“There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the mind
“The hedgehog, porcupine and cactus created a coalition of "untouchables" in wildlife.”
“Treaties exist in order for the weaker one to fulfill them."
“If the treaty is not supported by force, it worth nothing.”
The War of the Coalition (so far, it was the only one so the number did not make sense) was over except that France and Britain still were at war. The French-Austrian Treaty of Campo Formio was seemingly
satisfactory for both sides:
- The treaty transferred tthe Austrian Netherland into French hands.
- Territory of the Republic of Venice was divided between the two states: certain islands in the Mediterranean, including Corfu and other Venetian possessions in the Ionian Sea were turned over to the French, while the city of Venice with Terraferma (Venetian mainland), Venetian Istria, Venetian Dalmatia and the Bay of Kotor region were turned over to the Habsburg emperor.
- Austria recognized the Cisalpine Republicand the newly created Ligurian Republic, formed of Genoese territories, as independent powers.
- The states of the Kingdom of Italy formally ceased to owe fealty to the Holy Roman Emperor, finally ending the formal existence of that Kingdom, which, as a personal holding of the Emperor, had existed de jure but not de facto since at least the 14th century.
- France got the border by the Rhine, the Nette and the Roer.
- Free French navigation was guaranteed on the Rhine, the Meuse and the Moselle.
France also got Nice and Savoy from Piedmont.
However, there were numerous remaining issues:
Although indecisive from a diplomatic point of view the Congress brought high society to the area of Baden and was responsible for resurgence of interest in the spa town of Baden Baden.
- Partition of Venice provided Austria with a foothold in Italy allowing a convenient starting point for the next war and at least the Cisalpine Republic did not have a direct connection with France.
- Ferdinand of Naples refused to pay tribute to France.
- In 1798 Republicans in the Swiss cantons, supported by the French army, overthrew the central government in Bern and established the Helvetic Republic.
- The Ottomans were opposite to happy with having the French within spitting distance from their Balkan possessions.
- Compensation of the German prices for the losses on the left bank of the Rhine and a general peace between France and the HRE was deferred to the Congress Rastatt which achieved only two important results during the first months of the congress: the official recognition of the loss of the entire left bank to France, and the recognition that any compensation plan should be based on the secularization of the ecclesiastical states of the Empire. No specifics could be agreed upon.
From October 1797 until March 1799 France and Austria, the signatories of the Treaty of Campo Formio, avoided armed conflict but remained suspicious of each other and several diplomatic incidents undermined the agreement including attack on the French embassy in Vienna after which the Ambassador (general Bernadotte) left Austria. The French demanded additional territory not mentioned in the Treaty. The Habsburgs were reluctant to hand over designated territories, much less additional ones.
Of course, all of the above were relatively minor issues which could be eventually resolved more or less peacefully but the French Republic had been governed by a bunch of the small-scale scumbags with two main goals in life, how to exploit the opportunities presented by their position and how to prevent the army from turning against them, and not being very good in either: none of them was smart enough to amass a really big fortune and having the troops undersupplied and underpaid surely was not a good idea in a long run. However, a fear of their own army forced the Directorate to keep it away and busy and this was just a ticking bomb.
On the opposite side, Austria was slowly recuperating from the recent war, the German princes were not too important and the same goes for the Italian rulers. The Brits were still at war but all their attempts to cause mischief on the continent failed. On the North the Baltic League was explicitly neutral and Russia even restored the diplomatic relations with France. To sum it up, it looked like there is going to be a peace for a while.
Unfortunately, the time of peace had been made even shorter by the excessively ambitious general with the Big Idea.
After spectacular success in Italy general Bonaparte was not one to be ignored and he came with …er… “logical” plan on how to defeat the only remaining enemy, Britain. In early 1798, Bonaparte proposed a military expedition to seize Egypt. In a letter to the Directory, he suggested this would protect French trade interests, attack British commerce, and undermine Britain's access to Indiaand the East Indies, since Egypt was well-placed on the trade routes to these places.
Bonaparte wished to establish a French presence in the Middle East, with the ultimate dream of linking with France's ally Tipu Sultan, ruler of Mysore in India.
On a map everything looked quite reasonable, especially taking into an account that the maps were of a relatively small size, and he even managed to convince Talleyrand who usually did not suffer from an excessive naïveté. Converted to the cause, Talleyrand reported to the Directorate: “Having occupied and fortified Egypt, we shall send force from Suez to the Sultanate of Mysore, to join the forces of Tipu Sultan and drive away the English”.
