The First French Empire, or the Napoleonic Empire, was formed when former Corsican general, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, conquered the last of the German territories of the Austrian Empire and formed a dependant French-allied confederation. Napoleon continued expanding his empire by defeating Prussia and stripping it of small pieces of territory. He then invaded Italy but was only opposed, once again, by the Austrians who had occupied the country since Spain's fall from power in the War of Spanish Succession, conquering Italy easily. From here, however, Napoleon made his first major mistake, he invaded the Iberian Peninsula and started the Peninsular War, despite the fact that Portugal and Spain were important allies of France. Plus, he ended up losing a large number of men during the costly war. Napoleon then set his sights on Russia. He and his army, in 1812, invaded Russia and chased its army past Moscow. But this only proved to drain vital supplies for the army and a number of men became very ill and died on the chase. Russia finally turned around to face their weakened opponent and sent Napoleon, in humiliation, running back to France. Napoleon suffered further defeats and was eventually exiled to the Island of Elba. He returned in what is known as "the hundred days". Napoleon fought again at the Battle of Waterloo against the Duke of Wellington but was finally defeated and exiled permanently to the Island of St.Helena on June of 1815, ending the Napoleonic Wars, the series of conquests it took to create the empire. The rest of Bonaparte family was then removed from their high government positions and exiled from France and a number of other European countries; the empire had completely dissolved. However, the Bonaparte Family would rise again under Napoleon III, who would greatly help create the Second French Empire.