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Napoleonic Wars

War of the Third Coalition

May 28, 1803


December 26, 1805


Central Europe and the Atlantic Ocean


Decisive French victory
Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire
Creation of the Confederation of the Rhine
Third Coalition disbanded
Britain desperately forms a Fourth Coalition

Major battles:

Battle of Trafalgar
Battle of Ulm
Battle of Austerlitz


Flag of France French Empire

Flag of Spain Spain
25px French satellites

Third Coalition

Flag of Great Britain (1707-1800) United Kingdom
Flag of Russia Russia
Naval Ensign of Sweden Sweden
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy Austria
Bandiera del Regno di Sicilia 4 Kingdom of Sicily
Flag of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1816) Kingdom of Naples


Flag of France Napoleon I
Flag of France Pierre-Charles Villeneuve
Flag of France Michel Ney
Flag of France André Masséna
Flag of France Joachim Murat

Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy Francis II
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy Karl Mack von Leiberich
Flag of Russia Alexander I
Flag of Russia Mikhail Kutuzov
Flag of Great Britain (1707-1800) Henry Addington
Flag of Great Britain (1707-1800) Viscount Nelson


400,000 French, 120,000 from satellite states, 30+ ships

Flag of Great Britain (1707-1800) 50+ ships
Flag of Russia 40,000 men
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy 200,000+ men

Casualties and Losses

40,000 total losses

100,000+ losses

The War of the Third Coalition, also referred to as the First European War, was a military conflict between Napoleon I's France and a British-led coalition of nation assembled to roll back previous French victories after the defeats of the first two coalitions. During the conflict, Napoleon became the Emperor of the French, giving him absolute power over the French Empire.

The only nations in the coalition that Napoleon perceived as a legitimate threat to France were Britain and Russia. Napoleon's goals with this war were to cripple the British navy to prepare an invasion and spread French influence into central Europe in order to threaten Prussia and Austria. Both of these goal were realized within the war when the British fleet was narrowly defeated at the Battle of Trafalgar and the Holy Roman Empire disintegrated and became the Confederation of the Rhine, a French satellite. French victories were of course not unearned, and early glimpses of Napoleon's genius manifested in brillant strategic victories at battles such as Austerlitz and Ulm. Admiral Nelson was killed very early into the battle of Trafalgar, an event that is mainly considered to be the reason for the French victory.

The War