Battles on the Arc de Triomphe



There are 158 battles listed on the Arc de Triomphe. These inscriptions commemorate French victories during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. Some of these battles may not be considered French victories by some historians, though the French commission that selected the battles may have considered them a victory in that the French achieved their strategic objectives, made a heroic effort, or even escaped a catastrophic defeat. Regardless, the commission made its suggestions of battles, of which a subset were approved for inclusion on the monument.

I have grouped the battles by war, theater of war, or year, with the name on the Arc de Triomphe (typically all capital letters) and a more common name of the battle. The source I have used most for this research is Arnauld Divry's Les Noms Gravés sur l'Arc de Triomphe, published in 2017. He has done extensive research on the subject. Unfortunately, I do not have high resolution photographs of the Arc de Triomphe to ensure the spelling of the inscriptions is 100% correct and I am instead citing the spelling in Divry's work.


The thirty battles with a shield next to them indicate battles that are considered great. These thirty battles are inscribed on shields facing outwards from the Arc de Triomphe, as opposed to the other battles inscribed on the inner walls of the monument.

Blue battle indicates detailed explanation by Nathan D. Jensen
Green battle indicates short description
Gray battle indicates link to Wikipedia article

War of the First Coalition 1792-1795

War of the First Coalition 1796-1797

Expedition to Egypt and Syria 1798-1801

War of the Second Coalition 1799-1800

War of the Third Coalition 1805

War of the Fourth Coalition 1806-1807

Other

  • GAETE: Siege of Gaeta February 26-July 18, 1806
  • RAGUSE: Capture of Ragusa May 26, 1806
  • CAPRÉE: Capture of Capri October 5-16, 1808
  • GRAND-PORT: Battle of Grand Port August 20-26 1810

Peninsular War 1808-1813

War of the Fifth Coalition 1809

Russian Campaign 1812

Campaign in Saxony 1813

Defense of France 1814

The Hundred Days 1815


Notes
  1. Divry notes that a letter from the Minister of War Marshal Soult's office crossed out the date of April 18, 1800 provided by the commission for Cairo and replaced it with the date with July 24, 1798. The French entered Cairo in July of 1798 without a fight but Kléber was forced to retake the city in April of 1800. See Divry page 508.
  2. Divry notes that a letter from the Minister of War Marshal Soult's office crossed out the date of January 19, 1801 provided by the commission for Peschiera and replaced it with the date of August 6, 1796. Masséna lifted the blockade of Peschiera in August of 1796 while Chasseloup-Laubat laid siege to Peschiera in January of 1800. See Divry page 508.
  3. Divry notes that a letter from the Minister of War Marshal Soult's office crossed out the date of June 7, 1800 provided by the commission for Plaisance and replaced it with the date with May 7, 1796. Murat battled the Austrians near Plaisance in June of 1800 while in May of 1796 Bonaparte took Plaisance without a fight. See Divry page 508.

Bibliography

Updated February 2020

© Nathan D. Jensen