14 January 1797
Guides for Northern Italy
battle of Rivoli occurred as Austria's General
Alvintzy made his fourth and final attempt to relieve
the siege of Mantua, which had trapped his colleague General
Wurmser and 30,000 of his men.
with 28,000 men, Alvintzy tried to weaken General
Napoleon Bonaparte's force of 10,000 men by launching
diversionary attacks, but they did not achieve their desired
had a feeling they were only feints and was waiting to hear
from General Joubert, who was more likely to receive the
main attack. His refusal to be distracted proved correct
and when Alvintzy pushed Joubert back, Bonaparte was ready
attacks by the Austrians were turned back, but the outnumbered
French had to plug gaps to stop being out flanked.
Reinforcements brought Bonaparte's strength to 17,000, but
still his army was stretched to the limit beating off simultaneous
men and artillery from one crucial spot to the next, Bonaparte
was able to defeat the assaults in turn before unleashing
a charge that swept away the tired Austrians.
next day the pursuit routed Alvintzy who, in two days of
fighting, had lost 14,000 men killed, wounded or captured.
had lost 5000, but ensured the surrender of Mantua and the
conquest of the important Po valley.