210 years ago, in 1805, Russia made an alliance with England and Austria, and opposed France. The Russian-Austro-French war of 1805 of the year (or the war of the Third Coalition) ended in the defeat of Austria and Russia. All the benefits of this war received England.
In fact, the British skillfully used the Russian Empire and Austria. Napoleon to plan an invasion of England. By the summer of 1805, his 180-thousandth army ("Army of the Shores of the Ocean") stood on the French coast of the English Channel, in Boulogne, in preparation for landing in England. This ground force was quite enough to bring England to its knees. England traditionally did not have a strong land army, preferring to use other countries as cannon fodder. At this time, the British managed to incite Austria and Russia, the two most powerful land powers of Europe, against France.
Napoleon had to abandon the landing operation against England and abandon the army against new enemies. With a lightning cast, he transferred the main forces to the eastern borders of France and was able to crush the enemies separately. First, he dispersed self-confident Austrians, who began fighting, not waiting for the Russian troops, not yet reached the theater of operations. Then the best commanders of Napoleon almost surrounded the weaker Russian army. However, Kutuzov, giving successful rearguard battles, slipped out of the trap and saved the army.
The Russian Emperor Alexander I and the Austrian Emperor Franz II, as well as their self-confident environment, having a slight advantage over the French army, decided to give a decisive battle to Napoleon. Kutuzov was opposed, offering to withdraw and join up with reinforcements. However, the heads of state insisted on it. The battle ended in complete defeat. In the battle of Austerlitz, the Allied army suffered a heavy defeat and retreated in disarray. Austria concluded with France the Presburg Peace, in which it lost a number of territories. The third coalition collapsed. Russia continued to struggle in the framework of the Fourth Coalition.
Thus, England brilliantly solved the main tasks. France was distracted from the fight with the main enemy, the landing in England was postponed, and in fact canceled. The British destroyed the French-Spanish fleet at Cape Trafalgar. France and Spain forever lost sea power. Napoleon abandoned his plans for landing troops in England and invading the Neapolitan kingdom. Great Britain finally acquired the status of the mistress of the seas.
The British managed to spark a big war in Europe. The main European powers locked themselves together, wasting resources and strength, while England calmly watched the situation overseas, podzuzhivaya opponents with gold and fighting in secondary theaters, at the same time capturing strategic territories on the planet. Russia once again fell into the trap from which the emperor Paul led her. Having no fundamental contradictions with the French, Petersburg, contrary to national interests, got involved in a long and costly and costly confrontation with France. This confrontation, with some interruptions, continued until March 1814, when Russian troops entered Paris. But before that there will be a lot of blood, the colossal expenditure of resources necessary for the internal development of the empire, heavy defeats, the invasion of the pan-European hordes led by Napoleon into Russia and burned Moscow.
War of the second coalition 1799 — 1802 ended in victory for France. The second anti-French coalition was created at the initiative of England in order to limit the influence of revolutionary France and the restoration of the monarchy in France.
The Russian armed forces under the command of Suvorov and Ushakov won a number of victories in the Mediterranean Sea and in Italy. However, the British and Austrians, alarmed by the success of Russia, for their actions held down the strategic initiative of the Russian forces. Napoleon himself noted that all the Russian troops operating in Italy, Switzerland and Holland were combined and used together under the command of Suvorov on the Rhine, then with great probability one could assume that the great Russian commander, with complete freedom of action, would lead anti-French coalition to a quick and decisive victory. The French Directory showed inability to lead such a broad strategic front, various theaters of hostilities, and the French commanders made a number of strategic miscalculations. Napoleon himself was associated unsuccessful campaign in Egypt. With a more skillful concentration of forces, France was doomed to failure. The British and Austrians, solving only their problems, failed the campaign.
After the Swiss campaign of Suvorov, the emperor Paul, angry with the actions of Vienna, broke the alliance with Austria and returned the army to Russia. It makes peace with France and signs an alliance with Prussia against Austria and at the same time with Prussia, Sweden and Denmark against England. Moreover, Paul was ready to conclude a strategic alliance with France and start a war with England (the Indian campaign was being prepared). However, the conspiracy of the aristocracy, created with the help of the British and their gold, led to the death of the Russian emperor.
Napoleon, who had returned from Egypt, seized power in France during the Brumaire 18 coup. The commander personally led the French troops in Italy and in June 1800, at the battle of Marengo, won a decisive victory over the Austrian troops. After new defeats, the Austrian Empire signed the Luneville Peace. Vienna was completely crowded out from the left bank of the Rhine, and this territory completely passed to the French. France acquired the Netherlands ownership of Austria - Belgium and Luxembourg. The Austrians recognized the independence of the Batavian and Helvetic Republics (Holland and Switzerland), which came under the control of France. Austria lost much of its influence in Italy, which came under French control.
The conclusion of the Luneville Peace meant the end of the Second Anti-French Coalition. Of the countries that originally belonged to this coalition, only England continued the war. The British had to go to the world. 25 March 1802 of the year in Amiens between France, Spain and the Batavian Republic on the one hand, and England - on the other, peace was concluded. It was a compromise world, but on the whole more profitable to France, since it fixed its main gains. England had to go to the world, as she had lost all the main allies and suppliers of cannon fodder. France, on the other hand, was tired of a long war and needed a break.
