Battle of Novi (1799)

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Battle of Novi
Part of the French Revolutionary Wars
Battle of Novi.jpg
Alexander Kotzebue. Battle of Novi
Date 15 August 1799
Location Novi Ligure, Piedmont, present-day Italy
Result Austro-Russian victory
France France Russia Russian Empire
Holy Roman Empire Austria
Commanders and leaders
Barthélemy Catherine Joubert  
Jean Victor Marie Moreau
Alexander Suvorov
2,000 Cavalry
43 Guns
44,000 Infantry
7,000 Cavalry
66 Guns
Casualties and losses
12,000 killed and wounded
4,600 prisoners
37 guns
28 powder transports
1,300 killed
4,700 wounded

The Battle of Novi was a battle near Novi Ligure, Italy. It was fought on 15 August 1799 in the French Revolutionary Wars. The Austrians and Russians under Fieldmarshal Alexander Suvorov defeated the French under General Barthelemy Catherine Joubert.

Before the battle[edit]

In 1799, Second Coalition forces had defeated French troops in Italy, left by Napoleon during his Egyptian campaign. After the defeat at the Battle of Cassano, French and Cisalpine Italian troops retreated into the Ligurian Republic for a final resistance on the plateau immediately south of the town of Novi, a few miles to the southeast of Marengo.

The battle[edit]

Russian and Austrian forces under Suvorov swept across the Po River valley, in effect recapturing lands that had previously been taken by Napoleon. All that lay in the Allies way were scattered French forces around Genoa and the fortress of Tortona. On August 4 Joubert and his reinforcements landed at Genoa and gathered at Novi. The French Directory had chosen Joubert to command as they saw him as a potential rival to Napoleon's tactical genius. Thinking Joubert was advancing to Tortona, Suvorov and the Allies attacked.

On 15 August, the Austro-Russian army, led by Suvorov, attacked French positions. In the early moments of the battle, Joubert died, shot in a skirmish line action, but the French resisted the Austrian attack and counter-attacked. The battle is characterized by several coalition attacks, repelled by French forces, until afternoon, when a final blow ordered by Suvorov caused the French to retreat in disorder through the mountains to the Ligurian coast.