Reign of Napoleon
Napoleon Bonaparte was born on August 15, 1769, in Ajaccio, Corsica, France. He revolutionized military organization and training, sponsored Napoleonic Code, reorganized education and established the long-lived Concordat with the papacy. He died on May 5, 1821, on the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. he was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814 and again in 1815. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles building a large empire that ruled over continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. One of the greatest commanders in history,his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has ensured his status as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.
Battle of Austria
The Battle of Austerlitz was one of the most important and decisive engagements of the Napoleonic Wars. In what is widely regarded as the greatest victory achieved by Napoleon the Grande Armée of France defeated a larger Russian and Austrian army led by Tsar Alexander I and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II. The battle occurred near the village of Austerlitz in the Austrian Empire. Austerlitz brought the War of the Third Coalition to a rapid end with the Treaty of Pressburg signed by the Austrians later in the month. The battle is often cited as a tactical masterpiece, in the same league as other historic engagements like Cannae or Arbela.
After eliminating an Austrian army during the Ulm Campaign, French forces managed to capture Vienna in November 1805. The Austrians avoided further conflict until the arrival of the Russians bolstered Allied numbers. Napoleon sent his army north in pursuit of the Allies, but then ordered his forces to retreat so he could feign a grave weakness. Desperate to lure the Allies into battle, Napoleon gave every indication in the days preceding the engagement that the French army was in a pitiful state, even abandoning the dominant Pratzen Heights near Austerlitz. He deployed the French army below the Pratzen Heights and deliberately weakened his right flank, enticing the Allies to launch a major assault there in the hopes of rolling up the whole French line. A forced march from Vienna by Marshal Davout and his III Corps plugged the gap left by Napoleon just in time. Meanwhile, the heavy Allied deployment against the French right weakened the allied center on the Pratzen Heights, which was viciously attacked by the IV Corps of Marshal Soult. With the Allied center demolished, the French swept through both enemy flanks and sent the Allies fleeing chaotically, capturing thousands of prisoners in the process.
The Peninsular War lasted six years with extensive guerrilla warfare and ended in victory for the Allies. The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France Unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade the Russians routinely violated the Continental System and enticed Napoleon into another war. The French launched a major invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse of the Grand Army thedestruction of Russian cities, and inspired a renewed push against Napoleon by his enemies. In 1813 Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813. The Allies then invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814 forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power.
The downfall of napoleon Bonaparte
In 1810, Russia withdrew from the Continental System. In retaliation, Napoleon led a massive army into Russia in the summer of 1812. Rather than engaging the French in a full-scale battle, the Russians adopted a strategy of retreating whenever Napoleon’s forces attempted to attack. As a result, Napoleon’s troops trekked deeper into Russia despite being ill-prepared for an extended campaign. In September both sides suffered heavy casualties in the indecisive Battle of Borodino. Napoleon’s forces marched on to Moscow, only to discover almost the entire population evacuated. Retreating Russians set fires across the city in an effort to deprive enemy troops of supplies. After waiting a month for a surrender that never came, Napoleon, faced with the onset of the Russian winter, was forced to order his starving, exhausted army out of Moscow. During the disastrous retreat, his army suffered continual harassment from a suddenly aggressive and merciless Russian army. Of Napoleon’s 600,000 troops who began the campaign, only an estimated 100,000 made it out of Russia.
At the same time as the catastrophic Russian invasion, French forces were engaged in the Peninsular War (1808-1814), which resulted in the Spanish and Portuguese with assistance from the British, driving the French from the Iberian Peninsula. This loss was followed in 1813 by the Battle of Leipzig also known as the Battle of Nations in which Napoleon’s forces were defeated by a coalition that included Austrian, Prussian, Russian and Swedish troops. Napoleon then retreated to France, and in March 1814 coalition forces captured Paris.
On April 6, 1814, Napoleon then in his 40s was forced to abdicate the throne. With the Treaty of Fontainebleau, he was exiled to Elba, a Mediterranean island off the coast of Italy. He was given sovereignty over the small island, while his wife and son went to Austria. On February 26, 1815, after less than a year in exile Napoleon escaped Elba and sailed to the French mainland with a group of more than 1,000 supporters. On March 20, he returned to Paris where he was welcomed by cheering crowds. The new king Louis XVIII (1755-1824) fled and Napoleon began what came to be known as his Hundred Days campaign.
Upon Napoleon’s return to France, a coalition of allies–the Austrians, British, Prussians and Russians–who considered the French emperor an enemy began to prepare for war. Napoleon raised a new army and planned to strike preemptively, defeating the allied forces one by one before they could launch a united attack against him.
In June 1815, his forces invaded Belgium, where British and Prussian troops were stationed. On June 16, Napoleon’s troops defeated the Prussians at the Battle of Ligny two days later, on June 18, at the Battle of Waterloo near Brussels, the French were crushed by the British, with assistance from the Prussians On June 22, 1815, Napoleon was once again forced to abdicate. In October 1815, Napoleon was exiled to the remote, British-held island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. He died there on May 5, 1821, at age 51 from stomach cancer Napoleon was buried on the island despite his request to be laid to rest In 1840, his remains were returned to France and entombed in a crypt at Les Invalides in Paris where other French military leaders are interred.