War of the First Coalition, (1793-97)
This was part of the struggle which followed the French revolutionary wars, with the great dynastic powers of Europe trying to reverse the outcome of the revolution and restore the French monarchy. The forces of the first Coalition were Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, Spain, Sardinia and the Netherlands. The French Directory gave the young Napoleon Bonaparte the job of conducting military operations against the Austrian forces in Northern Italy (1796-97).
After success there he was given command of an expedition to Egypt (1798-99) defeating the Mamelukes at the Battle of the Pyramids 21st July 1798. The aim was to take Egypt as a base for future operations against the British in India but initial success was wasted when Napoleon was called back due to events in France. These campaigns are sometimes regarded as the opening phase of the Napoleonic Wars as although Bonaparte was not yet the leader of France he was in command of large numbers of forces and was showing the early signs of what he would later accomplish.
How to cite this article: Dugdale-Pointon, T. (6 November 2000), War of the First Coalition, (1793-97), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/wars_firstcoalition.html