1803 Jan 1
, Austerlitz

In March 1802, France and Britain agreed to cease hostilities under the Treaty of Amiens. For the first time in ten years, all of Europe was at peace. However, many problems persisted between the two sides making the implementation of the treaty increasingly difficult. Bonaparte was angry that British troops had not evacuated the island of Malta. The tension only worsened when Bonaparte sent an expeditionary force to re-establish control over Haiti. Prolonged intransigence on these issues led Britain to declare war on France on 18 May 1803 despite the fact that Bonaparte finally accepted the occupation of Malta by the British. The nascent Third Coalition came into being in December 1804 when, in exchange for payment, an Anglo-Swedish agreement was signed allowing the British to use Swedish Pomerania as a military base against France.

Napoleon distributing the first Imperial Légion d'honneur at the Boulogne camps, on August 16, 1804, Charles Etienne Pierre Motte

Planned invasion of the United Kingdom

1803 Jan 2
, English Channel

Napoleon's planned invasion of the United Kingdom at the start of the War of the Third Coalition, although never carried out, was a major influence on British naval strategy and the fortification of the coast of southeast England. French attempts to invade Ireland in order to destabilise the United Kingdom or as a stepping-stone to Great Britain had already occurred in 1796. From 1803 to 1805 a new army of 200,000 men, known as the Armée des côtes de l'Océan was gathered and trained at camps at Boulogne, Bruges and Montreuil. A large "National Flotilla" of invasion barges was built in Channel ports along the coasts of France and the Netherlands right from Étaples to Flushing, and gathered at Boulogne. These preparations were financed by the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, whereby France ceded her huge North American territories to the United States in return for a payment of 50 million French francs ($11,250,000). The entire amount was spent on the projected invasion.

Detail from the Fight of the Poursuivante against the British ship Hercules, 28 June 1803.

Blockade of Saint-Domingue

1803 Jun 18
, Haiti

With Napoleon's inability to send the requested massive reinforcements after the outbreak of war on 18 May 1803 with the British, the Royal Navy immediately despatched a squadron under Sir John Duckworth from Jamaica to cruise in the region, seeking to eliminate communication between the French outposts and to capture or destroy the French warships based in the colony. The Blockade of Saint-Domingue not only cut the French forces out from reinforcements and supplies from France, but also meant that the British began to supply arms to the Haitians.
Charge of the French cuirassiers at Friedland (1807), by Ernest Meissonier

Grande Armée

1804 Jan 1
, France

The Grande Armée was formed in 1804 from the L'Armée des côtes de l'Océan (Army of the Ocean Coasts), a force of over 100,000 men that Napoleon had assembled for the proposed invasion of Britain. Napoleon later deployed the army in eastern Europe to eliminate the combined threat of Austria and Russia, which were part of the Third Coalition assembled against France. Thereafter, the name Grande Armée was used for the principal French Army deployed in the campaigns of 1805 and 1807, where it earned its prestige, and in 1812, 1813–14, and 1815. In practice, however, the term Grande Armée is used in English to refer to all the multinational forces gathered by Napoleon in his campaigns.

Upon its formation, the Grande Armée consisted of six corps under the command of Napoleon's marshals and senior generals. When the Austrian and Russian armies began preparations to invade France in late 1805, the Grande Armée was quickly ordered across the Rhine into southern Germany, leading to Napoleon's victories at Ulm and Austerlitz. The French army grew as Napoleon seized power across Europe, recruiting troops from occupied and allied nations; it reached its peak of one million men at the start of the Russian campaign in 1812, with the Grande Armée reaching its height of 413,000 French soldiers, who would take part in the invasion, with the total invasion force exceeding 600,000 men when including foreign recruits.

In addition to its size and multinational composition, the Grande Armée was known for its innovative formations, tactics, logistics, and communications. Unlike most armed forces at the time, it operated on a strictly meritocratic basis; while most contingents were commanded by French generals, except for the Polish and Austrian corps, most soldiers could climb the ranks regardless of class, wealth, or national origin.

