The War of the Third Coalition started
at sea as the British Admiral Nelson
and his French counterpart Villeneuve wrestled for control
of the Atlantic and fought the Battle of Trafalgar.
However the land war was more crucial for Napoleon
and the fate of the war was decided during the Battle of the three Emperors
on the snow perched fields of Austerlitz.
French victories at Marengo and Hohenlinden
in 1800 forced Austria to sue for a separate peace.
The Treaty of Lunéville acknowledged the new French satellites
in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy
alongside holdings in Tuscany and the left bank of the river Rhine.
Meanwhile Russian Tsar Paul I. was getting closer to Napoleon
and even considered a campaign against Britain in India.
In 1801 Paul was assassinated by a group
of conspirators funded by the British government.
The new Tsar Alexander I. was more lenient towards Britain
but he didn’t re-enter the conflict
and in 1802 France and Britain signed a treaty
in Amiens that ended the war of the Second Coalition.
Despite that the two countries still had ample
reasons to fight and a year later Britain declared war again.
The initial phase of the conflict that would be known
as the War of the Third Coalition took place at sea.
Napoleon needed to gain naval dominance
to transport 200,000 troops to the British Isles
so the British tried to get rid of the French fleet and
that of the new French allies, the Spanish.
Other European powers were not eager to join
the conflict but two events changed that.
In March of 1804 one of the representatives
of the toppled French dynasty of Bourbon, Duke d’Enghien
was seized by the dragoons of Napoleon in the neutral Baden
and then executed for treason.
The news shocked the royal courts of Europe.
In the same year Napoleon was coronated as the Emperor of the French
and in 1805 as the king of Italy which meant that
he considered himself an equal of the Austrian and Russian Emperors.
All this forced Sweden, Naples,
Austria and Russia to ally with Britain and enter the war.
The Allies outnumbered Napoleon almost two to one.
They planned to move 90,000 Russian troops to
the Prussian border to force it to join the alliance
while a 50,000 strong Russian army under Kutuzov had to move
into the Holy Roman Empire
and help the 120,000 Austrian troops.
40,000 Russians and Swedes were to land in northern Germany
to threaten the Low Countries and northern France.
100,000 Austrians were to enter Italy to push the French out
while Britain and Russia promised to help the armies of Naples in southern Italy.
It was clear for the French Emperor
that he needed to make a decisive strike
against one of these forces and take it
out of the game to have any chance of winning the war.
The Allies expected him to move to Italy
as he did in the first two wars.
He had around 300,000 men near Boulogne
and sent 70,000 commanded by Massena to Italy
to defend the southern borders of France.
30,000 were left in Boulogne while the rest of the army,
some 180,000 started moving toward to the Rhine
and reached it by the 25th
of September where they were reinforced by 10,000 troops from Bavaria and Württemberg.
Meanwhile Austrian general Mack and his 70,000 men
were ordered to defend the road to the capital Vienna
along the river Inn and wait for Kutuzov.
But the Austrian commander decided to move his
base to Ulm to defend the mountainous Black Forest region.
Now he was 700 kilometers away from Kutuzov.
Some historians claim that there was
miscommunication between the Austrians and Russians
as the former used the Gregorian calendar
and the latter the older Julian which meant
that there was a 12 day discrepancy.
This prevented could solve from reaching the area in time.
Napoleon knew that Mack could be easily dislodged
but then he would either move to the east to unite
with Kutuzov or to the south to enter Italy.
Instead the French troops crossed the Rhine on the 26th.
Two corps were moving close to the Black Forest
to delude Mack into thinking that he would be attacked from the front
while only one Corps was threatening the Austrians from the north.
French troops were moving extremely fast
and by the 6th of October
Mack was cut off from his supply lines to the east.
Mack attempted to break the encirclement on the 8th
but his general lost at Wertingen and the French used
that time to move behind the Austrians.
Two more attempts were made to break out
but the French won the resulting battles and
by the 14th the Austrian army was blockaded at Ulm.
A group of cavalry managed to break
through the French line but was then caught.
Mack surrendered on the 20th upon receiving irrefutable proof
that Kutuzov was still weeks away.
More than 60,000 Austrians became prisoners of war
while the French had lost around 2,000 troops.
The Ulm campaign is considered to be one
of the most significant victories for Napoleon.
