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Napoleonic Wars 1803-1815
"On s’engage, et aprés on voit."
One engages [with the enemy] and then one sees.
Napoleon's version of Shoot First, Ask Later.


Napoleonic Wars 1803-1815

When Did the Napoleonic Wars Begin?

Some say the Napoleonic Wars already started in 1799 when Napoleon became First Consul of France and the French Revolution ended.

Others say the Napoleonic Wars started in 1800.

Here, we take May 16, 1803 as the starting point of the Napoleonic Wars, because on that day Britain officially cancelled the Treaty of Amiens by declaring war on France.

Go here for the French Revolutionary Wars that immediately preceded the Napoleonic Wars.


Image Above

Quote: We engage and then we'll see.
Napoleon describing the habitual mode of warfare, in Caulincourt Conversations with Napoleon

Drawing by Matthieu Ignace van Bree, 1804 or 1805.


When Did the Napoleonic Wars End?

On the battlefield, the Napoleonic Wars ended on June 19, 1815, at Wavre, today's Belgium.

On paper, the Napoleonic Wars ended on November 20, 1815, with the  Second Peace of Paris.

For more detail see the Conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars

And here is Brussels, Waterloo, and Wavre on a map

Map of the Waterloo Campaign 1815
Map of the Waterloo Campaign 1815
Click to enlarge


The Chapters of the Napoleonic Wars

The Napoleonic Wars can be split into the following chapters:


War with Britain
1803 - 1814

War of the Third Coalition

War of the Fourth Coalition
1806 - 1807

Peninsular War
1808 - 1814

Austrian War

Russian Campaign

War of Liberation
1813 - 1814

The Hundred Days


Check here for the various Coalitions that were formed to fight against France.


Major Battles and Events of the Napoleonic Wars


Battle or Event

Part of the...

September 21 - October 20, 1805

 Battle of Ulm

 War of the Third Coalition




October 21, 1805

 Battle of Trafalgar

 War with Britain




December 2, 1805

 Battle of Austerlitz
also called Battle of the Three Emperors

 War of the Third Coalition




October 14, 1806

 Battle of Jena
also called Battle of Jena-Auerstädt

 War of the Fourth Coalition




November 6, 1806

 Battle of Lubeck

 War of the Fourth Coalition




February 7-8, 1807

Battle of Eylau

 War of the Fourth Coalition




June 14, 1807

 Battle of Friedland

 War of the Fourth Coalition




July 7 and 9, 1807

Treaties of Tilsit

 War of the Fourth Coalition




January 16, 1809

 Battle of La Coruña
(also called:
Battle of Corunna)

 Peninsular War




May 21-22, 1809

 Battle of Aspern-Essling

 Austrian War




July 27-28, 1809

Battle of Talavera

 Peninsular War




July 5-6, 1809

 Battle of Wagram

 Austrian War








Europe 1810: Napoleon at the Height of His Power
Europe 1810: Napoleon at the Height of His Power








October 14, 1809

Treaty of Schönbrunn

 Austrian War




September 27, 1810

Battle of Buçaco

 Peninsular War




May 5, 1811

Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro

 Peninsular War




September 7, 1812

 Battle of Borodino

 Russian Campaign




August 26-27, 1813

Battle of Dresden

 War of Liberation




October 16 - 19, 1813

 Battle of Leipzig
also called Battle of the Nations

 War of Liberation




May 4, 1814

Napoleon arrives at Elba





May 30, 1814

First Treaty of Paris





September 18, 1814 - June 9, 1815

Congress of Vienna





March 20, 1815

Napoleon back in Paris

 The Hundred Days begin




June 16, 1815

Battle of Ligny
Napoleon defeats the Prussians

 The Hundred Days


Map of the Battles of Ligny and Quatre-Bras - June 16, 1815
Battles of Ligny and Quatre-Bras





June 16, 1815

Battle of Quatre-Bras

The Hundred Days




June 18, 1815

Battle of Waterloo

The Hundred Days




June 18-19, 1815

Battle of Wavre

The Hundred Days


Battle of Wavre - June 18 and 19, 1815
Battle of Wavre





July 8, 1815

French  King Louis XVIII back in Paris

End of  The Hundred Days




October 15, 1815

Napoleon arrives at St. Helena




November 20, 1815

Second Treaty of Paris






The Conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars

After Napoleon had been taken care of and shipped into exile on Elba, where he arrived on May 4, 1814, a peace treaty was signed at Paris on May 30, 1814 (later  First Peace of Paris). This peace treaty had concluded the Napoleonic Wars if Napoleon had stayed put on Elba.

To negotiate the frontiers and the political future of the continent, now that Napoleon was gone, delegates of all European powers (except Turkey) assembled at a congress in Vienna, Austria, which commenced on September 18, 1814.

The Congress made big eyes, when Napoleon was back in Paris on March 20, 1815.

Eventually, Europe was reorganized according to the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna from June 9, 1815.

On June 18, 1815, Napoleon fought his last battle at Waterloo.

On June 19, 1815, the Prussians abandoned the battlefield at Wavre upon receiving the news of the outcome at Waterloo.

On October 15, 1815, Napoleon arrived at St. Helena, his final destination.

A Second Peace of Paris was signed on November 20, 1815.



Here BBC tells you what Argentina had to do with the Napoleonic Wars.

And here are the timelines:

Napoleonic Wars Timeline 1803

Napoleonic Wars Timeline 1804

Napoleonic Wars Timeline 1805

Napoleonic Wars Timeline 1806

Napoleonic Wars Timeline 1807

Napoleonic Wars Timeline 1808

Napoleonic Wars Timeline 1809

Napoleonic Wars Timeline 1810

Napoleonic Wars Timeline 1811

Napoleonic Wars Timeline 1812

Napoleonic Wars Timeline 1813

Napoleonic Wars Timeline 1814

Napoleonic Wars Timeline 1815








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