Napoleons First Italian campaign

Battle of Voltri
Battle of Voltri ©Keith Rocco
1796 Apr 10

Battle of Voltri

Genoa, Italy

The battle saw two Habsburg Austrian columns under the overall direction of Johann Peter Beaulieu attack a reinforced French brigade under Jean-Baptiste Cervoni. After a skirmish lasting several hours, the Austrians forced Cervoni to withdraw west along the coast to Savona. In the spring of 1796, Beaulieu was installed as the new commander of the combined armies of Austria and the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont in northwest Italy. His opposite number was also new to the job of army commander. Napoleon Bonaparte arrived from Paris to direct the French Army of Italy. Bonaparte immediately began planning an offensive, but Beaulieu struck first by launching an attack against Cervoni's somewhat overextended force.