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The Campaign in Italy, 1796-97: The Second Battle of Castiglione 5 August 1796
Virtual Battlefield Tour
Castiglione was the decisive action of Bonaparte�s hard-fought campaign to turn back W�rmser�s attempt to relieve Mantua. It is also noteworthy, as illustrated in Chandler�s chapter �The Embryonic System: Castiglione� in The Campaigns of Napoleon, for the early demonstration of Napoleon�s battle system, later to be developed with dramatic effect at Austerlitz, Friedland, and Bautzen.
At Castiglione, the key stages of the battle were:
Due to some errors of timing, the high fatigue level of the French troops, and the intervention of a fresh Austrian brigade under Weidenfeld which arrived from Peschiera in time to cover the retreat of W�rmser�s main body, the French victory was less than annihilating. Still, the Austrians lost 5,000 men and 22 guns compared to French losses of slightly over 1,000. More importantly, Bonaparte achieved his strategic goal of forcing W�rmser to retreat north to the Tyrol, allowing the siege of Mantua to be resumed.
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Chandler, David G. The Campaigns of Napoleon London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 1966.
Trani�, Jean and J.C. Carmigniani. Napol�on Bonaparte: La Premi�re Campagne d�Italie, 1796-97 Paris : Pygmalion; 1990.
Voykowitsch, Bernhard. Castiglione1796 Maria Enzerdorf : Helmet Military Publications; 1998.
Placed on the Napoleon Series: July 2001