Battle of Millesimo, 13-14 April 1796

The battle of Millesimo (13-14 April 1796) was a minor French victory during Napoleon Bonaparte's first campaign in Italy in the spring of 1796, and saw a French force under General Augereau eventually overcome Piedmontese resistance at Millesimo and Cosseria.

In the aftermath of the French victory at Montenotte on 12 April 1796 Napoleon ordered General Augereau to move west towards Montezernolo, where he was to join up with General Sérurier's division, which was advancing up the Tanaro valley from Ormea. In his way was an Austro-Piedmontese force based at Millesimo. The French line of advance seems to have taken them across the

Napoleon's entry into Italy, 1796
Napoleon's entry into
Italy, 1796

mountains to the south of Millesimo. On 13 April Augereau forced his way through a gorge south of the town, isolated a small enemy force under Marquis Provera. With the French to his west Provera was forced to retreat east, taking up a strong position in the castle of Cosseria.

Provera managed to hold on to this position for the rest of 13 April and into 14 April. During the attacks on 13 April General Joubert was wounded, and the French suffered heavy casualties. On the morning of 14 April Napoleon took command of the attack, and eventually Provera was forced to surrender. The French took around 1,500 prisoners, and the road west to Montezernolo and the Piedmontese camp at Ceva was opened to them.

A certain amount of confusion has crept into the sources on this battle, partly because it is sometimes associated rather too closely with the fighting at Dego, six miles to the north east of Cosseria. Napoleon's own reports on the fighting have played a part in this confusion.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (26 January 2009), Battle of Millesimo, 13-14 April 1796 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_millesimo.html

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