Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Piedmont Campaign – April 1796

Strategic Map of Italy

On 2 March 1796 General Bonaparte is appointed commander in chief of the Army of Italy.  

The campaign in Italy has ground to a halt, and the French army is a low state of morale.

Despite the daunting task ahead of him, the young Bonaparte is determined to take the initiative and destroy the combined Sardinian/Austrian army he faces.

Tactical Map of Piedmont at Start of Campaign

The French army of 60,000 men hold a narrow strip of coast from Savona to Genoa.

General Colli commands 30,000 Sardinians who hold the northern towns of Turin and Alessandria.

General Beaulieu has just arrived at Mortara with 30,000 Austrians with orders to join forces with Colli and drive the French out of Italy.

Austrian Army

General Beaulieu has two divisions
Their supply base is at Mortana
They have orders to march to Allesandria and join forces with Colli
2nd Austrian division commanded by Sebottendorf is at Mortara
3rd Austrian division commanded by Argenteau is also at Mortara

Sardinian Army

General Colli has two divisions
Their supply base is Turin
They have orders to hold Fossano and Alessandria until the Austrians arrive
1st Sardinian division commanded by Brempt is at Fossano
2nd Sardinian division commanded by Provera is at Alessandria

French Army of Italy

Bonaparte’s plan of battle is to attack and defeat the Sardinians before the Austrians can come to their assistance.

He is aware that the Sardinian army is deployed to cover Turin and Alessandria, but is not aware of their exact locations.

French supply depot is at Albenga and Genoa
3rd French division commanded by Massena is at Genova
4th French division commanded by Argereau is at Albenga
5th French division commanded by Serurier is at Mondovi
6th French division commanded by Laharpe is in reserve at Savona


  1. Sorry if I missed this in an earlier post, but which figures are you using for the Sardinians?



  2. Hi John

    I use Foundry Spanish for the Sardinians.

    I stopped painting figures about six years ago, and have only used those in my collection for all campaigns and wargames since then. I only have later period French, so their uniforms will be wrong for the period anyway.

    I am not sure what uniforms the Sardinians wore, but I suspect that they were similar to the Spanish.

    The aim of this campaign series is to research Napoleon's campaigns, and then follow the broad outline. It will not result in the actual battles, but should give me an insight into each campaign and provide Jan and I with some interesting wargames.



  3. Paul,

    Would it be possible for you to post a copy of the tactical map somewhere without any units marked on it please?



  4. Hi John

    If you let me have your email address I can easily send you one