André Masséna

André Masséna, 1st Duc de Rivoli, 1st Prince d'Essling (born Andrea Massena; 16 May 1758 – 4 April 1817) was a French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.[1] He was one of the original eighteen Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon, with the nickname l'Enfant chéri de la Victoire ("the Dear Child of Victory").[2]

Many of Napoleon's generals were trained at the finest French and European military academies, but Masséna was among those who achieved greatness without the benefit of formal education. While those of noble rank acquired their education and promotions as a matter of privilege, Masséna rose from humble origins to such prominence that Napoleon referred to him as "the greatest name of my military Empire."[1] His military career is equaled by few commanders in European history.

In addition to his battlefield successes, Masséna's leadership aided the careers of many. A majority of the French marshals of the time served under his command at some point.[3]

André Masséna
Renault - André Masséna, duc de Rivoli, prince d'Essling, maréchal de France (1756-1817)
Portrait of Marshal Masséna
Nickname(s)l'Enfant chéri de la Victoire
Born16 May 1758
Nice, Kingdom of Sardinia
Died4 April 1817 (aged 58)
Paris, France
Buried
Allegiance France
RankGénéral de division
Battles/warsFrench Revolutionary Wars, Napoleonic Wars
AwardsLegion of Honour
Marshal of the Empire
1st Duc de Rivoli
1st Prince d'Essling

Early life

André Masséna was born in Nice, which was part of the Kingdom of Sardinia at the time, on 16 May 1758. He was the son of shopkeeper Jules Masséna (Giulio Massena) and Marguerite Fabre. His father died in 1764, and after his mother remarried, he was sent to live with father's relatives.

At the age of thirteen, Masséna became a cabin boy aboard a merchant ship; while aboard, he sailed in the Mediterranean Sea and on two extended voyages to French Guiana. In 1775, after four years at sea, he returned to Nice and enlisted in the French Army as a private in the Royal Italian regiment. By the time he left in 1789, he had risen to the rank of warrant officer, the top rank achievable by non-noblemen. On August 10 of that year, he married Anne Marie Rosalie Lamare, daughter of a surgeon in Antibes, and lived with her in her home town. After a brief stint as a smuggler in Northern Italy, he rejoined the army in 1791 and was made an officer, rising to the rank of colonel by 1792.

Revolutionary Wars

Battle of zurich
Masséna at the Second Battle of Zurich

When the French Revolutionary Wars broke out in April 1792, Masséna and his battalion were deployed along the border to Piedmont. Masséna prepared his battalion for battle in the hope that it would be incorporated into the regular army. That October, a month after the occupation of Nice, the battalion was one of four volunteer battalions that became part of the French Armée d'Italie.

Masséna distinguished himself in battle and was quickly promoted, attaining the rank of général de brigade in August 1793 and général de division that December. He was prominent in every campaign on the Italian Riviera over the next two years, including the attack on Saorgio in 1794 and the battle of Loano in 1795. When Napoleon Bonaparte took command in March 1796, Masséna was commanding the two divisions of the army's advance guard.

During the campaign in Italy in 1796-1797, Masséna became one of Bonaparte's most important subordinates. He played a significant role in engagements at Montenotte and Dego in the spring, and took a leading role at the battles of Lonato, Castiglione, Bassano, Caldiero and Arcola in the summer and fall, as well as the Battle of Rivoli and the fall of Mantua that winter.

When an Austrian relief army was sent to aid Mantua in January 1797, the French forces were overrun near Rivoli, while other enemy columns advanced on Verona and Mantua. At 5:00 P.M. on 13 January, Masséna was ordered to march from Verona to Rivoli, fifteen miles away. Following a forced night march across the snow-covered roads, the first of his troops reached the battlefield at 6:00 A.M. Bonaparte deployed them on the left flank when the battle began. They were shifted to strengthen the sagging center and then deployed to crush an Austrian flanking maneuver. Masséna's troops played a decisive role in the victory. The next day, with very little rest, Masséna and his troops marched 39 miles in 24 hours to intercept a second Austrian army advancing to relieve Mantua. At La Favorita, he closed the pincer on the Austrian army, forcing their surrender. In the space of five days, Masséna's division played a major role in an operation that left over 35,000 Austrian soldiers either dead or imprisoned. Two weeks later, the 30,000-man garrison at Mantua surrendered. With his final victory complete, Napoleon praised Masséna with the name "l'enfant chéri de la victoire." The president of the Directory in Paris, Jean Rewbell, was also congratulatory: "The Executive Directory congratulates you, citizen general, for the new success that you have obtained against the enemies of the Republic. The brave division that you command has covered itself with glory in the three consecutive days that forced Mantua to capitulate, and the Directory is obliged to regard you among the most capable and useful generals of the Republic."[4]

