Friday, July 20, 2012

Napoleonic Wars Timeline

One of the most momentous and significant series of conflicts in the history of Europe were the Wars of Napoleon.  They involved not only tremendous loss of life and massive destruction, but amazing displays of strategic and tactical genius.  Above all is the larger-than-life character of the egotist, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Napoleon Crossing the Alps, by Jacques Lloyd-David, 1801AD.

The idea of this post is to present an outline of the conflicts that I put together, interspersed with a few clips from the mini-series Napoleon, that portray, with acceptable accuracy, some of the great battles and moments in the career of Napoleon Bonaparte.  They are all in French, but you should get the idea, even if you can't follow all of the dialogue.

The Wars of Napoleon

French Directory (1795-1799)

  • 1796
    • Mar: Napoleon “marries” Josephine.
    • Mar: Napoleon appointed commander of French forces in Italy.

Napoleon commanding French troops at the Battle of Arcole against Austrian forces in Italy.

    • Aug: Spain allies with France.
  • 1797
    • Jan: Napoleon defeats Austrians at Rivoli in Italy.
    • Feb: Spanish defeated at sea at Cape St. Vincent.
    • Oct: Treaty of Campo Formio: Austria leaves the war.  End of the First Coalition.
  • 1798
    • May—Aug: Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt.
    • Aug: Nelson defeats French fleet at the Battle of the Nile.
    • Aug: Pius VI dies.

French Consulate (1799-1804)

  • 1799
    • Second Coalition against France takes to the field.
    • Nov: Napoleon takes power in France as First Consul.
  • 1800
    • Mar: Pope Pius VII elected in Venice.
    • June: Napoleon defeats the Austrians at Marengo in Italy.
  • 1801
    • Treaty of Lunéville: Austria leaves the war.  Effective end of the Second Coalition.
    • Concordat of 1801: Treaty between Pope Pius VII and Napoleon.
  • 1802
    • May: Treaty of Amiens: Tenuous peace between the United Kingdom and France.
  • 1803
    • May: Resumption of war between the United Kingdom and France.  Third Coalition formed.

French Empire (1804-1815)

  • 1804
    • Dec: Napoleon crowned Emperor of the French, Napoleon I
  • 1805
    • Oct: Austrian army under Mack surrenders at Ulm in Germany.
    • Oct: Nelson smashed Franco-Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar.
    • Dec: Napoleon decisively defeats Austro-Russian army at the Battle of Austerlitz.
The Battle of the Three Emperors: Austerlitz.

    • Dec: Treaty of Pressburg: Austria leaves the war.  Effective end of the Third Coalition.
  • 1806
    • July: Napoleon forms the French-allied Confederation of the Rhine to replace Holy Roman Empire.
    • Aug: Francis II resigns as Holy Roman Emperor, remains Emperor of Austria as Francis I.
    • Fourth Coalition formed to oppose these changes.
    • Oct: Napoleon defeats the Prussians at Jena & Auerstädt.
    • Nov: Beginning of the Continental System.
  • 1807
    • Feb: Napoleon blocked by Russians in draw at Battle of Eylau.
The Battle of Eylau

    • June: Russians decisively defeated at the Battle of Friedland by Napoleon.
    • July: Treaty of Tilsit: Peace between Russian and France.  Fourth Coalition at an end

The meetings of Napoleon and Czar Alexander of Russia at Tilsit.  The only clip I found in English!
  • 1808
    • Mar: Charles IV of Spain abdicates.  Replaced by his son, Ferdinand VII.
    • June: Joseph Bonaparte the new king of Spain.  Peninsular War (1808-1813)
    • Aug: British army under Wellesley lands in Portugal.
  • 1809
    • Apr: Fifth Coalition proclaimed & Austria invades Bavaria.
    • May: Napoleon takes Vienna, but blocked by the Austrians at Aspern-Essling.
The Battle of Essling.

    • June: Napoleon excommunicated for annexation of the Papal States.
    • July: Napoleon decisively defeats the Austrians at the Battle of Wagram.
    • July: Pope Pius VII arrested by order of Napoleon.
    • Oct: Treaty of Schönbrunn: Austria leaves the war.  End of the Fifth Coalition.
  • 1810
    • Jan: Napoleon divorces the Empress Josephine.
    • Mar: Marriage of Napoleon to the daughter of Francis I, Marie Louise.
  • 1811
    • Apr: Birth of Napoleon’s son, Napoleon II, “King of Rome.”
  • 1812
    • Sixth Coalition formed against France.
    • June: United States declares war on the United Kingdom.
    • June: French army crosses the Niemen – the beginning of the invasion of Russia.
    • Sept: Napoleon defeats the Russians at Borodino & enters Moscow.
    • Dec: Last of the Grand Army reach the Niemen River ending the Russian campaign.
  • 1813
    • Feb: Russians capture Warsaw.
    • Mar: Prussia declares war on France and joins Sixth Coalition.
    • Jun: French under King Joseph defeated by Wellington at Vitoria.
    • Aug: Austria declares war on France and joins the Sixth Coalition.
    • Oct: Sixth Coalition defeat Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig.  Saxony and Württemberg join the coalition.
    • Dec: Coalition troops cross the Rhine into France.
  • 1814
    • Jan: Kingdom of Naples under Murat join the coalition.
    • Mar: French troops at Paris surrender.
    • Apr: Napoleon abdicates.  Treaty of Fontainebleau gives Napoleon Elba.  Return of King Louis XVIII to France.  Treaty of Paris ends the war.
    • Nov: Congress of Vienna convenes.
    • Dec: Treaty of Ghent signed, ending the War of 1812.
  • 1815
    • Mar: Napoleon returns from Elba & Naples under Murat declares war on Austria.  Seventh Coalition formed to stop Napoleon.  “The Hundred Days” begin.
    • June: Wellington and allies defeat Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.  Napoleon abdicates once more.
    • July: Allies seize Paris and restore Louis XVIII
    • Aug: Napoleon exiled to St. Helena.
    • Nov: The Second Treaty of Paris signed.

Live well!

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