies, and orders to the civil authorities on the lines of march, Basel, preferred to cross below that place, especially as in Alsace to the troops themselves and to the arsenals and magazines. there were considerably greater supply facilities than in a country No one but Napoleon, even aided by a Berthier, could have which had already been fought over and stripped bare With achieved so great a task in six weeks, and the great captain, the greatest reluctance Bonaparte let him have his way, and himself doing the work that nowadays is apportioned amongst giving up the idea of using the Splügen and the St Gothard, began a crowd of administrative staff officers, still found time to to turn his attention to the more westerly passes, the St Bernard administer France's affairs at home and abroad, and to think and the Simplon. It was not merely Moreau's scruples that led out a general plan of campaign that embraced Moreau's, Masséna's to this essential modification in the scheme At the beginning and his own armies.
of April the enemy took the offensive against Masséna. On the The Army of the Rhine, by far the strongest and best equipped, 8th Melas's right wing dislodged the French from the Mont lay on the upper Rhine. The small and worn-out Army of Italy Cenis, and most of the troops that had then reached Dijon were was watching the Alps and the Apennines from Mont Blanc to shifted southward to be ready for emergencies. By the 25th
He afterwards appointed Berthier to command the Army of Berthier reported that Masséna was seriously attacked and that Reserve, but himself accompanied it and directed it, using Berthier he might have to be supported by the shortest route. Bonaparte's as chief of staff.
resolution was already taken. He waited no longer for Moreau
(whoindeed so far from volunteering assistance, actually demanded | in the rest. The problem was to reconcile the necessity for time, it for himself). Convinced from the paucityofnewsthat Masséna's which he wanted to ensure the maximum force being brought army was closely pressed and probably severed from France, over the Alps, with the necessity for haste, in view of the impendand feeling also that the Austrians were deeply committed ing fall of Genoa and the probability that once this conquest to their struggle with the Army of Italy, he told Berthier to was achieved, Melas would bring back his 100,000 men into the march with 40,000 men at once by way of the St Bernard unless Milanese to deal with the Army of Reserve. As early as the 14th otherwise advised. Berthier protested that he had only 25,000 of May he had informed Moncey that from Ivrea the Army of effectives, and the equipment and armament was still far from Reserve would move on Milan. On the 25th of May, in response complete—as indeed it remained to the end-but the troops to Berthier's request for guidance, the First Consul ordered marched, though their very means of existence were precarious Lannes (advanced guard) to push out on the Turin road, "in from the time of leaving Geneva to the time of reaching Milan, order to deceive the enemy and to obtain news of Turreau," for nothing could extort supplies and nioney from the sullen and Duhesme's and Murat's corps to proceed along the Milan Swiss.
road. On the 27th, after Lannes had on the 26th defeated an At the beginning of May the First Consul learned of the Austrian column near Chivasso, the main body was already serious plight of the Army of Italy · Masséna with his right advancing on Vercelli.
wing was shut up in Genoa, Suchet with the left wing Very few of Napoleon's acts of generalship have been more Napoleoa's driven back to the Var Meanwhile Moreau had won
criticized than this resolution to march on Milan, which abandoned pics of a preliminary victory at Stokach, and the Army of
Genoa to its fate and gave Melas a week's leisure to campaign.
assemble his scattered forces. The account of his motives The march Reserve had begun its movement to Geneva. With he dictated at St Helena (Nap. Correspondence, v. 30, to Milaa. these data the plan of campaign took a clear shape at last, PP: 375-377), in itself an unconvincing appeal to the rules of strategy Masséna to resist as long as possible; Suchet to resume the as laid down by the theorists—which rules his own practice throughoffensive, if he could do so, towards Turin; the Army of Reserve necessary clues. He says in effect that by advancing directly on
out transcended-gives, when closely examined, some at least of the to pass the Alps and to debouch into Piedmont by Aosta; the Turin he would have risked a battle against equal forces without Army of the Rhine to send a strong force into Italy by the St an assured line of retreat, Bard being still uncaptured." It is indeed Gothard. The First Consul left Paris on the 6th of May. strange to find Napoleon shrinking before equal forces of the enemy, Berthier went forward to Geneva, and still farther on the route Bard the second time than the first. The only incentive to go
even if we admit without comment that it was more difficult to pass magazines were established at Villeneuve and St-Pierre. towards Turin was the chance of partial victories over the disconGradually, and with immense efforts, the leading troops of the nected Austrian corps that would be met in that direction, and this he long column were passed over the St Bernard, drawing their deliberately set aside. Having done so, for reasons that will appear artillery on sledges, on the 15th and succeeding days. Driving have been defeated—which was true, but not the Napoleonic principle
in the sequel, he could only delend it by saying in effect that he might away small posts of the Austrian army, the advance guard of war Of the alternatives, one was to hasten to Genoa, this in entered Aosta on the 16th and Châtillon on the 18th and the Napoleon's eyes would have been playing the enemy's game, for they alarm was given. Melas, committed as he was to his Riviera
would have concentrated at Alessandria, facing west in their campaign, began to look to his right rear, but he was far from have played his game, supposing that this was to relieve Genoa, and
natural position." It is equally obvious that thus the enemy would suspecting the seriousness of his opponent's purpose.