Execution of the Enghien by Jean-Paul Laurens

Execution of Duke of Enghien

1804 Mar 21
, Château de Vincennes

French dragoons crossed the Rhine secretly, surrounded his house and brought him to Strasbourg (15 March 1804), and thence to the Château de Vincennes, near Paris, where a military commission of French colonels presided over by General Hulin was hastily convened to try him. The duke was charged chiefly with bearing arms against France in the late war, and with intending to take part in the new coalition then proposed against France. The military commission, presided over by Hulin, drew up the act of condemnation, being incited thereto by orders from Anne Jean Marie René Savary, who had come charged with instructions to kill the duke. Savary prevented any chance of an interview between the condemned and the First Consul, and, on 21 March, the duke was shot in the moat of the castle, near a grave which had already been prepared. A platoon of the Gendarmes d'élite was in charge of the execution. Enghien's execution infuriated royal courts throughout Europe, becoming one of the contributing political factors for the outbreak of the War of the Third Coalition.
The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David (1804)

Emperor of the French

1804 May 18
, Notre-Dame de Paris

During the consulate, Napoleon faced several royalist and Jacobin assassination plots, including the Conspiration des poignards (Dagger plot) in October 1800 and the Plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise two months later. In January 1804, his police uncovered an assassination plot against him that involved Moreau and which was ostensibly sponsored by the Bourbon family, the former rulers of France. On the advice of Talleyrand, Napoleon ordered the kidnapping of the Duke of Enghien, violating the sovereignty of Baden. The Duke was quickly executed after a secret military trial. To expand his power, Napoleon used these assassination plots to justify the creation of an imperial system based on the Roman model. He believed that a Bourbon restoration would be more difficult if his family's succession was entrenched in the constitution. Launching yet another referendum, Napoleon was elected as Emperor of the French by a tally exceeding 99%. Napoleon was proclaimed Emperor on 18 May 1804 by the Senate and was crowned Emperor of the French on 2 December 1804 at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, in Paris, with the Crown of Napoleon.
Raid on Boulogne

Raid on Boulogne

1804 Oct 2
, Boulogne-sur-Mer

Elements of the Royal Navy conducted a naval assault on the fortified French port of Boulogne, during the Napoleonic Wars. It differed from the conventional tactics of naval assaults of the period by utilizing a wide range of new equipment produced by the American-born inventor Robert Fulton, with the backing of the Admiralty. Despite its ambitious aims the assault produced little material damage to the French fleet anchored in the harbour, but did perhaps contribute to a growing sense of defeatism amongst the French as to their chances of crossing the English Channel in the face of the Royal Navy and launching a successful invasion of the United Kingdom.

The action of 5 October 1804, Francis Sartorius

Spain declares war on Great Britain

1804 Oct 5
, Cabo de Santa Maria

The Battle of Cape Santa Maria was a naval engagement that took place off the southern Portuguese coast, in which a British squadron under the command of Commodore Graham Moore attacked and defeated a Spanish squadron commanded by Brigadier Don José de Bustamante y Guerra, during peace time. As a result of this action, Spain declared war on Great Britain on 14 December 1804

William Pitt the Younger | ©John Hoppner

Third Coalition

1804 Dec 1
, England

In December 1804, an Anglo-Swedish agreement led to the creation of the Third Coalition. British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger spent 1804 and 1805 in a flurry of diplomatic activity to form a new coalition against France. Mutual suspicion between the British and the Russians eased in the face of several French political mistakes, and by April 1805, the first two had signed a treaty of alliance. Having been defeated twice in recent memory by France and keen on revenge, Austria also joined the coalition a few months later. The stated goal of the Anglo-Russian alliance was to reduce France to its 1792 borders. Austria, Sweden, and Naples would eventually join this alliance, whilst Prussia again remained neutral.

Napoleon I King of Italy 1805–1814

Napoleon becomes King of Italy

1805 Mar 17
, Milan

The Kingdom of Italy was born on 17 March 1805, when the Italian Republic, whose president was Napoleon Bonaparte, became the Kingdom of Italy, with the same man as King of Italy, and the 24-year-old Eugène de Beauharnais his viceroy. Napoleon I was crowned at the Duomo di Milano, Milan on 23 May, with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. His title was "Emperor of the French and King of Italy", showing the importance of this Italian Kingdom for him.