In 1799, Masséna was granted an important command in Switzerland replacing Charles Edward Jennings de Kilmaine. As Russian reinforcements marched to support the Austrian armies in Italy and Switzerland, the Directory consolidated the remnants of the French armies under Masséna's command. With a force totaling approximately 90,000 men, Masséna was ordered to defend the entire frontier. He repulsed Archduke Charles's advance on Zurich in June, but retired from the city and took up positions in the surrounding mountains.[5] He triumphed over the Russians and Alexander Korsakov at the Second Battle of Zurich in September, then, aware of the advance of Russian general Alexander Suvorov toward St. Gotthard, quickly shifted his troops southward. General Claude Jacques Lecourbe's division delayed the Russians' entrance into Switzerland at St Gotthard Pass, and when Suvorov finally forced his way through, he was met by units of Jean-de-Dieu Soult's French division blocking the route at Altdorf. Unable to break through the French lines and aware of Korsakov's disastrous defeat, the Russian general turned east through the high and difficult Pragel Pass to Glarus where he was dismayed to find other French troops awaiting him on 4 October. In waist-deep snow, his troops attempted six times to break through the French lines along the Linth river, but each attack was beaten back. Suvorov had no alternative but to make his escape across the treacherous Panix Pass, abandoning his baggage and artillery and losing as many as 5,000 men.[6] This among other events led to Russia's withdrawal from the Second Coalition.

In 1800, Masséna was besieged at Genoa in Italy by the Austrians, while Bonaparte marched with the Army of the Reserve to Milan. By the end of May, plague had spread throughout Genoa and the civilian population was in revolt. Negotiations were begun for the exchange of prisoners early in June, but the citizens and some of the garrison clamored for capitulation. Unknown to Masséna, the Austrian general Peter Ott had been ordered to raise the siege because Bonaparte had crossed Great St. Bernard Pass and was now threatening the main Austrian army. Describing the situation at Genoa, Ott requested and received permission to continue the siege. On 4 June, with one day's rations remaining, Masséna's negotiator finally agreed to evacuate the French army from Genoa. However, "if the word capitulation was mentioned or written," Masséna threatened to end all negotiations.[7] Two days later, a few of the French left the city by sea, but the bulk of Masséna's starving and exhausted troops marched out of the city with all their equipment and followed the road along the coast toward France, ending the siege of almost 60 days. The siege was an astonishing demonstration of tenacity, ingenuity, courage, and daring that garnered additional laurels for Masséna and placed him in a category previously reserved for Bonaparte alone.[3]

By forcing the Austrians to deploy vast forces against him at Genoa, Masséna made it possible for Bonaparte to cross Great St Bernard Pass, surprise the Austrians, and ultimately defeat General Michael von Melas's Austrian army at Marengo before sufficient reinforcements could be transferred from the siege site. Less than three weeks after the evacuation, Bonaparte wrote to Masséna, "I am not able to give you a greater mark of the confidence I have in you than by giving you command of the first army of the Republic [Army of Italy]."[8] Even the Austrians recognized the significance of Masséna's defense; the Austrian chief of staff declared firmly, "You won the battle, not in front of Alessandria but in front of Genoa."[9] Masséna was made commander of the French forces in Italy, though he was later dismissed by Napoleon.