the implication is that it was not. The third course, which Napoleon Inanitely more dangerous for the French than the small took, and in this memorandum defended, gave his army the enemy's detachment that Melas opposed to them, or even the actual depots at Milan, of which it unquestionably stood in sore need, and crossing of the pass, was the unexpected stopping the same time Moncey's route offered an " assured line of retreat
the reinforcement of Moncey's 15,000 men from the Rhine, while at Bard.
power of the little fort of Bard. The advanced guard by the Simplona and the St Gothard. He would in fact make for of the French appeared before it on the 19th, and after three himself there a natural position " without forfeiting the advantage wasted days the infantry managed to find a difficult mountain of being in Melas's rear, Once possessed of Milan, Napoleon says, by-way and to pass round the obstacle. Ivrea was occupied in the greatest possible results of a victory, whether the Austrians
he could have engaged Melas with a light heart and with confidence on the 23rd, and Napoleon hoped to assemble the whole army sought to force their way back to the cast by the right or the left there by the 27th. But except for a few guns that with infinite bank of the Po, and he adds that if the French passed on and conprecautions were smuggled one by one through the streets of centrated south of the Po there would be no danger to the Milan.
St Gothard line of retreat, as this was secured by the rivers Ticino Bard, the whole of the artillery, as well as a detachment (under and Sesia. In this last, as we shall see, he is shielding an undeniable Chabran) to besiege the fort, had to be left behind. Bard sur- mistake, but considering for the moment only the movement to rendered on the 2nd of June, having delayed the infantry of Milan, we are justified in assuming that his object was not the relief the French army for four days and the artillery for a fortnight. of Genoa, but the most thorough defeat of Niclas's field army, to
which end, putting all sentiment aside, he treated the hard-pressed The military situation in the last week of May, as it presented Masséna as a containing force to keep Melas occupied during the itself to the First Consul at Ivrea, was this. The Army of Italy strategical deployn of the Army of Reserve. In the beginning under Masséna was closely besieged in Genoa, where provisions he had told Masséna that he would " disengage" him, even if he were running short, and the population so hostile that the French had to go as far east as Trent to find a way into Italy' From the
first, then, no direct relief was intended, and when, on hearing bad general placed his field artillery to sweep the streets. But news from the Riviera, he altered his route to the more westerly Masséna was no ordinary general, and the First Consul knew passes, it was probably because he felt that Masséna's containing that while Masséna lived the garrison would resist to the last power was almost exhausted, and that the passage and reassembly extremity. Suchet was defending Nice and the Var by vigorous of the Reserve Army must be brought about in the minimum time
and by the shortest way But the object was still the defeat of thinor operations. The Army of Reserve, the centre of which
Melas, and for this, as the Austrians possessed an enormous numerical had reached at Ivrea the edge of the Italian plains, consisted superiority, the assembly of all forces, including Moncey's, was of four weak army corps under Victor, Duhesme, Lannes and indispensable. One essential condition of this was that the points Murat. There were still to be added to this small army of 34,000 westerly the passes chosen, the more dangerous was the whole
of passage used should be out of reach of the enemy
The more effectives, Turreau's division, which had passed over the Mont operation-in fact the Mont Cenis column never reached him at allCetis and was now in the valley of the Dora Riparia, Moncey's and though his expressed objections to the St Bernard line seem, corps of the Army of the Rhine, which had at last been extorted as we have said, to be written after the event, to disarm his critics, from Moreau and was due to pass the St Gothard before the end
there is no doubt that at the time he disliked it. It was a pus aller
forced upon him by Moreau's delay and Masséna's extremity, and of May, Chabran's division left to besiege Bard, and a small from the moment at which he arrived at Milan he did, as a fact. force under Béthencourt, which was to cross the Simplon and abandon it altogether in favour of the St Gothard. Lastly, so strongly to descend by Arona (this place proved in the event a second
was he impressed with the necessity of completing the deployment Bard and immobilized Béthencourt until after the decisive
of all his forces, that though he found the Austrians on the Turin battle)
side much scattered and could justifiably expect a series of rapid Thus it was only the simplest part of Napoleon's task to concentrate half of his army at Ivrea, and he had yet to bring When he made his decision he was unaware that Béthencourt
Only one division of the main body used the Little St Bernard. had been held up at Arona.