Wednesday, 22 December 2010


Vobarno is a small and very attractive town in the mountains on the western side of Lake Garda. On 4 August 1796 it was the scene of desperate fighting as the retreating Austrians tried to capture the bridge over the river Chise.

We spent a day visiting the town on 6 September 2000.

Our visit is covered at

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


Lonato is a lovely little town south west of Lake Garda. The narrow streets are dominated by the castle, with its impressive views of the coast and surrounding area.

In 1796 it played an important part in Bonaparte's Italian Campaign. During Wurmster's First Advance the castle was taken by the Austrian army. On 3 August it was retaken by the French, and Bonaparte established his headquarters there.

On 4 August Bonaparte was present in the castle which was held by 1000 men. An Austrian force of 2500 approached and demanded that the castle surrender. Bonaparte bluffed that the Austrians were in the middle of his whole army and gave the eight minutes to surrender of be destroyed. They surrendered!

On 4 September 2000 we spent a very enjoyable day exploring the town and castle. You can read about our visit at

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Napoleon in Italy

The new blog covers our two week holiday in Italy in 2000.

We would never have tackled Italy had we not been fortunate enough to find this book Castiglione 1796 by Bernhard Voykowitsch at a Napoleonic show in London. I can't remember the name of the show, but it was mainly new and second hand books, plus a few reenactors. Bernhard was there in person selling his book. I had never heard of him, or his book, but I was interested in the Italian campaigns so I bought a copy.

It was only when I started reading it that I realised it would be a great battlefield guide. It covers the campaign in great detail, with good descritions of the leading actors and the battles. It also contains a wealth of illustrations and some excellent maps.

It was the first of a new series to be called "Feldzug Series". It was planned to cover each battle from Castiglione 1796 to Wagram 1809. Unfortunately as far as I know only the first one was ever published. A great shame, because I would love to have collected the whole series.

The purchase of this book prompted us to consider a holiday in Italy to walk the battlefields. It would involve about six months planning, and a long car journey to Lake Garda. But it would turn out to be one of our most enjoyable battlefield visits.

You can read the full account of our planning at