Napoleonic Wars

Sabre-IMG 4744-black
Masséna's sabre, on display at the musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Neuchâtel

Not until 1804 did Masséna regain Napoleon's trust. That year, he was made a Marshal of the Empire in May. He led an independent army that captured Verona and fought the Austrians at Caldiero on 30 October 1805. Masséna was given control of operations against the Kingdom of Naples, and commanded the right wing of the Grand Army in Poland in 1807. He was granted his first ducal victory title as chief of Rivoli on 24 August 1808.

In 1808, Masséna was accidentally shot during a hunting expedition with the imperial suite, it is unclear as to whether he was shot by Napoleon himself or by Marshal Berthier but he lost the use of one eye as a result.

It wasn't until 1809 that he was in active service, this time against the forces of the Fifth Coalition. At the beginning of the campaign, he led the IV Corps at the battles of Eckmühl and Ebersberg. Later in the war, when Napoleon tried to cross to the north bank of the Danube at the Battle of Aspern-Essling, Masséna's troops hung onto the village of Aspern through two days of savage fighting. He was rewarded on 31 January 1810 with a second, now princely, victory title, Prince d'Essling, for his efforts there and in the Battle of Wagram.

During the Spanish War of Independence, Napoleon appointed Masséna an army commander in the invasion of Portugal in 1810. He captured Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida after successful sieges, but suffered a setback at the hands of the Duke of Wellington's Anglo-Portuguese army at Buçaco on 27 September. Pressing on, he forced the allies to retreat into the Lines of Torres Vedras, where a stalemate ensued for several months. Finally forced to retreat due to lack of food and supplies, Masséna withdrew to the Spanish frontier, allegedly prompting Napoleon to comment, "So, Prince of Essling, you are no longer Masséna."[10] After defeats at the battles of Sabugal and Fuentes de Oñoro, he was replaced by Marshal Auguste Marmont and did not serve again, becoming a local commander at Marseille.

PereLachaise Andre Massena
Tomb of Massena at the Père Lachaise Cemetery

Retirement

Masséna retained his command after the restoration of Louis XVIII. When Napoleon returned from exile the following year, Masséna refused to commit to either side and kept his area quiet. The day after Napoleon's second abdication on 22nd June 1815, he was named head of the National Guard in Paris by the Provisional Government, but was soon replaced upon the return of the Bourbons.[11] He was disinclined to prove his royalist loyalties after the defeat of Napoleon; he was a member of the court-martial that refused to try Marshal Michel Ney. He died in Paris in 1817 and was buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery, in a tomb he shares with his son-in-law Honoré Charles Reille.[12]

Family

Masséna's wife stayed at their home in Antibes during his campaigns. Their first child, Marie Anne Elisabeth, was born on 8 July 1790, but died only four years later. Their first son Jacques Prosper, born 25 June 1793, inherited his father's title as 2nd Prince d'Essling on 3 July 1818. Victoire Thècle was born on 28 September 1794 and married Honoré Charles Reille on 12 September 1814. François Victor, born on 2 April 1799, became 2nd Duc de Rivoli, 3rd Prince d'Essling, and married Anne Debelle on 19 April 1823.

Legacy

The village of Massena in New York was settled by French lumbermen in the early 19th century and named in Masséna's honor. Massena, Iowa, also in the United States and in turn named for the community in New York, honors Masséna with a portrait of him in its Centennial Park. His birthplace, Nice, is the location of Place Massena, also named after him.

In literature

Masséna is mentioned and/or appears in several of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Brigadier Gerard stories, including How the Brigadier Saved the Army (1902).

