Napoleons First Italian campaign
Battle of CastiglioneCastiglione delle Stiviere, It
Castiglione was the first attempt by the Austrian army to break the French Siege of Mantua, which was the primary Austrian fortress in northern Italy. To achieve this goal, Wurmser planned to lead four converging columns against the French. It succeeded insofar as Bonaparte lifted the siege in order to have the manpower sufficient to meet the threat. But his skill and the speed of his troops' march allowed the French army commander to keep the Austrian columns separated and defeat each in detail over a period of about one week. Although the final flank attack was prematurely delivered, it nevertheless resulted in a victory. The outnumbered Austrians were defeated and driven back along a line of hills to the river crossing at Borghetto, where they retired beyond the Mincio River. This battle was one of four famous victories won by Bonaparte during the War of the First Coalition, part of the Wars of the French Revolution. The others were Bassano, Arcole, and Rivoli.