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Marengo(märĕng`gō), village, Piedmont, NW Italy, near Alessandria. It was the site of a famous battle (June 14, 1800) between the French under Napoleon Bonaparte and the Austrians under Melas. Melas had almost won when Desaix arrived with fresh troops to bolster the French; Desaix lost his life, but the Austrians were completely defeated and retired to the Mincio.
a village in northern Italy, 5 km southwest of Alessandria, where on June 14, 1800, there was a battle between the French Army of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Austrian Army of Field Marshal M. von Melas during France’s war against the Second Coalition (1798-1801).
After Suvorov’s Italian Campaign of 1799, Austria occupied northern Italy. The French held only Genoa, where A. Massena’s forces were blockaded by the main Austrian forces. Having secretly concentrated an army of 42,000 in Switzerland, Napoleon led it across the Alps at St. Bernard, invaded Italy unexpectedly, and on June 2 occupied Milan, thus reaching the lines of communication of the Austrian Army. Having taken Genoa on June 4, the Austrians moved to meet Bonaparte’s army and on June 14 attacked it near Marengo. With numerical superiority (40,000 against Bonaparte’s 15,000-16,000) the Austrians forced the French to retreat. But at this moment two more French divisions commanded by General L. Desraix arrived and attacked the Austrians on the run. The Austrians lost 12,000 men and were defeated; the French losses were 7,000. Austria was forced to leave northern Italy and, after its army was defeated at Hohenlinden in Bavaria, to withdraw from the Second Coalition and conclude the Treaty of Luneville of 1801.