References

  1. ^ a b Donald D. Horward, ed., trans, annotated, The French Campaign in Portugal, An Account by Jean Jacques Pelet, 1810-1811 (Minneapolis, MN, 1973), 501.
  2. ^ General Michel Franceschi (Ret.), Austerlitz (Montreal: International Napoleonic Society, 2005), 20.
  3. ^ a b "INS Scholarship 1997: André Masséna, Prince D'Essling, in the Age of Revolution". Napoleon-series.org. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
  4. ^ Rewbell to Masséna, 14 February 1797, Koch, Mémories de Masséna I, lxxxix.
  5. ^ Marshall-Cornwall, Massena, 72-74.
  6. ^ Édouard Gachot, Histoire militaire de Masséna, La Campagne d'Helvétie (1799) (Paris, 1904), 182-473.
  7. ^ Masséna to Ott, 2 June 1800, Gachot, Le Siège de Gênes, 241.
  8. ^ Bonaparte to Masséna, 25 June 1800, Correspondance de Napoléon Ier, No. 4951, VI, 489-90.
  9. ^ James Marshall-Cornwall, Marshal Massena, 115.
  10. ^ Napoleon's Peninsular Marshals: A Reassessment. Richard Humble, 1972.
  11. ^ Thibaudeau, Memoires, 1799 - 1815, 519.
  12. ^ Monuments and Memorials of the Napoleonic Era. Honoré Charles Reille
  • Chandler, David (editor) (1987). Napoleon's Marshals. London: Macmillan Publishing Company. ISBN 0-297-79124-9.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Chandler, David (1966). The Campaigns of Napoleon. New York: Macmillan.
  • Smith, Digby (1998). The Napoleonic Wars Data Book. London: Greenhill. ISBN 1-85367-276-9.

External links

Armistice of Znaim

The Armistice of Znaim was a ceasefire agreed between Archduke Charles and Napoleon I on 12 July 1809 following the Battle of Znaim, effectively ending hostilities between Austria and France in the War of the Fifth Coalition.

Following defeat at the Battle of Wagram, Archduke Charles retreated north into Bohemia hoping to regroup his battered forces. The French army had also suffered in the battle and did not give immediate pursuit. But two days after the battle, Napoleon ordered his troops north intending to defeat the Austrians once and for all. The French eventually caught up the Austrians at Znaim (now Znojmo, Czech Republic) on 10 July 1809. Realising they were in no position to give battle, the Austrians proposed a ceasefire as Archduke Charles went to begin peace negotiations with Napoleon. However, Marshal Auguste de Marmont refused to observe the ceasefire and committed his XI Corps of around 10,000 men into battle. With Marmont greatly outnumbered, André Masséna had no choice but to support him. By 11 July, Masséna's corps had joined Marmont's in battle but the Austrians had also reinforced their position around Znaim. After two days of futile fighting, with both sides suffering similar casualties and neither side gaining any advantage, Napoleon finally arrived with news of an armistice and ordered Marmont to end the battle.

Although the Battle of Znaim was the last action between Austria and France in the war, a formal peace was not agreed until the Treaty of Schönbrunn was signed on 14 October 1809, which finally ended the War of the Fifth Coalition.

Army of the Danube

The Army of the Danube (French: Armée du Danube) was a field army of the French Directory in the 1799 southwestern campaign in the Upper Danube valley. It was formed on 2 March 1799 by the simple expedient of renaming the Army of Observation, which had been observing Austrian movements on the border between French First Republic and the Holy Roman Empire. It was commanded by General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, 1st Comte Jourdan (1762–1833).

The formation of the army was part of the French Directory's long term strategy to undermine Habsburg influence in the Holy Roman Empire, and, conversely, to strengthen French hegemony in central Europe after the wars of the First Coalition and the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797. Despite the Treaty, Austria and France remained suspicious of each other's motives, and the purpose of the Army of the Observation was to watch for Austrian border transgressions. Understanding that the negotiations at the Congress of Rastatt were going no-where, the Army of Observation was instructed to cross the Rhine. Once across the Rhine, the Army of the Danube, was to secure strategic positions in southwestern Germany (present day Baden-Württemberg) and engage Archduke Charles' Austrian army. In the meantime, the Army of Helvetia, under command of André Masséna, would secure such strategic locations as St. Gotthard Pass, the Swiss Plateau, and upper Rhine basin.

The army participated in four battles. In the battles of Ostrach and first Stockach, the Army of the Danube withdrew after suffering heavy losses. After reorganization, in which elements of the army were combined with Massena's Army of Switzerland, it withdrew after an engagement with Charles' superior force at Zürich in early June 1799; only in the Second Battle of Zurich did the Army of the Danube secure an uncontested victory. In December 1799, the Army of the Danube merged with the Army of the Rhine.

