Alternate History

1814 British invasion of Italy (Napoleon's World)

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The 1814 British invasion of Italy was a maneuver by the British Empire to attempt to unseat French forces from power in the Italian Peninsula following the disastrous failures of the Sixth Coalition in 1813, including the capitulation of both Russia and Austria within an inordinately short period of time and the British losses in Spain, where the British Army still maintained a small and besieged presence. The Italian campaign was thus regarded by many in London as the last-ditch effort to win the war - the goal was that if a French puppet king such as Joachim Murat in Naples could be dislodged and the British could occupy Rome, other nations would soon see that they too could shake free of the French yoke. The total defeat of Napoleon on the continent was no longer the goal or a realistic option - the British were seeking to restore their old allies on the continent to regain footholds with which to counter Napoleon's now-vast Empire.

The invasion, while a moderate initial success, is regarded generally as a total failure and set the stage for Napoleon's mass invasion of Britain in May of the following year. Despite success in removing Murat from power in Naples, conquering the Holy See and seizing Venice through a sea attack, the British were defeated by Napoleon at Treviso, Malena and Bologna in a series of devastating and bloody losses and their navy suffered a defeat on the high seas of the Adriatic at the Battle of Grado. The British invasion and occupation of Padua near Venice, achieved only a week before the devastating loss at Treviso, is often referred to as the "high-water mark of the British Empire."

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