The 1799 campaign in Italy – Vol. 1
The armies of the war & the first battles
The Italian campaign of 1799 was undertaken by a combined Austro-Russian army under overall command of the Russian General Alexander Suvorov against French forces in Piedmont, Lombardy and Switzerland as part of the Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars in general and the War of the Second Coalition in particular.
Although by 1799 he was nearly seventy years old, Suvorov was one of the most competent and experienced commanders of the age. He had won no fewer than sixty-three battles in the course of his long military career and had been appointed field marshal during the reign of Catherine the Great, though he was dismissed by Tsar Paul, her son and successor, after the old soldier had the audacity to criticise the new imperial Infantry Code. He was only recalled after the Austrians specifically requested that he be appointed to command the combined Austro-Russian army to fight the French in Italy.
Taking command on 19 April, Suvorov moved his army westwards in a rapid march towards the Adda River; covering over 300 miles in just eighteen days. On 27 April, he defeated Jean Victor Moreau at the Battle of Cassano…
By Enrico Acerbi, 100 pages
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