Taking of the rock Le Diamant, near Martinique, 2 June 1805, Auguste Mayer

Battle of Diamond Rock

1805 May 31
, Martinique

A Franco-Spanish force dispatched under Captain Julien Cosmao to retake Diamond Rock, at the entrance to the bay leading to Fort-de-France, from the British forces that had occupied it over a Year before. The British, short of both water and ammunition, eventually negotiated the surrender of the rock after several days under fire. Villeneuve had retaken the rock, but the day the attack began the frigate Didon had arrived with orders from Napoleon. Villeneuve was ordered to take his force and attack British possessions, before returning in force to Europe, hopefully having in the meantime been joined by Ganteaume's fleet. But by now his supplies were so low that he could attempt little more than harassing some of the smaller British islands.
The fleets line up for battle, painting by William Anderson

Battle of Cape Finisterre

1805 Jul 22
, Cape Finisterre

The British fleet under Admiral Robert Calder fought an indecisive naval battle against the combined Franco-Spanish fleet which was returning from the West Indies. Failing to prevent the joining of French Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve's fleet to the squadron of Ferrol and to strike the shattering blow that would have freed Great Britain from the danger of an invasion, Calder was later court-martialled and severely reprimanded for his failure and for avoiding the renewal of the engagement on 23 and 24 July. At the same time, in the aftermath Villeneuve elected not to continue on to Brest, where his fleet could have joined with other French ships to clear the English Channel for an invasion of Great Britain.
Austrian plans and preparations

Austrian plans and preparations

1805 Aug 1
, Mantua

General Mack thought that Austrian security relied on sealing off the gaps through the mountainous Black Forest area in Southern Germany that had witnessed much fighting during the campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars. Mack believed that there would be no action in Central Germany. Mack decided to make the city of Ulm the centrepiece of his defensive strategy, which called for containment of the French until the Russians under Kutuzov could arrive and alter the odds against Napoleon. Ulm was protected by the heavily fortified Michelsberg heights, giving Mack the impression that the city was virtually impregnable from outside attack. Fatally, the Aulic Council decided to make Northern Italy the main theatre of operations for the Habsburgs. Archduke Charles was assigned 95,000 troops and directed to cross the Adige River with Mantua, Peschiera, and Milan as the initial objectives. Archduke John was given 23,000 troops and commanded to secure Tyrol while serving as a link between his brother, Charles, and his cousin, Ferdinand; the latter's force of 72,000, which was to invade Bavaria and hold the defensive line at Ulm, was effectively controlled by Mack. The Austrians also detached individual corps to serve with the Swedish in Pomerania and the British in Naples, though these were designed to obfuscate the French and divert their resources.
French Plans

French Plans

1805 Aug 1
, Verona

At the beginning of August 1805, Napoleon gave up his plan for invading Great Britain across the English Channel. Instead, he decided to move his army from the channel coast to south Germany to smash the Austrian army. The Aulic Council thought Napoleon would strike in Italy again. Thanks to an elaborate spy network, Napoleon was aware that the Austrians deployed their largest army in Italy. The emperor desired that Archduke Charles' army not be allowed to influence events in southern Germany. Napoleon ordered 210,000 French troops be launched eastwards from the camps of Boulogne and would envelop General Mack's exposed Austrian army if it kept marching towards the Black Forest. Meanwhile, Marshal Murat would conduct cavalry screens across the Black Forest to fool the Austrians into thinking that the French were advancing on a direct west–east axis. He hoped to be at the Austrian capital of Vienna in November, before the Russian army appeared on the scene.
Ulm campaign

Ulm campaign

1805 Sep 25
, Swabia

The French Grande Armée, led by Napoleon Bonaparte, had 210,000 troops organized into seven corps and hoped to knock out the Austrian army in a series of French and Bavarian military manoeuvres and battles designed to outflank an Austrian army under General Mack in the Danube before Russian reinforcements could arrive. The Ulm Campaign is considered an example of a strategic victory, though Napoleon indeed had an overwhelming superior force. The campaign was won with no major battle. The Austrians fell into the same trap Napoleon had set at the Battle of Marengo, but unlike Marengo, the trap worked with success. Everything was made to confuse the enemy.
Battle of Wertingen

Battle of Wertingen

1805 Oct 8
, Wertingen

Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte had launched his 200,000-man Grand Army across the Rhine. This huge mass of maneuver wheeled to the south and crossed the Danube River to the east of (i.e., behind) General Karl Freiherr Mack von Leiberich's concentration at Ulm. Unaware of the force bearing down on him, Mack stayed in place as Napoleon's corps spread south across the Danube, slicing across his lines of communication with Vienna. In the Battle of Wertingen (8 October 1805) Imperial French forces led by Marshals Joachim Murat and Jean Lannes attacked a small Austrian corps commanded by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Franz Xaver von Auffenberg. This action, the first battle of the Ulm Campaign, resulted in a clear French victory. The Austrians were decimated, losing nearly their entire force, 1,000 to 2,000 of which were prisoners.
Death of Colonel Gérard Lacuée at the battle of Günzburg, on October 9, 1805.

