Napoleonic Wars


January 23, 2022

Napoleonic Wars - a series of armed conflicts between France and its allied countries and the changing coalition of other European countries, during the supremacy of Napoleon Bonaparte. They were a continuation of the wars between the First French Republic and the countries of the First and Second Coalitions that broke out due to the French Revolution and continued - on the initiative and thanks to funding by Great Britain - throughout the period of the Consulate and the First Empire. Historians disagree as to when exactly to date their beginning. Some believe they should be counted from the moment Napoleon took power in France in November 1799. Others believe that the conflicts of the period 1799–1802 should still be included in the wars of the French Revolution and consider the breaking of the peace in Amiens and the declaration of war on France by Britain in 1803 as the starting point of the "Napoleonic Wars". Currently, in Western historiography, they are increasingly referred to as "the wars Coalition ”because they were in fact imposed on Napoleon by successive coalitions. These wars - initially victorious thanks to Napoleon's commanding talents, which resulted in the defeat in the army field of most of the former European powers - ended in the defeat of France and first with abdication, and after the last campaign, known as the "100 days of Napoleon", the exile of the emperor to the Isle of Saint Helena (1815 ). Their end date is November 20, 1815 - after Napoleon's final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo and the signing of the second Treaty of Paris in 1815. The Napoleonic Wars indirectly contributed to the emergence of a new style of thinking in many European countries, and consequently to the struggle for national liberation in Poland, Belgium, Italy and the Balkans.

War with Austria

When Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul, took over dictatorial rule in France on November 9, 1799 (18th year VIII), the war of the Second European Coalition against revolutionary France practically ended. The coalition was formed in December 1798 and included Great Britain, Russia, Turkey, Austria, Sweden, Portugal, Naples and several German states, but without Prussia. The war lasted less than a year and was limited almost exclusively to the expeditionary activities of the Russian armies in Italy and the Netherlands, with minimal support from other coalition partners. Austria was only trying to consolidate its newly gained positions in northern Italy, while Great Britain, after naval victories, showed no desire to engage its forces on land. So Russia withdrew from the war. Then Napoleon took the initiative of the war, demanding that Austria withdraw from the Apennine Peninsula. When the ultimatum was not accepted, Napoleon, after the risky crossing of the French troops over the Saint Bernard Pass in the Alps (May 14-21, 1800), crushed Austrian forces on June 14 at Marengo. The French then occupied Munich and threatened Vienna, the capital of Austria. The Austrians resumed their operations after a few months of the ceasefire, but on December 3, General Moreau defeated them at Hohenlinden in Bavaria, where the lancers of the Polish Danube Legion performed in an excellent manner. This forced Austria to conclude the Peace of Lunéville on February 9, 1801, restoring the state of ownership, as after Napoleon's Italian victories in 1797. In 1802 and 1803, Napoleon sent 40,000. intervention corps, including 2 Polish half-brigades (approx. 6,000 people), formed from the remnants of the Italian Dąbrowski legion, to the island of Santo Domingo in the Caribbean, which is a French colony. There was a rebellion of mulattoes and blacks against the restitution of slavery. Harsh climatic conditions for Europeans, yellow fever and fighting decimated the intervention troops and forced them to withdraw in November 1803.

Third anti-French coalition

Great Britain did not want ground fighting, especially wo

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