Being assaulted by the leading military and diplomatic figures, Directory agreed to the plan. Whatever doubts its members may have about plausibility of getting from Suez to Mysore  they kept them to themselves by two reasons: first, general Bonaparte tended to push through his ideas with a verbal barrage so intensive that it was easier to agree than to try to understand what he is talking about (besides heavy accent, he tended to bring as an argument various ancient gods, his luck, glory and, what’s most important, the looting opportunities
; and in the last area he, so far, delivered handsomely); second, the most ambitious general was volunteering to go to the far end of a nowhere. The second consideration proved to be very important because when, during one more routine diplomatic crisis with Austria, the Directory recalled Bonaparte in case war broke out, in a stormy meeting with the Directory, Bonaparte threatened to dissolve them and director Reubell
gave him traveling order and a pen saying "Sign there, general!" So off he sailed with 40,000, 10,000 sailors and a mighty naval squadron.
Of course, it would be unfair to declare that all following troubles had been caused by Bonaparte’s expedition. Driven by <whatever> the Swiss Republicans overthrew the cantonal government in Bern
and declared République Hélvetique, (German
: Helvetische Republik, Italian
: Repubblica Elvetica).
Picture below shows a Swiss who wakes up from his sleep (the ancien régime) and is handed his weapons by Liberty. In the background, the rising sun and the Gallic rooster herald the new era.
Another picture, “William Tell fights the revolution” (1798), by Dunker, praises the struggle of the Old Confederation against the Helvetic revolution supported by French invasion. It depicts the Swiss folk hero William Tell, carrying a shield with the Rütlischwur, and his son fighting the revolution, represented as a chimera wearing a phrygian cap.
So at least it can be claimed that otherwise pointless mess had been beneficial for proliferation of the arts.
After which the French Army of the Alps
invaded , ostensibly to support the Swiss Republicans. The invasion proceeded largely peacefully since the Swiss people failed to respond to the calls of their politicians to take up arms.  The treaty of alliance of 19 August with France, which also reaffirmed the French annexation of the Prince-Bishopric of Basel
and imposed French rights over the Upper Rhine
and the Simplon Pass
for evident strategic reasons towards Germany and Italy, also broke the tradition of neutrality established by the Confederation. Well, it also was considered by Austria as a potential problem.
In a meantime general Bonaparte with his army landed in Egypt and proceeded with demonstration of an obvious fact that the modern army had serious advantages over the ill-organized bands of the Eastern horsemen . The first serious offset happened in August 1798 when the British squadron destroyed most of the French flotilla in a battle of the Nile.
Unfortunately (for them), the victorious Brits suffered a heavy loss: their leader, Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson
, got a mortal wound and died , just as the French commander, Vice-Admiral François-Paul Brueys d'Aigalliers
. For all practical reasons the expedition was cut off from France with no realistic chance to return but this did not stop general Bonaparte who kept conquering Egypt and then invaded Syria.
The Ottomans were not watching the events idly and after received news of the French fleet's destruction at Aboukir, Sultan Selim III
decided to wage war against France, and sent two armies: one to Egypt and one to Syria. He also made to alliance treaties.
One with Britain was an obvious and easy deal because Britain already was at war with France.
Another, with Russia, was more tricky to conclude because Russian interest in the ongoing events was limited. However, the Treaty of Campo Formio did change situation on the Balkans because the French, now positioned on the islands close to the Ottoman territories, had been secretely inciting the anti-Ottoman movements of the Greeks of the Ionic islands and Morea. The Russian Empire preferred strong Ottoman Empire capable of maintaining an order on the Eastern Med so that the trade would not be disturbed and a need to deal with the rebellions would be negatively impacting the Ottoman purchasing capacities.
OTOH, Emperor Paul did not have any intention to get Russia dragged into a major war far from its borders
and without a realistic hope to get any serious tangible advantage out of it. So he was willing to commit a naval squadron for the joined operations on the Eastern Med/Ionic Sea and, if necessary, as far as Sicily to protect the Russian naval bases there.
The parties defined in the published articles of the treaty as a common goal the preservation of the integrity of their possessions and possessions of the Allies, ensuring security, tranquility and political balance between the powers, as well as countering the aggressive plans of France.
But the most significant obligations of the parties were contained in the secret articles of the treaty. One of them established that Russia had promised military assistance to Turkey in the fight against France - in particular, to provide 12 warships to help the ally, and the maintenance of the Russian squadron was entrusted to Turkey. According to another secret article, Russia for the first time received the official exclusive
right to freely conduct the military fleet through the Straits - from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and back, where, in particular, it was said that the Strait of Constantinople "opens to Russian vessels only in this case, the entrance to the Black Sea will be closed to all other nations without exception."
So this would be a coalition war if not a bizarre fact that while Britain and Russia had treaties with the Ottomans, they did not have any treaties with each other.