Battle of Günzburg

1805 Oct 9
, Günzburg

General of Division Jean-Pierre Firmin Malher's French division attempt to seize a crossing over the Danube River at Günzburg in the face of a Habsburg Austrian army led by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Karl Mack von Lieberich. Malher's division managed to capture a bridge and hold it against Austrian counterattacks.
Battle of Haslach-Jungingen

Battle of Haslach-Jungingen

1805 Oct 11
, Ulm-Jungingen

Fought at Ulm-Jungingen north of Ulm at the Danube between French and Austrian forces. The effects of the Battle of Haslach-Jungingen on Napoleon's plans are not fully clear, but the Emperor may have finally ascertained that the majority of the Austrian army was concentrated at Ulm.

Battle of Elchingen

Battle of Elchingen

1805 Oct 14
, Elchingen

French forces under Michel Ney rout an Austrian corps led by Johann Sigismund Riesch. This defeat led to a large part of the Austrian army being invested in the fortress of Ulm by the army of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte of France while other formations fled to the east. At this point in the campaign, the Austrian command staff was in full confusion. Ferdinand began to openly oppose Mack's command style and decisions, charging that the latter spent his days writing contradictory orders that left the Austrian army marching back and forth. On 13 October, Mack sent two columns out of Ulm in preparation for a breakout to the north: one under General Reisch headed towards Elchingen to secure the bridge there and the other under Werneck went north with most of the heavy artillery.
The II Corps in Augsburg.

Battle of Ulm

1805 Oct 15
, Ulm

The Battle of Ulm on 16–19 October 1805 was a series of skirmishes, at the end of the Ulm Campaign, which allowed Napoleon I to trap an entire Austrian army under the command of Karl Freiherr Mack von Leiberich with minimal losses and to force its surrender near Ulm in the Electorate of Bavaria. By 16 October, Napoleon had surrounded Mack's entire army at Ulm, and three days later Mack surrendered with 25,000 men, 18 generals, 65 guns, and 40 standards. The victory at Ulm did not end the war since a large Russian army under Kutuzov was still near Vienna. The Russians withdrew to the northeast to await reinforcements and to link up with surviving Austrian units. The French followed and captured Vienna on 12 November.
Battle of Verona

Battle of Verona

1805 Oct 18
, Verona

The French Army of Italy under the command of André Masséna fought 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.
Battle of Trafalgar

Battle of Trafalgar

1805 Oct 21
, Cape Trafalgar

Napoleon's naval plan in 1805 was for the French and Spanish fleets in the Mediterranean and Cádiz to break through the blockade and combine in the West Indies. They would then return, assist the fleet in Brest to emerge from blockade, and in combination clear the English Channel of Royal Navy ships, ensuring a safe passage for the invasion barges. The plan seemed good on paper but as the war wore on, Napoleon's unfamiliarity with naval strategy and ill-advised naval commanders continued to haunt the French. The allied fleet, under the command of French Admiral Villeneuve, sailed from the port of Cádiz in the south of Spain on 18 October 1805. They encountered the British fleet under Admiral Lord Nelson, recently assembled to meet this threat, in the Atlantic Ocean along the southwest coast of Spain, off Cape Trafalgar. The Battle of Trafalgar was a naval engagement between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies during the War of the Third Coalition.
Battle of Caldiero

