Sunday, September 20, 2020

Rough Timeline of the Age of Napoleon


20 November 1753 Louis-Alexandre Berthier is born.

16 May 1758 André Masséna is born.

29 September 1758 Horatio Nelson is born.

8 July 1766 Dominique Jean Larrey is born.

10 April 1769 Jean Lannes is born.

1 May 1769 Arthur Wellesley is born.

15 August 1769 Napoleon born in Ajaccio, on the island of Corsica

5 September 1771 Archduke Charles Louis John Joseph Laurentius, third son of Emperor Leopold II and Maria Luisa, is born.

1779 Napoleon enrolled at the military academy of Brienne-le-Château

1784 Napoleon admitted to the École Militaire in Paris

1785 Napoleon commissioned a second lieutenant in the 1st Artillery Regiment

1789 The Estates-General of France meet; the French Revolution begins

Revolutionary Period

20 April 1792 France declares war on Austria; the War of the First Coalition begins, during which Larrey will begin his revolution in military medicine, including the invention of the ambulances volantes and the concept of triage.

March 1793 The War in the Vendée begins as Catholic peasants rise up against the Revolutionary suppression of the Church and against forced conscription.

July 1793 Napoleon publishes Le souper de Beaucaire, a political pamphlet attempting to address common concerns about the Revolution; this catches the attention of a number of powerful people, including Augustin Robespierre.

August 1793 Due to Robespierre's influence, Napoleon is put in charge of artillery for the Siege of Toulon; his artillery tactics lead to the capture of the city, but he is wounded in the thigh. Promoted to Brigadier General, he is given command of artillery for the Army of Italy

1795 Napoleon assigned as infantry commander to the Army of the West and the War in the Vendée; as it would technically have been a demotion, he gets out of it by pleading poor health, and is assigned instead to the Bureau of Topography. His continued refusal to take demotion and serve in the Vendée will lead to his removal from the list of generals in active service. He turns this around, however, by helping to put down the 13 Vendémiaire revolt in Paris, which leads to his promotion to Commander of the Interior and the command of the Army of Italy. Berthier is made his chief of staff.

9 March 1796 Napoleon marries Joséphine de Beauharnais.

April 1796 In the whirlwind Montenotte campaign, Napoleon shatters the cohesion of the First Coalition.

January 1797 Napoleon defeats the Austrians at the Battle of Rivoli, in great measure due to a forced march by André Masséna to provide reinforcements.

17 October 1797 The Treaty of Campo Formio ends the War of the First Coalition.

1798 Napoleon commands the Expedition to Egypt in order to try to hamper British trade routes; he defeats the Mamluks in the Battle of Shubra Khit and the Battle of the Pyramids. The French Revolutionary Navy under François-Paul Brueys d'Aigalliers are defeated at the Battle of the Nile by the British Royal Navy under Horatio Nelson, thus trapping Napoleon's army in Egypt and giving the British dominance of the Mediterranean. Napoleon rules Egypt as military governor. The French consolidate rule in Egypt and begin conquering Syria from the Ottomans.

29 November 1798 War of the Second Coalition begins.

12 March 1799 Austria declares war on France, a matter of good timing on the part of Austria because the French Revolutionary Army is too overextended and scattered.

20 March 1799 The Siege of Acre begins. While Napoleon expects it to be a short siege, the brilliant administrative capabilities of Jezzar Pasha, in addition to the fear of the Syrian troops and the civilians that the French would massacre them even if they surrendered, extends the siege a month and a half and to strengthen the fortifications of the city; British blockade of French supply lines forces Napoleon to retreat, his first major failure.

June 1799 André Masséna is defeated by Archduke Charles at the First Battle of Zurich

18 June 1799 The Coup of 30 Prairial VII; Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès bloodlessly seizes power

September 1799 At the Second Battle of Zurich, André Masséna defeats the united Austrian and Russian armies, retaking Switzerland and forcing Russia to withdraw from the Coalition.

9 October 1799 Napoleon returns to Paris a war hero.

9 November 1799 The Coup of 18 Brumaire VIII; Lucien Bonaparte manipulates the Councils to evacuate Paris due to a (fictional) Jacobin uprising, under the protection of Napoleon. The Bonapartes seize power by outmaneuvering Sieyès and Napoleon is elected First Consul.

The Consulate Period

15 July 1801 Concordat of 1801 ends the period of suppression for the Catholic Church

March 1802 The Treaty of Amiens ends the War of the Second Coalition.