“If I can’t be in London in 15 days, I will be in Vienna by the middle of November.”
On the 26th French troops were grouped and started moving east.
Kutuzov learned about Mack’s defeat
and decided to retreat with his 60,000
towards the secondary Russian army under Buxhoevden.
The Allied army moved slowly
fighting a number of rear guard battles
and wasn’t able to defend the Austrian capital.
On the 12th of November Vienna was occupied by the French
and Napoleon entered the city on the 15th
as he predicted at the beginning of the campaign.
Although Napoleon continued chasing Kutuzov,
the latter finally united with Buxhoevden on the 20th
and now had 90,000 soldiers and 318 guns under his command.
By that point Napoleon’s forces were scattered
along the Danube river to contain the Austrians in Italy
and he had only 53,000 troops and 157 guns with him.
His troops were tired due to the constant marching and fighting
and on the 23rd he ordered a halt at Brunn
in the modern day Czech Republic.
Napoleon needed to win a decisive battle and he ordered
the nearby corps amounting to 20,000 men to join him.
At the same time he was projecting weakness
to force the enemy to attack him.
His troops abandoned the town of Austerlitz and the Pratzen Heights.
Napoleon also tried to initiate negotiations
with the Austrian Emperor Francis and Russian Tsar Alexander.
The latter concluded that the French were in bad shape.
Kutuzov, who was the overall commander of the Allied army,
advised caution but he was deposed and hotheads gained the upper hand.
The battle of Austerlitz took place on the 2nd of December 1805.
The French Emperor deliberately weakened his right flank to lure the enemy in.
But then his nearby reinforcements were ordered to move to cover this position.
The majority of the troops were concentrated in the center
and on the left flank.
Napoleon knew that his right flank would be perfect bait
and that the enemy would stretch its forces
to attack his right from both the front and sides.
Indeed the Allied forces attacked here at 7:00 a.m.
and French troops slowly retreated from the village of Tellnitz.
A second column joined the attack
and a third arrived as the French reached Sokolnitz Castle.
The battle continued here
until part of the corps of marshal Davout arrived
and helped the French retake Tellnitz.
Still the Allies outnumbered the French two-to-one
and drove them back out of the village.
The remainder of Davout forces joined the defense of Sokolnitz
which was crucial to the French plans.
Despite mounting pressure Napoleon’s troops held their ground.
The Allied right flank attacks the French left
hoping that pinning it down would allow them to crush the French right.
By 8 a.m. the sun finally dissipated the fog on the Pratzen Heights
and Napoleon saw that only Kutuzov and his 4th column were there.
The strong French center was hidden from the enemy’s view
so Tsar Alexander ordered this column forward to
attack the French right from the north.
At 9 a.m. Napoleon saw the Allied center
was weak and sent his center ahead.
The French attack stunned the Allies
and they lost control of the Pratzen Heights.
However, reinforcements from the Allied right arrived
and helped retake this position.
This weakened the remainder of the Allied right wing
and this time Napoleon ordered his reserves to join the attack.
The Pratzen Heights were taken once again
and a wedge was driven between the center
and the right of the Austro-Russian army.
The majority of troops were now in play.
The Allies attempted a counterattack in the north
but it was stopped.
And the right flank of the allied army was forced to retreat.
Russian guards tried to drive the French from the Heights
but the French left attacked them from the north
causing the guards to also leave the battlefield.
The order to retreat to the east was sent to the Allied left,
but it was either ignored or impossible to implement
as the French attacked from the north.
The Russians attempted to move across the Satschan Pond which was covered in ice.
A French artillery bombardment broke the ice and thousands of Russians drowned.
The battle was a resounding French victory.
36,000 Allied soldiers were either killed or captured while Napoleon lost just 9,000.
His troops were too tired to chase the
enemy and that meant the war would continue.
Napoleon would fight on and the War of the Third Coalition would morph
into the War of the Fourth Coalition.
Thank you for watching our documentary on the battles of Ulm and Austerlitz.
In two weeks we will be back in your presence
with the twin battles of Jena and Auerstedt.
We would like to express our gratitude to
our patreon supporters who make the creation of these videos possible.
本视频由我 Officially Devin担任旁白
This video was narrated by me, Officially Devin.
Don’t forget to stop by my channel for my narrative Let’s Plays.
This is the Kings and Generals channel,
and we will catch you on the next one.