Battle of Caldiero

1805 Oct 30
, Caldiero

News that Emperor Napoleon I demolished the main Austrian army in the Ulm Campaign finally reached Masséna on 28 October and he issued orders for an immediate offensive against the Austrian army in northern Italy. Crossing the Adige river with the divisions of Duhesme, Gardanne, and Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor and leaving behind Jean Mathieu Seras' division to cover Verona, Masséna planned to move forward into Austrian-controlled territory. Archduke Charles of Austria-Teschen, himself acutely aware of the dire consequences of the fall of Ulm, was planning to move towards Vienna, in order to reinforce the remains of the Austrian army and link up with the Russians. However, in order to avoid having Masséna's men on his heels, he decided to suddenly turn and face the French, hoping that by defeating them he would ensure the success of his march towards inner Austria. The battle was thus a significant strategical victory for the French because it allowed them to closely follow the Austrian army and to harassing it continually in a number of skirmishes, as it fell back towards inner Austria. Masséna thus delayed Charles and prevent him from joining the army of the Danube, which would greatly influence the outcome of the war. Historians disagree on whether Caldiero was a French tactical victory, an Austrian tactical victory or a draw.
The Battle of Cape Ortegal by Thomas Whitcombe

Battle of Cape Ortegal

1805 Nov 4
, Cariño

The Battle of Cape Ortegal was the final action of the Trafalgar campaign, and was fought between a squadron of the Royal Navy and a remnant of the fleet that had been defeated earlier at the Battle of Trafalgar. It took place on 4 November 1805 off Cape Ortegal, in north-west Spain and saw Captain Sir Richard Strachan defeat and capture a French squadron under Rear-Admiral Pierre Dumanoir le Pelley. It is sometimes referred to as Strachan's Action.
Battle of Amstetten

Battle of Amstetten

1805 Nov 5
, Amstetten

The Battle of Amstetten was a minor engagement which occurred when the retreating Russo-Austrian troops, led by Mikhail Kutuzov, were intercepted by Marshal Joachim Murat's cavalry and a portion of Marshal Jean Lannes' corps. Pyotr Bagration defended against the advancing French troops and allowed the Russian troops to retreat. This was the first fight in which a major part of the Russian Army opposed a significant number of French troops in the open. The total number of Russo-Austrian troops was around 6,700, while the French troops numbered roughly 10,000 troops. The Russo-Austrian forces suffered more casualties but were still able to successfully retreat.
Battle of Mariazell

Battle of Mariazell

1805 Nov 8
, Mariazell

Only the corps of Michael von Kienmayer and Franz Jellacic escaped envelopment by the Grande Armée of Napoleon. As Kienmayer's columns fled to the east, they joined with elements of the Russian Empire's army in a rear guard action at the Battle of Amstetten on 5 November. A few days later, Davout's III Corps caught up with Merveldt's division at Mariazell. The Austrian soldiers, their morale shaken by continuous retreating, were routed after a brief struggle.

Gen. Mack and his staff surrender the Ulm fortress.

Battle of Dürenstein

1805 Nov 11
, Dürnstein

At Dürenstein, a combined force of Russian and Austrian troops trapped a French division commanded by Théodore Maxime Gazan. The French division was part of the newly created VIII Corps, the so-called Corps Mortier, under command of Édouard Mortier. In pursuing the Austrian retreat from Bavaria, Mortier had over-extended his three divisions along the north bank of the Danube. Mikhail Kutuzov, commander of the Coalition force, enticed Mortier to send Gazan's division into a trap and French troops were caught in a valley between two Russian columns. They were rescued by the timely arrival of a second division, under command of Pierre Dupont de l'Étang. The battle extended well into the night, after which both sides claimed victory. The French lost more than a third of their participants, and Gazan's division experienced over 40 percent losses. The Austrians and Russians also had heavy losses—close to 16 percent—but perhaps the most significant was the death in action of Johann Heinrich von Schmitt, one of Austria's most capable chiefs of staff.
Capitulation of Dornbirn

Capitulation of Dornbirn

1805 Nov 13
, Dornbirn

The Ulm Campaign in October 1805 was catastrophic for Austria, with only the corps of Michael von Kienmayer and Franz Jellacic escaping envelopment and capture by the Grande Armée of Napoleon. While Kienmayer's troops withdrew east toward Vienna, the only escape route open to Jellacic was to the south. As some of Napoleon's corps moved south into the Alps and the Austrian army of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen withdrew from Italy, Jellacic's force was cut off from the rest of Austria. In a remarkable trek, his cavalry set off for Bohemia and evaded capture. However, Augereau's late-arriving corps moved into the Vorarlberg and, after a number of clashes, trapped Jellacic's infantry at Dornbirn. The French VII Corps under Marshal Pierre Augereau faced an Austrian force led by Franz Jellacic. Isolated near Lake Constance (Bodensee) by superior numbers of French troops, Jellacic surrendered his command.
Battle of Schöngrabern

