It was planned to make an invasion on Austria from two sides. Moreanu and Jourdan were directed to attack Austria after crossing the river Rhine, and Napoleon was asked to invade through Italy.
The army which was under the charge of Napoleon was asked to undertake an invasion through Italy. The army which was under the charge of Napoleon was asked to take the offensive through Italy.
The army under the charge of Napoleon was not properly equipped but the soldiers were fired with nationalistic feelings. Napoleon crossed the Alps Mountains with great enthusiasm and defeated the army of Sardinia.
After this, he could have invaded Lombardy which was the centre of the power of Austria, but instead of doing so he made an invasion on Piedmont and compelled the king to conclude a treaty.
The king of Piedmont was compelled to accept the sovereignty of France on Nice and Savoy and also allowed Napoleon to proceed further through his territory.
On 10th May 1796 Napoleon crossed the Lodi Bridge and invaded Milan successfully. He entered Milan triumphantly on 16th May and held splendid court where all the important persons offered him presents.
He realised a tax of two crore francs from the public, and also took possession of several artistic articles and sent them to the Directors as a token of his victory.
Milan was freed from the control of Austria and the administration of Milan was handed over to the assembly of citizens. The National Guards was also established here for the security of Milan.
Then he besieged Mantua where the Austrian power was at its zenith. This siege continued for about eight months. Austria sent many new battalions to break the siege but Napoleon defeated them all.
The victories of Areola and Rivoli by Napoleon were most significant. At last the fall of Mantua took place on 2nd February 1797. Napoleon by uniting Modena, Reggio, Bologne and Ferrara laid foundation of the Transpadane Republic.
Napoleon could have been defeated in this operation if Austria had not committed a mistake of dividing its forces for and fighting at different places.
The soldiers of Napoleon expressed their desire to launch invasion on the Pope of Rome because the Papacy was very weak and could have been captured very easily but Napoleon did not agree with soldiers because it would have annoyed the Catholic people of France and Italy and he did not want to lose their sympathy at any cost.
Therefore, he merely terrified the Pope and compelled him to conclude a treaty Tolentino. The following terms were incorporated in the. Treaty:
1. Pope recognised the Transpadane Republic.
2. The right of France over Avignon was accepted.
3. Pope agreed to pay a huge sum of money as a tribute and surrender 500 precious manuscripts and many artistic paint tings. Napoleon sent all these to France.