THE 1799 CAMPAIGN IN ITALY - VOLUME 4
THE BATTLE OF NOVI AND THE END OF THE ITALIAN CAMPAIGN
Autore: Enrico Acerbi
France loses the war in Italy
The battle of Novi (15 August 1799) was the major French defeat in Italy that saw an Austro-Russian army under Marshal Suvorov defeat the combined French armies in Italy.
At the start of the fighting in 1799 the French had dominated Italy, but after a series of defeats at Magnano, Cassano and the Trebbia they had been forced back to Genoa, where the armies of Generals Macdonald and Moreau were combined under the command of Barthélemy Joubert. At Novi the French losses are generally states as 1,500 dead, 5,000 wounded and 3,000-4,600 prisoners, a total of at least 9,500. Three generals, four flags, 37 guns and 28 caissons were lost. The Austro-Russians lost 1,800 dead and 5,200 wounded, reflecting the long hours of fierce fighting in front of the French positions, but only 1,200 prisoners, for a total of 8,200 losses. After the victory the Russian commander Suvarov was called away to deal with the crisis in Switzerland, and was replaced by Mélas. The new commanders would fight a series of skirmishes, and one battle, at Genola, before the French were forced back across the Alps and so the war ended!