The Napoleonic Period

Following the triumphal French victories over the Austrian armies in 1796 on the territory of northern Italy, the military campaign of Napoleon Bonaparte continues on to Vienna - through Friuli - at the beginning of the following year. After two more victories at Sacile and on the Tagliamento, at the ford in front of Valvasone, the French columns, in March of 1797, follow hard on the heels of the Austrian retreat manoeuvring both along the Isonzo valley and in the direction of Tarvisio and Val Canale . In fact, a large part of the Habsburg troops is concentrated between Malborghetto , Ugovizza , Camporosso and Tarvisio , the last line of defense before Villach and Ljubljana , important military command posts. While other fighting is taking place in the Plezzo area, General Massena, after having conquered Gemona and Osoppo and after having won an assault in the vicinity of Chiusaforte, with great skill takes advantage of some tactical errors made by the Austrians, who, now threatened on both sides, imprudently leave certain sectors in the vicinity of Tarvisio unguarded. In this respect chroniclers relate : 'Massena grasped the lucky moment of abandonment [...] the French rushed forth from Pontebba: they drove out the small detachments remaining at Malborghetto, Uggowitz and Saifnitz [Camporosso]: they entered Tarvis and took possession of the immense war munitions and muzzle deposit that was there, thus cutting off the retreat of their uncautious enemies '. During the battle of Tarvisio the archduke Charles Habsburg also distinguished himself by fighting on foot alongside his soldiers to hearten them . The teller of those facts wrote that the land and victory were disputed for a long time. General Bonaparte, arriving from Passo del Predil, passed through Tarvisio and the meadows of Rutte. It is said that he stopped in these meadows under the shade of a large linden tree. In fact, this is why today that enormous tree still bears his name

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