Throughout his career as a military man, Napoleon Bonaparte built an almost unshakable reputation for succeeding in battles that seemed to be virtually lost. His eloquent behavior, his close bond with his subordinates and his excellent knowledge of strategy were decisive so that the French revolutionary process was not terribly suffocated by the troops absolutists.
Soon after overthrowing the Directory and becoming the First Consul, Napoleon believed that it would not be interesting to reorganize his troops into a single grouping. Contrary to the obvious, he decided to divide his armies on different fronts. Such action was taken with the expectation that Austrian forces would not launch an attack against France.
However, the forces of General Michael Von Melas threw themselves at random against the French in a surprise attack in the Marengo region of northern Italy. Confident that he could take down Napoleon's troops easily, General Melas decided to hand over the command the troops to anticipate the news and rewards of your army's victory in the city of Vienna. The attitude taken, of a visibly presumptuous nature, ended up becoming the great opportunity for the French military.
Major General Anton Zach, the new head of the Austrian troops, made the mistake of placing his men in a single, long line. Until that moment, the French divisions were short of ammunition and unable to contain the onslaught of the Austrians. However, when he noticed the distant cannon fire in the direction of Marengo, General Louis Desaix, sent the day before to Austria, ordered his soldiers to return to the region. Italian.
With the surprise reinforcement of five thousand fighters, Napoleon and Desaix were able to face the powerful forces of Austria. Immediately thereafter, giving greater weight to the turn that seemed impossible, General François Etienne Kellerman and his cavalry launched a surprise attack on the left wing of the Austrians. With that, the formation of the enemies was completely disorganized and France guaranteed the triumph in this impressive battle.
In the end, we can observe that this conflict yielded a large number of casualties for both sides of the conflict. The French lost another three thousand soldiers and had a similar number of wounded. The Austrians already counted about three thousand imprisoned soldiers and more than seven thousand commanded between dead and wounded. On July 15, 1800, the day after the battle of Marengo, General Melas signed the agreement that called for the withdrawal of his troops from Italy.
By Rainer Sousa
Graduated in History
Brazil School Team
16th to 19th century - wars - Brazil School
Source: Brazil School - https://brasilescola.uol.com.br/guerras/a-batalha-marengo.htm