Battle of Schöngrabern

1805 Nov 16
, Hollabrunn

The Russian army of Kutuzov was retiring north of the Danube before the French army of Napoleon. On 13 November 1805 Marshals Murat and Lannes, commanding the French advance guard, had captured a bridge over the Danube at Vienna by falsely claiming that an armistice had been signed, and then rushing the bridge while the guards were distracted. After sustaining several French assaults and holding the position for some six hours, Bagration was driven out and executed a skilled and organised withdrawal to retire northeast to join the main Russian army. His skillful defence in the face of superior forces successfully delayed the French enough for the Russian forces of Kutuzov and Buxhowden to unite at Brno (Brünn) on 18 November 1805.
Battle of Castelfranco Veneto

Battle of Castelfranco Veneto

1805 Nov 24
, Castelfranco Veneto

After hearing the news of Ulm, the main army of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen began withdrawing from northern Italy and Archduke John of Austria's smaller army pulled out of the County of Tyrol. In the confusion, Rohan's brigade became separated from John's army. First, Rohan attempted to join part of Charles' army. Failing, he had his men move south to link up with the Austrian garrison of Venice. After an epic march Rohan's brigade was cornered short of Venice. Two divisions of the French Army of Italy confronted an Austrian brigade led by Prince Louis Victor de Rohan-Guéméné. The Austrians had made a remarkable march from deep in the Alps to the plains of northern Italy. But, caught between the divisions of Jean Reynier and Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr, Rohan surrendered his command after failing to fight his way out.
Battle of Austerlitz

Battle of Austerlitz

1805 Dec 2
, Slavkov u Brna

The Battle of Austerlitz was one of the most important and decisive engagements of the Napoleonic Wars. In what is widely regarded as the greatest victory achieved by Napoleon, the Grande Armée of France defeated a larger Russian and Austrian army led by Emperor Alexander I and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II. Austerlitz brought the War of the Third Coalition to a rapid end, with the Treaty of Pressburg signed by the Austrians later in the month.
HMS Diadem at the capture of the Cape of Good Hope, by Thomas Whitcombe.

Battle of Blaauwberg

1806 Jan 8
, Bloubergstrand

At that time, the Cape Colony belonged to the Batavian Republic, a French vassal. Because the sea route around the Cape was important to the British, they decided to seize the colony in order to prevent it—and the sea route—from also coming under French control. A British fleet was despatched to the Cape in July 1805, to forestall French troopships which Napoleon had sent to reinforce the Cape garrison. After a British victory, peace was made under the Treaty Tree in Woodstock. It established British rule in South Africa, which was to have many ramifications for the region during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Duckworth's Action off San Domingo, 6 February 1806, Nicholas Pocock

Battle of San Domingo

1806 Feb 6
, Santo Domingo

Squadrons of French and British ships of the line fought off the southern coast of the French-occupied Spanish colonial Captaincy General of Santo Domingo in the Caribbean. All five of the French ships of the line commanded by Vice-Admiral Corentin-Urbain Leissègues were captured or destroyed. The Royal Navy led by Vice-Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth lost no ships and suffered fewer than a hundred killed while the French lost approximately 1,500 men. Only a small number of the French squadron were able to escape.
Invasion of Naples

Invasion of Naples

1806 Feb 8
, Naples

An army of the French Empire led by Marshal André Masséna marched from northern Italy into the Kingdom of Naples, an ally of the Coalition against France ruled by King Ferdinand IV. The Neapolitan army was vanquished at Campo Tenese and rapidly disintegrated. The invasion was eventually successful despite some setbacks, including the prolonged Siege of Gaeta, the British victory at Maida, and a stubborn guerrilla war by the peasantry against the French. Total success eluded the French because Ferdinand withdrew to his domain in Sicily where he was protected by the Royal Navy and a British Army garrison. In 1806 Emperor Napoleon appointed his brother Joseph Bonaparte to rule over southern Italy as king.

