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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

November 17th, 1796 - The Battle of Arcola

Conflict: War of the First Coalition

Combatants: Austrians vs. French

Location: Republic of Venice (Italy)

Outcome: French victory

Having been repulsed at the Battle of Caldiero, Napoleon Bonaparte swung south in a renewed attempt to break the 24,000 soldiers under Baron Josef Alvinczy before he could reunite with the remainder of the Austrian army. Napoleon's troops were halted after multiple failed attempts to cross the bridge at Arcola. Fortunately for Napoleon, on November 17th, French cavalry succeeded in crossing the river south of Arcola and the Austrians, fearing encirclement, retreated. The Austrians had taken about 6,000 casualties; the French over 4,500.

La Bataille du Pont d'Arcole by Horace Vernet

Points of Interest:

  • A second Austrian army was enroute to Arcola, but arrived too late change the outcome of the battle.

  • Despite his failures against Napoleon in Italy, Alvinczy was promoted to field marshal 1797 and later became the governor of Hungary.

József Alvinczi by an unknown artist

Napoleon I of France by Andrea Appiani

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