The Second Coalition (3)

1798 to 1801

The Austrian commander, General Michael Melas, quickly pulled his men back to face the new threat. The only good news he received was that of the surrender of Massena.

It was, however, the beginning of a dire period for Austria. An Austrian army was beaten at Montebello by General Jean Lannes, but the situation almost worked in Melas' favour as an overconfident Bonaparte stretched his forces too far and walked into the Austrian commander's full force at Marengo.

It was almost a battle of two halves as first the Austrians had the decisive edge, then the arrival of General Louis Desaix and reinforcements swung it entirely in France's favour.

The ensuing rout destroyed Austria's army in Italy and any hopes for the Second Coalition.

In the German theatre, Moreau beat the Austrians at Stockach, Moskirch, Ulm and Hochstadt - a series of defeats that led to the replacement of General Paul Kray with the Archduke John.

The last major battle of the Second Coalition was at Hohenlinden where the Austrians again were decisively beaten.

With French forces advancing on Vienna from several directions the Austrians sued for peace and signed the Treaty of Luneville.


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