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Battle of Genola
Part of War of the Second Coalition
Date4 November 1799
LocationGenola, Piedmont, Italy
Result Austrian victory
Habsburg Monarchy Habsburg Austria France Republican France
Commanders and leaders
Habsburg Monarchy Michael von Melas France Jean Championnet
Units involved
Habsburg Monarchy Army of Italy France Army of Italy
29,000 15,000 engaged
Casualties and losses
2,400 7,600, 5 guns

The Battle of Genola (4 November 1799) was a meeting engagement between a Habsburg Austrian army commanded by Michael von Melas and a Republican French army under Jean Étienne Championnet. Melas directed his troops with more skill and his army drove the French off the field, inflicting heavy losses. The War of the Second Coalition action represented the last major French effort in Italy during 1799. The municipality of Genola is located in the region of Piedmont in northwest Italy a distance of 27 kilometres (17 mi) north of Cuneo and 58 kilometres (36 mi) south of Turin.

Championnet became the army commander after Barthélemy Catherine Joubert's death in the French defeat at Novi in August. His aim was to keep the area around the fortress of Cuneo under French control. In November, both Championnet and Melas advanced and their armies collided at Genola. The French were forced to retreat into the Alps, leaving Cuneo to be besieged and captured on 3 December 1799. The badly-fed and clothed French army was ravaged by a typhus epidemic during the winter; the disease claimed the life of Championnet and many others.


The French lost 3,400 killed and wounded plus 4,200 men and five guns captured. The Austrian sustained losses of 2,150 killed and wounded and 250 captured. Austrian General-major Karl von Adorján was killed in action. Despite his heavy defeat, Championnet tried to hang on to the area. On 13 November, Melas with 14,000 troops attacked Championnet with 9,000 at Mondovì. Casualties were about even at about 500 on each side, but the French were forced to retreat.[1]


  1. Smith, Digby (1998). The Napoleonic Wars Data Book. London: Greenhill. pp. 172–173. ISBN 1-85367-276-9. 


Coordinates: 44°35′N 7°40′E / 44.583°N 7.667°E / 44.583; 7.667

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