Paul assigned vice-admiral F.F.Ushakov  as a head of the expedition. On August 12, 1798, the squadron under the command of Ushakov consisting of 6 ships of the line, 7 frigates, 3 avisoes and landing troops (1700 marine grenades of the Black Sea Fleet Battalions and 35 midshipmen of the Nikolaev Naval School) left Sevastopol and headed for Istanbul. In Istanbul, Kadyr Bey's squadron consisting of 4 ships of the line, 6 frigates, 4 corvettes and 14 gunboats was transferred under Ushakov's command, after which the combined fleet went on a campaign.
In 6 weeks, the Russian naval troops occupied the Ionian Islands: Kitira, Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Lefkada (French total losses amounted to 1,500), after which the fleet began an operation to seize the island of Corfu.
Town Corfu was located on the east coast in the central part of the island between two fortresses:
- "Old Fortress" ("Venetian" or Paleo Frurio), located at the eastern tip of the city, cut off from the city by an artificial moat created in natural runoff, with sea water below.
- “New Fortress" ("coastal" or Neo Frurio) - northwest of the city, consisting of three separate fortifications connected by underground passages, extremely fortified and modernized by the French.
A high wall stretched from the new fortress to the old one along the very shore. The city itself was covered from the sea by an old fortress, from the land side - by an earthen rampart with bastions (forts of San Salvador and San Abraham, redoubt of San Rono (San Roco)). From the sea, the city covered the well-fortified island of Vido. In addition, two miles from the coast was the island of Lazaretto, which was also fortifies by the French.
In Corfu, the French had the following forces: 3,000 soldiers, 650 guns + 500 soldiers and 5 artillery batteries on the island of Vido. In the harbor there was a French squadron consisting of 2 ships of the line (74-gun "Genere" ("Generose") and the 54-gun "Leander"), 1 frigate (32-gun frigate "La Brune"), the bomber ship "La Freemer", a brig and four auxiliary vessels.
On October 24, 1798, a Russian-Turkish squadron consisting of 3 ships of the line, 3 frigates and a number of small ships began the blockade of Corfu. On October 31, the battleship Holy Trinity, 2 Turkish frigates and 1 Turkish corvette joined the squadron, and on November 9, the main forces of the united Russian-Turkish fleet under the command of Vice Admiral F. F. Ushakov. Soon they were joined by a detachment of ships of Captain 1st rank D. N. Senyavin (3 ships of the line and 3 frigates).
Waiting for arrival of the Ottoman troops the squadron started blockade of the island. In December, detachments of Rear Admiral Pustoshkin’s ships joined the squadron (74-gun ships of the line "St. Mikhail" and "Simeon and Anna") and Captain 2nd rank A. A. Sorokin (frigates "St. Michael" and "Our Lady of Kazan"). Thus, the Allied squadron consisted of 12 ships of the line, 11 frigates and many small vessels.
On the night of January 26, "Genere" (painting the sails black) together with the brig successfully broke out of the bay.
On February 10, the promised Turkish troops (about 4,250 Albanian troops) arrived in Corfu. They were augmented by 2,000 local Greeks unhappy with the French occupation.
At the military council on February 17, held on the flagship St. Paul, an operation plan was developed. It was decided by ship artillery to suppress coastal batteries and land troops on the island of Vido - the key to the defense of Corfu. The assault on Corfu began at 7 a.m. on February 18, 1799. As a result of four-hour shelling, all five coastal batteries of the island were suppressed. The ship of the line Leander and the frigate La Brune tried to support the island, but, having received damage, they were forced to withdraw under the protection of Corfu batteries. At 11 o'clock, 2,160 troops were landed on both sides on Vido. By 2:00 p.m. after a two-hour battle, the island had been taken. Of the 800 people defending the island, 200 were killed, 402 soldiers, 20 officers and the island's commandant, Brigadier General Pivron, were captured. About 150 people managed to swim to Corfu. Russian losses amounted to 31 people killed and 100 wounded. Turks and Albanians lost 180 people killed and wounded.
Russian batteries located on the captured island opened fire on the fortifications of the New and Old Fortresses. They were supported by batteries near the village of Manducchio and from the hill of St. Panteleimon, the ship of the line "Holy Trinity", the 46-gun frigate "Descent of the Holy Spirit", akat "Saint Irina", shebek "Macarius" and a Turkish ship standing near the southern part of the old citadel. The Albanians went to storm bastion St. Roca, but were repulsed. The repeated assault of the Russian-Turkish forces forced the French, riveting guns and blewing up gunpowder cellars, to retreat to the strengthening of St. El Salvador. But the Russians broke into the bastion on the shoulders of the retreating and after half an hour of fierce hand-to-hand combat also captured it. After a while, the last forward outpost of the New Fortress is the fortification of St. Abraham fell under the onslaught of stormers. An assault on the old and new fortresses was scheduled for February 19, but in the morning the French sent parliamentarians to discuss the surrender. After negotiations, on February 20, 1799, an honorary surrender was adopted. According to its terms, the French were allowed to leave the island with a promise not to participate in hostilities for 18 months.