New war. Creation of the Third Coalition
The world of Amiens became a short respite in the long standoff between England and France. Between the two leading European predators existed too strong fundamental contradictions that were not overcome, but only postponed. They had to be the basis of war sooner or later. With goodwill, they could be postponed until a later time. But there was no goodwill on both sides, and there could not be. Two capitalist predators claimed dominance in Europe, and hence throughout the world. It was a confrontation within the Western project - between the Anglo-Saxons and the older Romanesque elite. Political and economic (the struggle for colonies, markets and spheres of influence) the rivalry between the two powers, claiming to be the “king of the mountains”, could only be decided by force. Both powers were aggressive by their very nature and could not agree peacefully. Someone had to be defeated and take the position of a slave in the western project.
It is worth noting that the world of Amiens was more beneficial to France than to England. No wonder in France he was greeted with universal joy. And in England he was considered an infamous, bad world. The world made France stronger. Napoleon conducted a series of reforms that strengthened France. England, to crush France, and to bleed the whole of Europe, to put it in a dependent position, needed a war.
England from the very beginning began to provoke France into war. After the conclusion of the Peace of Amiens, the head of the British government, Addington, sent Whitworth as an official envoy to Paris. For France and personally for the First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte, this came as a surprise, since Whitworth did not hide his open hostility towards revolutionary France. In addition, Napoleon believed that Whitworth, being ambassador to Russia, was the organizer of the murder of the Russian emperor Paul, to whom he felt sympathy and pinned great hopes on the union of France and Russia. The question arose why Whitworth was sent to Paris. Arrange the murder of Napoleon? Napoleon, like all Corsicans, was superstitious and disgusted with Whitworth.
Under the terms of the Peace of Amiens, England was obliged to exempt Malta from its presence and, according to the agreements, to return the island to the knights of the Order of Malta. However, the British did not do this and systematically dragged time. 13 March 1803, Napoleon summoned Whitworth to make a final decision on the status of Malta. Whitworth shied away from a direct answer, Napoleon interrupted the audience and with quick steps left the hall, shouting: “Malta or war! And woe to those who violate the treatises! ”
In April, Whitworth presented an ultimatum to the British government to Napoleon, where Britain offered to retain Malta for another 10 years. The answer to the ultimatum presented should have been given within seven days. Napoleon agreed with the conditions, but offered to reduce the period of stay of the British in Malta. England rejected the offer. 12 May 1803, Ambassador of England Whitworth left Paris. Four days later, 16 May, England officially declared war on France.
Obviously, Malta was only a pretext for the start of a new war. There was a struggle for supremacy in the world. Napoleon possessed strategic thinking and challenged the Anglo-Saxons. During the execution of the peace treaty with England, Napoleon Bonaparte sent an army under the command of his relative Charles Leclerc to the island of San Domingo (Haiti). This island was of key importance in the Caribbean. Almost simultaneously, Napoleon was exploring the possibility of a new conquest of Egypt, sending General Sebastiani’s mission to the Levant. A mission of General Dean was sent to India to organize the joint struggle of the French and Indian rulers against the British. It is also worth remembering the special relationship of Napoleon to Russia. He understood the great significance of Russia for the future of Europe and the world, and tried to attract it to his side.
Thus, Napoleon Bonaparte tried to establish control over key regions of the planet that have great military-strategic and economic importance. America, Egypt, India and Russia were key to the future of humanity.
In London, everyone saw it and perceived it very sharply. In Europe, Napoleon also challenged England. In 1802, Piedmont was incorporated into France. Napoleon did everything to ensure the primacy of the French industrial and financial bourgeoisie in the European market. He resolutely opposed all attempts to conquer the goods of France to the French market and its dependent countries. It also caused strong irritation in London, as British capital relied on enslaving the world through finance and economics. That is, the fundamental contradictions of London and Paris were based on military-strategic, political and economic interests.
The problem was that England was an island and did not have a strong army, and France had a strong land army, but its fleet was inferior to the English. One on one they were unattainable for each other. It was possible to fight in overseas possessions, to make raids on the sea, as the British did, but to win the war, thus, it was impossible. The two great powers were in a state of war, but there was no great war, battles, battles and victories. Both powers closed their ports, harbors, imposed an embargo on enemy ships and goods; waged the war of kings, captured the court. The economic war was in full swing. It was all but the real fighting.
England needed to "cannon fodder" on the continent. Particularly acute question arose when Napoleon began to prepare the landing army. Napoleon needed a calm rear in Europe to focus on England. Therefore, at the first stage of the war, diplomacy decided everything. London and Paris fought for continental allies. Austria was the old enemy of France and was eager for revenge. Therefore, the key role was played by the position of Russia.
In 1803 in Paris, they were optimistic about the outcome of this struggle. Napoleon still gave priority to relations with Russia. He hoped that he would be able to get along with the new Russian Tsar Alexander. Napoleon sent his best diplomat Duroc to Petersburg. Alexander at that time did not want to make any sudden movements, therefore in the autumn in Paris a peace treaty was signed between France and Russia. Almost simultaneously, a secret agreement was signed, which provided for joint concerted action on the problem of Germany and Italy. It was the success of France.
Calculations on the support of Russia gave confidence to Napoleon. He seemed to be right. After all, Alexander had to fear England, after the death of his father. Napoleon came up with the idea of a powerful tripartite coalition - France, Russia and Prussia. This idea had support in Russia. Such a union could stop the encroachments of England.
However, Napoleon apparently overestimated the possibility of such a union. Petersburg at that time improved relations not only with France, but also with England and Prussia. Alexander did not want a confrontation with England. It is possible that the Russian tsar, frightened by the murder of his father, even feared England and that part of the Russian aristocracy that was oriented toward London.
To be continued ...