Marengo: The Victory That Placed the Crown of France on Napoleon's Head

Marengo: The Victory That Placed the Crown of France on Napoleon's Head

by Terry Crowdy


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On 14 June 1800 Napoleon Bonaparte fought his first battle as French head of state at Marengo in northern Italy. Unexpectedly attacked, Napoleon’s army fought one of the most intense battles of the French Revolutionary Wars. Forced to retreat, and threatened with encirclement, Napoleon saved his reputation with a daring counterattack, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. This battle consolidated Napoleon’s political position and placed the crown of France within his reach.

Meticulously researched using memoirs, reports and regimental histories from both armies, Marengo casts new light on this crucial battle and reveals why Napoleon came so close to defeat and why the Austrians ultimately threw their victory away. With the most detailed account of the battle ever written, the author focuses on the leading personalities in the French and Austrian camps, describing the key events leading up to the battle, and the complex armistice negotiations which followed. For the first time, the author exposes the full story of Carlo Gioelli, the enigmatic Italian double agent who misled both armies in the prelude to battle.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473859203
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 09/20/2018
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

T.E. CROWDY is a well-established author specializing in the Napoleonic Wars and espionage history. Known for his lively narrative and attention to detail, Crowdy’s research on Marengo has won awards with the respected Napoleon Series Writing Contest. Marengo is the product of twenty years of research and visits to the battlefield. The author is the Fire and Emergency Planning Adviser for Historic Royal Palaces. He lives in Rainham, Kent.

Table of Contents

Maps viii

Picture credits ix

Author's Preface xiii

Prologue: On the battlefield of Marengo xiv

Chapter 1 1799: A Secret History 1

Chapter 2 Brumaire 13

Chapter 3 The Savona Plot 27

Chapter 4 French Preparations 42

Chapter 5 Melas Attacks 51

Chapter 6 Over the Alps 67

Chapter 7 The Fall of Genoa 84

Chapter 8 The Armies Concentrate 104

Chapter 9 'This time we have this Bonaparte' 116

Chapter 10 That Miserable Ditch 140

Chapter 11 The Battle for Marengo 159

Chapter 12 The March of the Consular Guard 175

Chapter 13 This New Thermopylae 195

Chapter 14 Vengeance! 211

Chapter 15 Victory 236

Chapter 16 The Convention of Alessandria 253

Endnotes 274

Orders of Battle 286

Author's note on the sources 290

Acknowledgements 297

Bibliography 298

Index 312

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