Timeline of the Napoleonic Wars

Explore the Napoleonic Wars timeline and get a sneak peek of the events that shaped modern-day Europe. Customize your war timeline by adding or removing battles.

napoleon in war

Napoleonic Wars set the stage for emerging regional powers and redefined modern Europe. Led by Napoleone’s strong desired expansionist strategy, the thirteen years of wars resulted in France getting noticeable territory and the great leader ending up in exile. However, keeping up with intense and triggering events in the war is daunting.

This article offers insight into the Napoleonic wars using a timeline chart. It offers an understanding of the complicated nexus of simultaneous events in a convenient format. We will also embark on the journey to understand the ambition of Napoleon as a military leader and French Emporer to set out for the crushing conquest strategy across Europe.

So, check out this Napoleonic Wars timeline.

In this article
  1. Who is Napoleon Bonaparte?
  2. Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815)
  3. How to Customize Napoleonic Wars Timeline?
  4. Conclusion

Part 1. Who is Napoleon Bonaparte?

Napoleon I, or Napoleone Bonaparte, was a revolutionary French leader and emperor who led multiple European conquests in the early 19th century. Born to a humble French family and trained militarily, Napoleone rose through higher ranks in the revolutionary army. He served a great deal in declaring France as a republic.

Soon, he was the country's emperor in the early 1810s after overthrowing the newly established yet inadequate republic directory. An ambitious and skilled military leader, he ventured outside France and led an expansion strategy against several European Coalition forces.

However, the legends of Napoleon were not all bright. Following disastrous defeats by the European powers, he resigned from his emperor position twice and was exiled into far-fetched lands. Sadly, it resulted in his death in the uninhabited mountainous Saint Helena.

Napoleon Significant Achievements

Though he is popularly known for his brutal territorial ventures, the leader left a legacy for the people of France.

  • As the first consul of France, Napoleon transformed the education, judicial, and military system of the country, known as the Napoleonic Code. Two of his modern successes include the development of the Imperial University of France and the Central Bank.
  • Napoleon negotiated a Concordat of 1801 imposing Catholicism as a popular French religion. It integrated the clergy as a pivotal entity in France's public and restored the peace caused by inadequate revolutionary forces.
  • Napoleon initiated the European wars and showcased his military geniuses, resulting in the conquest of significant land in France.

Part 2. Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815)

The European security realm changed significantly and experienced a messy reformation after the French Revolutionary Wars, making it challenging to visualize. Let us chart the Napoleonic wars timeline with this diagram.

Neploeon Return to France (1799)

After his Egyptian conquest, Napoleon was called back to France to restore order caused by the inadequate directory. After establishing the new government, he elected himself as the first consul.

Battle of Marengo (1800)

As a first consul, Napoleon initiated his campaign with the invasion of northern Italy from the Great St Bernard Pass. Despite noticeable casualties, the French army successfully countered the Austrians at Marengo.

The Peace of Amiens (1802-1804)

After Austria requested an armistice, Britain and Spain agreed to the Amiens peace, putting an end to a ten-year-long war. The treaty was ratified by Napoleon’s brother, Joseph Bonaparte. One year later, in 1803, the peace abruptly ended when Britain waged war on France. Therefore, Napoleon decided to invade Britain through the Martello Towers.

War of Third Coalition (1805)

The British Vice Admiral Lord Nelson countered the Franco-Spanish fleet in the Cape Trafalgar, followed by several small battles. The battle of Trafalgar ended with Lord Nelson’s death and Britain winning. However, later the same year, France achieved its biggest victory by defeating the Russian and Austrian Army in Austerlitz. 

Twin Battles of Jena and Auerstadt (1806)

The Fourth Coalition began in 1806, with Prussia joining Russia under Frederick William III. However, the countries were crushed by Napoleon at the twin battles of Jena and Auerstadt. As a resuly, he imposed the continental system in Europe, restricting countries. Moreover, Britain recaptured the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch.