4 August 1802 The Constitution of the Year X is adopted, making Napoleon First Consul for Life.

1803 Larrey publishes Relation historique et chirurgicale de l’expédition de l’armée d’orient, en Egypte et en Syrie.

18 May 1803 Britain declares war on France and the War of the Third Coalition begins, although very little in the way of hostilities occurs for some time.

18 May 1804 The French Senate grants Napoleon the title of Emperor of the French, and the First French Empire begins.

The First Imperial Period

March 1805 Napoleon begins the Trafalgar Campaign.

May 1805 Napoleon crowns himself King of Italy.

August 1805 Napoleon begins the successful Ulm Campaign.

21 October 1805 The British Royal Navy under Nelson defeats the French Imperial Navy under Villeneuve, although Nelson himself dies from wounds in battle. British naval superiority over the French is conclusively established.

30 October 1805 Marshal Masséna defeats Archduke Charles at the Battle of Caldiero in Italy.

2 December 1805 Napoleon wins the Battle of Austerlitz against the Austrians and the Russians, in what is generally regarded as his greatest victory. Napoleon writes to Josephine, "I have defeated the Austro-Russian army commanded by the two emperors; I am a little weary."

27 December 1805 The Treaty of Pressburg ends the War of the Third Coalition.

1806 The Invasion of Italy; Masséna seizes the Kingdom of Naples.

15 August 1806 The construction of the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile begins

October 1806 The War of the Fourth Coalition begins.

12 August 1807 The Gunboat War between Denmark-Norway and Britain begins.

2 September 1807 Anglo-Russian War begins between Russia and Britain.

2 May 1808 Peninsular War begins between France and Spain/Portugal; the British send Arthur Wellesley to Iberia to support the Portuguese.

10 April 1809 The War of the Fifth Coalition begins.

22 May 1809 Archduke Charles defeats Napoleon at the Battle of Aspern-Essling, but Napoleon manages to withdraw. Lannes is wounded in battle and, despite Larrey's swift surgical response, will die from the wounds.

6 July 1809 Napoleon decisively defeats Archduke Charles at the Battle of Wagram.

14 October 1809 The Treaty of Schönbrunn ends the War of the Fifth Coalition.

24 June 1812 Napoleon makes his legendary mistake of invading Russia.

18 August 1812 Arthur Wellesley is made Earl of Wellington and given command of the Allied armies in Spain.

14 September 1812 Napoleon captures Moscow but cannot hold it.

3 March 1813 The War of the Sixth Coalition begins.

19 October 1813 The Coalition decisively defeats Napoleon at the the Battle of Leipzig, also known as the Battle of Nations because of the size of the battle, which would remain the largest European battle ever until World War I. It is estimated that over 200,000 rounds of ammunition were used, and the casualties on both sides were so high that the locals were still disposing of corpses months later.

31 March 1814 The War of the Sixth Coalition ends when French forces capitulate to the Coalition after the Battle of Paris. Napoleon is furious at the capitulation, but cannot persuade his marshals to continue to fight.

April 1814 The French Senate deposes Napoleon; Napoleon tries to abdicate in favor of his son, but this is rejected by the Coalition. At the Treaty of Fontainebleu, Napoleon is made to abdicate unconditionally and is exiled to Elba. Larrey offers to join Napoleon, but is forbidden by Napoleon to do so. Louis XVIII becomes King of France.

The Return Period

3 May 1814 Arthur Wellesley is made Duke of Wellington and Marquess of Douro.

November 1814 Congress of Vienna begins.

26 February 1815 Napoleon escapes from Elba. Sympathizers and old comrades begin flocking to him.

13 March 1815 Congress of Vienna declares Napoleon an outlaw and the War of the Seventh Coalition begins.

19 March 1815 Napoleon enters Paris at the head of a large army.

1 June 1815 Berthier mysteriously dies by falling out of a window.

18 June 1815 Napoleon is defeated by Coalition forces under Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon returns to Paris to attempt to pull together political support for further action, but fails.

22 June 1815 Napoleon abdicates in favor of his son.

10 July 1815 Napoleon is captured by the British and is sent in exile to Saint Helena.

4 April 1817 Masséna dies.

5 May 1821 Napoleon receives last rites and dies on Saint Helena, apparently from stomach cancer, although this has long been disputed.

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