2,931 people (including 4 generals) surrendered. The military trophies of the winners were: 114 mortars, 21 howitzers, 500 guns, 5,500 rifles, 37,394 bombs, 137,000 cores, etc. In the port of Corfu, the ship of the line Leander, the frigate Bruene, a bomber ship, 2 galleys, 4 semi-galleys, 3 merchant ships and several other ships were captured. Allied losses amounted to about 298 killed and wounded, including 130 Russians and 168 Turks and Albanians. Rather unique was the direct usage of the naval artillery against the land fortifications: a prevailing wisdom was that a major warship is too expensive for such a risky deployment.
For this assault, Paul I made Ushakov admiral and awarded diamond badges of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky and the sultan with a , chelenk
 the highest award of Turkey.
On the liberated islands, the Republic of Seven Island
s was established under the temporary protectorate of Russia and Turkey, which for several years served as a support base for the Russian Mediterranean squadron. For the rest of the war it was mostly patrolling the Eastern Med. There were no joined operations with the Brits.
Military planners in Paris understood that the Upper Rhine Valley, the south-western German territories, and Switzerland were strategically important for the defence of the Republic. The Swiss passes commanded access to northern Italy; consequently, the army that held those passes could move troops to and from northern and southern theatres quickly. Toward this end, in early November 1798, Jourdan arrived in Hüningen
to take command of the French forces there, the so-called Army of Observation because its function was to observe the security of the French border on the Rhine. There were also the Army of the Danube
, and its two flanking armies, the Army of Helvetia
and the Army of Mayence
, or Mainz. All these armies needed supplies and manpower but the Directorate did not care: most resources were already directed to the Army in Northern Italy, and Army of Britain, and the Egyptian expedition. Even before war had been declared by anybody, these armies were ordered to move to the forward positions outside French territory.
Austrian State Chancellor Thugut
did not want to go to war unless Russia would also enter the coalition. Emperor Paul rejected any coalition idea which would get Russia involved in the land operations but the French movement left Austria without options so it made alliance with Naples. Britain and Austria were not able to formalise an alliance due to the lack of an agreement on the loan convention that would cover Austria's outstanding debt to Britain from the previous war, let alone British subsidy to Austria for the upcoming war; they would end up resorting to ad hoccooperation without formal agreement.
Naples made alliance treaty with Britain so this “coalition” was looking like Ottoman-British-Russian situation so, strictly speaking, the coming war was a “War of 4 coalitions”.
Fighting in Europe
started in the most bizarre way: the Neapolitan Queen Maria Carolina induced Ferdinand to go to war with France once more. The Neapolitan army had 70,000 men was hastily summoned under the command of the Austria general Karl Mack
. On 29 November, this army entered Rome, which had been evacuated by the French, to restore Papal
authority. However, after a sudden French counter-attack, his troops were forced to retreat and eventually routed. A contemporary satirist said of the king's conquest of Rome: "He came, he saw, he fled". The king hurried back to Naples. Although the lazzaroni
(the lowest class of the people) were devoted to the Bourbon dynasty
and ready to defend it, Ferdinand sailed to Sicily and established his court in Palermo. The French troops, accompanied by the local Republicans, entered Naples and Parthenopean Republic was proclaimed after 8,000 Neapolitans had been killed defending fortress of Castel Sant'Elmo
 After all, perhaps in these exotic places the ships are just growing on the trees or maybe that water space could be just crossed on foot (didn’t Moses cross the sea somewhere in that area). Anyway, the details are not going to be their headache.
 Making cheese and cuckoo clocks was leaving little time for the political activities, which were left to the good for nothing nincompoops. So when the new republic was proclaimed most of the politicians from the previous assembly were re-elected.
 There was enough on this specific subject in the earlier chapters and events of the Egyptian Expedition are mostly
irrelevant (except for those which aren’t).
 (a) I don’t like him and (b) don’t want him to mess the future developments.
He was wounded at the Nile so let this be a mortal wound.
 Much earlier I already used, ahead of his time, Ushakov and his victories on the Black Sea so now this will be the real one in a real time with a (part of) real actions during the War of the Second Coalition. For those really concerned about the names, let’s assume that he is a son or a nephew of the first one.
 Silver jewelry for a turban in the form of a sultan strewn with precious stones. It had the shape of a flower with petals, from which 13 rays departed.