Strategic Struggles at Eylau (1807)

In 1807, Napoleon moved towards Eylau in East Prussia, but Russia proved to be a tough opponent. Though Russia bore heavy losses and Napoleon got the battlefield possession, the strategic goals remained unfulfilled. Four months later, Russia launched an offense on France at Friedland but failed, resulting in the uneasy peace of Tilsit.

On the other side, Britain penalized vessels trading through the French-held ports to counter the Napoleon-imposed Continental system. 

Peninsula War (1808)

Napoleon invaded Portugal in 1808 with the royal family fleeing to Brazil, increasing the likelihood of an escalated war. The Peninsula War officially started after France invaded Madrid and the overthrow of the Spanish monarchy. Arthur Wellesley-led Anglo-Portuguese forces enjoyed a series of victories against France.

Counter Attacks at Wagram (1809)

1809 marks the initiation of the Fifth Coalition with the major France defeat at the battle of Aspern-Essling near Vienna against the superior Austrian army. It isolated France to the north bank of the Danube, with Napoleon abandoning the battlefield. After facing humiliation, Napoleon launched a counter-offense at Wagram, north of Vienna, achieving peace with Austria. 

French Invasion of Russia (1812)

1812 starts with Napoleon attacking his Russian ally, Tsar Alexander I, initiating the Battle of Borodino. Russia countered the French advancement at Borondo, marking Napoleon's success despite facing numerous casualties. Eventually, Napoleon entered Moscow but retreated after suffering harsh winter and guerilla attacks.

Sixth Coalition Against Napoleon (1813)

Sweden, Austria, and Prussia joined the Sixth Coalition in 1813 with the Battle of Dresden. Though Austria and Sweden wanted to target France through subordinates, Prussia’s emperor, Frederick William III, decided to launch an offensive at Dresden. It was extended into the Battle of Leipzig against outnumbered French forces, marking Napoleon’s retreat from the battlefield. 

Napoleon’s Abdication (1814)

Napoleon attacked the Sixth Coalition in 1814. However, with immense manpower and a superior army, the coalition forces marched into Paris. Consequently, Napoleon abdicated and went into exile in the Elba islands.

End of Napoleonic Wars (1815)

On March 20, 1815, Napoleon returned to Paris to reclaim power against the new king Louis XVII. After enjoying small victories, the European forces came together to crush France in the Battle of Waterloo with an Anglo and Prussian-led army. Facing brutal opposition from the public, Napoleon abdicated and went into exile in Saint Helena.  

Part 3. How to Customize Napoleonic Wars Timeline?

Want to add or remove events from the Napoleonic Wars timeline? Keep on reading.


Open the EdrawMax desktop version and log in to your Wondershare account. You can also access the software using social media IDs (Facebook, Google, etc).


Visit the Template Community from the main menu and select Timeline.

step2 of making a timeline in Edrawmax

From a list of pre-built timelines on your screen, choose one Napoleonic war timeline and click Use Immediately. It will import the template components on the editing panel.

step3 of making a timeline in Edrawmax

On the editing panel, you can add or remove timeline symbols like a time bar and event profiles from the left-side symbol library.


If the time bar is not specific to your task, drag one from the library to the canvas and redefine the timeline dates.

step5 of making a timeline in Edrawmax

Once the timeline is done, go to the Design tab from the toolbar and change the formatting. It allows changing of the diagram theme, color scheme, background image, etc.

step6 of making a timeline in Edrawmax

Or, if you want to make one from scratch but do not have the time, the AI timeline is the way to go. Just visit the AI tab from the toolbar and click Timeline. Make inquiries using the right-side EdrawAI chatbot and create detailed timelines with a single click.

step8 of making a timeline in Edrawmax


Napoleonic Wars were an extension of the French Revolutionary Wars, led by the ambition of Napoleon from 1799 to 1815. Together, the war period reshaped the European territories and set the scene for emerging regional powers. Waging a series of crushing wars also decided the modern-day public image of Napoleon as a shrewd and ambitious leader.

Want to chart these wars for a better understanding of complicated events? Check out this Napoleonic Wars timeline or get similar templates on EdrawMax. You can personalize these templates for an essay or presentation in seconds.

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Freya Jul 04, 24
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