Battle of Caldiero (1796)

In the Battle of Caldiero on 12 November 1796, a Habsburg Austrian army led by Jozsef 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.

The battle was part of the third Austrian effort to relieve the Siege of Mantua. Two Austrian forces converged toward Mantua, the main army from the east and an independent corps from the north. Both forces enjoyed early successes, driving back the outnumbered French forces in front of them. When the main army reached a position threatening Verona, Bonaparte ordered the divisions of André Masséna and Pierre Augereau to attack. Sturdy Austrian resistance and bad weather contributed to the French defeat. Bonaparte soon embarked upon a new strategy which concluded with an Austrian defeat at the Battle of Arcole a few days later.

Battle of Caldiero (1805)

The Battle of Caldiero took place on 30 October 1805, pitting the French Armée d'Italie under Marshal André Masséna against an Austrian army under the command of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. The French engaged only a part of their forces, around 33,000 men, whilst Archduke Charles engaged the bulk of his army, 49,000 men, leaving out Paul Davidovich's corps to defend the lower Adige and Franz Seraph of Orsini-Rosenberg's corps to cover the Austrian right against any flanking maneuvers. The fighting took place at Caldiero, 15 kilometres east of Verona, in the War of the Third Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars.

Battle of Feldkirch

The Battle of Feldkirch (23 March 1799) saw a Republican French corps led by André Masséna attack a weaker Habsburg Austrian force under Franz Jellacic. Defending fortified positions, the Austrians repulsed all of the French columns, though the struggle lasted until nightfall. This and other French setbacks in southern Germany soon caused Masséna to go on the defensive. The War of the Second Coalition combat occurred at the Austrian town of Feldkirch, Vorarlberg, located 158 kilometres (98 mi) west of Innsbruck.

On a flimsy pretext, a Republican French army invaded Switzerland in January 1798 and forced the country into an uneasy alliance marked by occasional revolts. By the start of hostilities with Austria in early 1799, Masséna was in command of the Army of Helvetia. Going on the offensive, the French inflicted defeats on the Austrians at Maienfeld, Chur and Feldkirch on 6 and 7 March. Ordered to attack Feldkirch in late March by his superior Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, Masséna attacked with troops under Nicolas Oudinot. Jourdan's defeats at Ostrach and Stockach soon forced the French to recoil.

Battle of Hollabrunn (1809)

The Battle of Hollabrunn was a rearguard action fought on 9 July 1809 by Austrian VI Korps of the Kaiserlich-königliche Hauptarmee Hauptarmee under Johann von Klenau against elements of the French IV Corps of the Grande Armée d'Allemagne, under the command of André Masséna.The battle ended in favour of the Austrians, with Masséna forced to break off the combat and wait for his remaining divisions to reinforce him, but the French Marshal was able to gather crucial intelligence about the intentions of his enemy.

Battle of Sabugal

The Battle of Sabugal was an engagement of the Peninsular War which took place on 3 April 1811 between Anglo-Portuguese forces under Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) and French troops under the command of Marshal André Masséna. It was the last of many skirmishes between Masséna's retreating French forces and those of the Anglo-Portuguese under Wellington, who were pursuing him after the failed 1810 French invasion of Portugal.

In poor weather, with heavy rain and fog, Allied forces succeeded in forcing the demoralized French force into retreat. The victory was lauded by the British; Sir Harry Smith, then a junior officer of the 95th Rifles and a participant in the battle, remarked "Oh, you Kings and usurpers should view these scenes and moderate ambition" while Wellesley later referred to the Light Division's action in the battle as "one of the most glorious that British troops were ever engaged in".

Battle of Saorgio

The Battle of Saorgio was fought from 24 to 28 April 1794 between a French First Republic army commanded by Pierre Jadart Dumerbion and the armies of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont and the Habsburg Monarchy led by Joseph Nikolaus De Vins. It was part of a successful French offensive designed to capture strategic positions in the Maritime Alps and Ligurian Alps, and on the Mediterranean coast. Tactical control of the battle was exercised by André Masséna for the French and Michelangelo Alessandro Colli-Marchi for the Coalition. Saorge is located in France, about 70 kilometres (43 mi) northeast of Nice. At the time of the battle, the town was named Saorgio and belonged to Piedmont.

