Battle of Marengo 14 June 1800

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Napoleon Bonaparte is, almost always, in the “Mt. Rushmore” greatest military commanders of all time conversation, and rightfully so. That being said, he wasn’t without a great many flaws, and long before Waterloo, Napoleon suffered his fair share of defeats. Marengo doesn’t fall into the loss column for Bonaparte, but it came pretty damn close. A poor French tactical choice, a drastic French inferiority in artillery, and a ferocious Austrian assault all led to Marengo being a "close run thing" for the First Consul. But as the First Consul said “The fate of a battle is a single moment…the decisive moment arrives, the moral spark is kindled and the smallest reserve force settles the issue.”

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