Napoleons First Italian campaign
1797 Feb 2
Mantua surrendersMantua, Italy
After the battle of Rivoli, Joubert and Ray began a successful pursuit of Alvinczi, all but destroying his columns, the remnants of which fled north up into the Adige Valley in confusion. The Battle of Rivoli was Bonaparte's greatest victory at the time. After that he turned his attention to Giovanni di Provera. On 13 January his corps (9,000 men) had crossed north of Legnano and driven straight for the relief of Mantua which was besieged by French forces under Jean Sérurier. At night on 15 January Provera sent a message to Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser to break out in a concerted attack. On 16 January, when Wurmser attacked he was driven back into Mantua by Sérurier. The Austrians were attacked from the front by Masséna (who had force marched from Rivoli) and from the rear by the division of Pierre Augereau, and were thus forced to surrender the entire force. The Austrian army in North Italy had ceased to exist. On 2 February Mantua surrendered with its garrison of 16,000 men, all that remained of an army of 30,000. The troops marched out with the 'honours of war', and laid down their arms. Wurmser with his staff and an escort were allowed to go free. The remainder were sent to Austria after swearing an oath to not serve against the French for a Year, 1,500 guns were found in the fortress.