Since September 1792, the Piedmontese defenses around Saorge had resisted capture. In early April 1794, the French struck northeastward along the Italian Riviera, quickly seizing the small port of Oneglia. From there, Masséna struck north to capture two towns in the upper Tanaro valley before turning west to outflank the positions around Saorge. After some fighting, the Austro-Piedmontese withdrew to the north side of the Col de Tende (Tenda Pass) which the French occupied. Dumerbion's troops also seized a large portion of the Italian Riviera. The action occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. The engagement is significant in military history because a newly appointed artillery general by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte drew up the plans for the offensive.

Battle of Schwyz

Battle of Schwyz im Muttenthal occurred on 14–15 August 1799 between French forces commanded by General of Division André Masséna and Major General von Franz Jellachich's brigade. The French lost 500 killed, wounded or missing, and the Austrians lost 2,400 men and six guns.

Battle of Sobral

The Battle of Sobral (13–14 October 1810) saw an Imperial French army led by Marshal André Masséna probe the Lines of Torres Vedras defended by Arthur Wellesley, Viscount Wellington's Anglo-Portuguese Army. The clash occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Sobral de Monte Agraço Municipality is located about 13 kilometres (8 mi) southeast of Torres Vedras and 33 kilometres (21 mi) north of Lisbon, Portugal.

Jean-Andoche Junot's VIII Corps was engaged in the fighting on both days. On 13 October, the French drove back the skirmish line of Lowry Cole's 4th Infantry Division. The following day, Junot's troops seized an outpost belonging to Brent Spencer's 1st Infantry Division, but were quickly ejected from the position by a British counterattack. Masséna soon decided that Wellington's defensive lines were too strong to crack and elected to wait for reinforcements.

Battle of Tarvis (1797)

The Battle of Tarvis was fought during March 21-23, 1797 near present-day Tarvisio in far northeast Italy, about 12 kilometres (7 mi) west-by-southwest of the three-border conjunction with Austria and Slovenia. In the battle, three divisions of a First French Republic army commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte attacked several columns of the retreating Habsburg Austrian army led by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. In three days of confused fighting, French divisions directed by André Masséna, Jean Joseph Guieu, and Jean-Mathieu-Philibert Sérurier succeeded in blocking the Tarvis Pass and capturing 3,500 Austrians led by Adam Bajalics von Bajahaza. The engagement occurred during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars.

After Bonaparte's capture of the fortress of Mantua in early February 1797, he cleared his south flank by crushing the army of the Papal States. Reinforced with forces from the Rhine front, Bonaparte was determined to drive the Austrian army from northeast Italy. His offensive began in March and consisted of a secondary drive through the County of Tyrol by Barthélemy Catherine Joubert's left wing and an eastward thrust by Bonaparte's main army.

The main French army soon drove the archduke's forces into headlong retreat while Joubert battled with Wilhelm Lothar Maria von Kerpen in the Tyrol. Charles tried to hold the Tarvis Pass against the French by sending three columns of reinforcements, but they found the pass held by Masséna's French forces. While many Austrian troops fought their way out, the last column was trapped between three converging French divisions and compelled to surrender. A subsequent advance brought the French within 75 miles (121 km) of the Austrian capital of Vienna. In mid-April, Bonaparte proposed and the Austrians agreed to the Preliminaries of Leoben. Most of the terms were ratified by the Treaty of Campo Formio in October 1797, ending the long war.

Battle of Verona (1805)

The Battle of Verona was fought on 18 October 1805 between the French Army of Italy under the command of André Masséna and an Austrian army led by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. By the end of the day, Massena seized a bridgehead on the east bank of the Adige River, driving back the defending troops under Josef Philipp Vukassovich. The action took place near the city of Verona in northern Italy during the War of the Third Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars.

In the fall of 1805, Emperor Napoleon I of France planned for his powerful Grande Armée to fall upon and crush the Austrian Empire army in southern Germany. The French emperor hoped to win the war in the Danube valley. To help accomplish this purpose, Napoleon wanted Masséna to hold Archduke Charles' large army in Italy for as long as possible.