Siege of Gaeta

Siege of Gaeta

1806 Feb 26
, Gaeta

The fortress city of Gaeta and its Neapolitan garrison under Louis of Hesse-Philippsthal was 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.
Battle of Campo Tenese

Battle of Campo Tenese

1806 Mar 9
, Morano Calabro

Two divisions of the Imperial French Army of Naples led by Jean Reynier attacked the left wing of the Royal Neapolitan Army under Roger de Damas. Though the defenders were protected by field fortifications, a French frontal attack combined with a turning movement rapidly overran the position and routed the Neapolitans with heavy losses.
Battle of Maida 1806

Battle of Maida

1806 Jul 4
, Maida

The British expeditionary force fought a French force outside the town of Maida in Calabria, Italy during the Napoleonic Wars. John Stuart led 5,236 Anglo-Sicilian troops to victory over about 5,400 Franco-Italian-Polish troops under the command of French general Jean Reynier, inflicting significant losses while incurring relatively few casualties.
Confederation of the Rhine

Confederation of the Rhine

1806 Jul 12 - 1813
, Frankfurt am Main

The Confederated States of the Rhine, simply known as the Confederation of the Rhine, also known as Napoleonic Germany, was a confederation of German client states established at the behest of Napoleon some months after he defeated Austria and Russia at the Battle of Austerlitz. Its creation brought about the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire shortly afterward. The Confederation of the Rhine lasted from 1806 to 1813.

The founding members of the confederation were German princes of the Holy Roman Empire. They were later joined by 19 others, altogether ruling a total of over 15 million subjects. This granted a significant strategic advantage to the French Empire on its eastern frontier by providing a buffer between France and the two largest German states, Prussia and Austria (which also controlled substantial non-German lands).

Battle of Mileto

Battle of Mileto

1807 May 28
, Mileto

The Battle of Mileto occurred in Calabria during an attempt by the Bourbon Kingdom of Sicily to re-conquer its possessions in continental Italy, known as the Kingdom of Naples. The battle ended in a victory for French forces under general Jean Reynier.


1807 Dec 1
, Slavkov u Brna

Key Findings:

  • The Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy gains Venice, Istria, Dalmatia from Austria
  • Bavaria gains Tyrol
  • Württemberg gains Habsburg territories in Swabia
  • Napoleon establishes the Kingdom of Holland and the Grand Duchy of Berg
  • The Holy Roman Empire dissolves, Franz II adbicates his title of Holy Roman Emperor
  • The Confederation of the Rhine forms from German princes of the former Holy Roman Empire.


References for War of the Third Coalition.

  • Chandler, David G. (1995). The Campaigns of Napoleon. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-02-523660-1.
  • Clayton, Tim; Craig, Phil (2004). Trafalgar: The Men, the Battle, the Storm. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-83028-X.
  • Desbrière, Edouard, The Naval Campaign of 1805: Trafalgar, 1907, Paris. English translation by Constance Eastwick, 1933.
  • Fisher, T.; Fremont-Barnes, G. (2004). The Napoleonic Wars: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. Oxford: Osprey. ISBN 978-1-84176-831-1.
  • Gardiner, Robert (2006). The campaign of Trafalgar, 1803–1805. Mercury Books. ISBN 1-84560-008-8.
  • Gerges, M. T. (2016). "Chapter 6: Ulm and Austerlitz". In Leggiere, M. V. (ed.). Napoleon and the Operational Art of War: Essays in Honor of Donald D. Horward. History of Warfare no. 110. Leiden: Brill. p. 221–248. ISBN 978-90-04310-03-2.
  • Goetz, Robert. 1805: Austerlitz: Napoleon and the Destruction of the Third Coalition (Greenhill Books, 2005). ISBN 1-85367-644-6.
  • Harbron, John D., Trafalgar and the Spanish Navy, 1988, London, ISBN 0-85177-963-8.
  • Marbot, Jean-Baptiste Antoine Marcelin. "The Battle of Austerlitz," Napoleon: Symbol for an Age, A Brief History with Documents, ed. Rafe Blaufarb (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2008), 122–123.
  • Masséna, André; Koch, Jean Baptiste Frédéric (1848–50). Mémoires de Masséna
  • Schneid, Frederick C. Napoleon's conquest of Europe: the War of the Third Coalition (Greenwood, 2005).