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The Campaign in Italy, 1796-97: Dego

Virtual Battlefield Tour

By Bill Peterson

The village of Dego, dominated by the dramatically-situated church atop the sheer bluffs on the east bank of the Bormida, was taken by Mass´┐Żna's Advance Guard on 14 April 1796 in a hard fight against Argenteau's Austro-Sardinian force. In what was to prove a recurrent problem during the campaign, La Salcette's brigade dispersed during the night in search of plunder. At dawn on 15 April, Wukassovitch at the head of five Austrian battalions counterattacked and recaptured the ill-defended village. It required the intervention of Bonaparte and 15,000 French including Laharpe's and Victor's commands to repulse Wukassovitch and regain Dego. This action definitively separated Beaulieu's Austrian army from Colli's Piedmontese, allowing Bonaparte to concentrate on defeating Colli and driving Piedmont out of the war.

Click on any thumbnail image for a larger view.

  1. The village of Dego and the Bormida River.
  2. Dego church, looking east (and up) from the lower village.
  3. View from the heights east of Dego, looking west over the Bormida Valley.
  4. View from the heights, looking southwest over Dego.
  5. The death of General Causse


Placed on the Napoleon Series: February 2001