In order for Masséna to grapple with his enemies, it was necessary to establish a bridgehead on the east bank of the Adige. During the battle, the French attacked across the river, cleared two suburbs, and seized some high ground on the opposite bank. The Austrians suffered considerably more casualties than the French in the encounter. This clash set the stage for the subsequent Battle of Caldiero on 29 to 31 October.

First Battle of Zurich

In the First Battle of Zurich on 4 – 7 June 1799, French general André Masséna was forced to yield the city to the Austrians under Archduke Charles and retreat beyond the Limmat, where he managed to fortify his positions, resulting in a stalemate.

The Helvetic Republic in 1798 became a battlefield of the French Revolutionary Wars. During the summer, Russian troops under general Korsakov replaced the Austrian troops, and in the Second Battle of Zurich, the French regained control of the city, along with the rest of Switzerland.

Massena (village), New York

Massena is a village in St. Lawrence County, New York, United States. The population was 10,936 at the 2010 census. The village is named after André Masséna, one of Napoleon's generals.

The Village of Massena is at the southwestern town line of the Town of Massena, with a small southeastern section of the community spilling into the Town of Louisville, and a tiny portion in the Town of Norfolk. The village is located near the northern county border.

Rivoli 1797 Campaign Order of Battle

In the Battle of Rivoli on 14 and 15 January 1797, the French Army of Italy led by Napoleon Bonaparte crushed the main Austrian army led by Jozsef Alvinczi. The battle occurred during the fourth Austrian attempt to relieve the Siege of Mantua. After crippling Alvinczi's army on the 14th, Bonaparte left Barthélemy Joubert and Gabriel Rey to finish off the Austrians and raced south with André Masséna to deal with a relief column led by Giovanni di Provera. On 16 January, Masséna, Pierre Augereau, and Jean Sérurier trapped Provera near the Mantua siege lines and forced his surrender.

Rivoli Bay

Rivoli Bay, (French: Baie de Rivoli) is a bay located on the south-east coast of the Australian state of South Australia about 311 kilometres (193 miles) south-southeast of the state capital of Adelaide and about 65 kilometres (40 miles) northwest by west of the regional centre of Mount Gambier. It was named in 1802 by the Baudin expedition of 1800-03 after André Masséna, the Duke of Rivoli and Marshal of France. It is one of four 'historic bays' located on the South Australian coast.

Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (1810)

In the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, the French Marshal Michel Ney took the fortified city from Field Marshal Don Andrés Perez de Herrasti on 10 July 1810 after a siege that began on 26 April. Ney's VI Corps made up part of a 65,000-strong army commanded by André Masséna, who was bent on a third French invasion of Portugal.

Siege of Gaeta (1806)

The Siege of Gaeta (26 February - 18 July 1806) saw the fortress city of Gaeta and its Neapolitan garrison under Louis of Hesse-Philippsthal besieged by an Imperial French corps led by André Masséna. After a prolonged defense in which Hesse was badly wounded, Gaeta surrendered and its garrison was granted generous terms by Masséna.

The 1806 Invasion of Naples by Napoleon's forces was provoked when King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies joined the Third Coalition against Imperial France. The Kingdom of Naples was rapidly overrun by Imperial soldiers, but Hesse stubbornly held out at Gaeta. The garrison put up such fierce resistance that a large part of Masséna's Army of Naples was tied up in the siege for nearly five months. This prevented Masséna from sending reinforcements to quell an uprising that had started in Calabria as well as allowing the British to land an expeditionary force and score a victory at the Battle of Maida. However, because the British failed to relieve the garrison of Gaeta, the city was finally captured in mid-July after French artillery smashed gaps in the city's defences.

Siege of Genoa (1800)

During the Siege of Genoa (6 April – 4 June 1800) the Austrians besieged and captured Genoa. However, this was a pyrrhic victory as the smaller French force at Genoa under André Masséna had diverted enough Austrian troops to enable Napoleon to win the Battle of Marengo and defeat the Austrians.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.