Battle of Rovereto, 4 September 1796

The battle of Rovereto (4 September 1796) was a series of scattered engagements between Napoleon's army advancing up the Adige valley on its way to join the Army of the Rhine on the Danube and an Austrian force under Field Marshal Davidovich that was defending the area around Trento.

Napoleon's army was advancing in three columns. On the left General Vaubois had been sent up Lake Garda. In the centre Masséna was advancing up the Adige valley, while on the right General Augureau was given the task of cross the hilly Monti Lessini.

In the Adige valley Davidovich had outlying posts at Ala and Serravalle, major posts a little further north at Marco and Mori, as well as defensive positions at Rovereto and Calliano

Austrian Relief of Mantua, 1796-97
Austrian Relief of Mantua,
1796-97

On 3 September Vukassovich was pushed out of Ala and Serravalle. The French were then faced with the more serious task of getting past the defile at Marco and the defended town at Rovereto. Marco was passed when Masséna sent light troops under General Jean-Joseph Pijon onto the heights above the town, forcing the Austrians to retreat or be encircled. At about the same time General Vaubois captured the fortified camp at Mori, in a side valley to the west of Marco. 

The Austrians then attempted to defend Rovereto. Once again their position was outflanked, when Rampon advanced across difficult ground between the town and the Adige. After a short attempt to hold the town, the Austrians pulled back to their next defensive position at Calliano, but that fell to the French on the following day (battle of Calliano, 5 September 1796), and the French entered Trento.

At this point Napoleon discovered that Field Marshal Würmser, with a large part of the Austrian army, was advancing down the Brenta valley (east of Trento) in a second attempt to raise the siege of Mantua. Napoleon was forced to abandon his move into Germany to deal with this new threat. After a typically rapid move Napoleon defeated Würmser at Primolano (7 September) and Bassano (8 September)

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 January 2009), Battle of Rovereto, 4 September 1796 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_rovereto.html

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