Battle of Austerlitz

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The Battle of Austerlitz, also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, was Napoleon's greatest victory, where the French Empire effectively destroyed the Third Coalition. On 2 December 1805 (20 November Old Style, 11 Frimaire, XIV, in the French Republican Calendar), a French army, commanded by Emperor Napoleon I, decisively defeated a Russo-Austrian army, commanded by Tsar Alexander I, after nearly nine hours of difficult fighting. The battle took place near Austerlitz (Slavkov u Brna) about 10 km (6 miles) south-east of Brno in Moravia (present day Czech Republic). The battle is often regarded as a tactical masterpiece.

The French victory at Austerlitz effectively brought the Third Coalition to an end. On 26 December 1805, Austria and France signed the Treaty of Pressburg, which took Austria out of the war, reinforced the earlier treaties of Campo Formio and Lunéville, made Austria cede land to Napoleon's German allies, and imposed an indemnity of 40 million francs on the defeated Habsburgs. Russian troops were allowed to head back to home soil. Victory at Austerlitz also permitted the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine, a collection of German states intended as a buffer zone between France and central Europe. In 1806, the Holy Roman Empire ceased to exist when Holy Roman Emperor Francis II kept Francis I of Austria as his only official title. These achievements, however, did not establish a lasting peace on the continent. Prussian worries about growing French influence in Central Europe sparked the War of the Fourth Coalition in 1806.

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