Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Pizza soldiers

Peschiera, where the supplies were exhausted, capitulated on the 30th, and the day had found 22,000 Piedmontese ready to give Radetsky battle at Goito, whence, after a severe contest, they drove him back to Mantua.
 The Austrians lost 3000 out of 25,000 men. The honours of the day fell to the Savoy brigade, which was worthy of its own fame and of the future King of Italy, who was slightly wounded while leading it.
 Outwardly this seemed the most fortunate period of the war for Charles Albert, but that had already happened which was to cause the turning of the tide.

 Nugent, with his 30,000 men, had joined Radetsky. His march across Venetia was harassed by the inhabitants, who left him no peace, especially in the mountain districts, but the poor little force of Romans and volunteers under Durando and Ferrari was unable to seriously check his progress in the open country, though he failed in the attempt to take the towns of Treviso and Vicenza in his passage.
The repulse of the Austrians, 18,000 strong, from Vicenza on the 23rd of May, did great credit to Durando, who only had 10,000 men, most of them Crociati, as the volunteers were called, whose ideas about fighting were original.
Neopolitan troops 3rd regimrent of the line 1853
Austrian volunteers
In 1848 the volunteer Italians of Lombardy and Veneto were juxtaposed with the volunteer Austrians of Tyrol, South Tyrol and Trentino (the latter in numbers far more reduced, being mainly in the cities .

Far more massive is the contribution of South Tyrolean and Tyrolean schuetzen who are fighting on many fronts to defense of the Empire.

 The schuetzen fought with the volunteers of Garibaldi.
 It is hard to see how this General could have done more than he did with the materials at his disposal, or in what way he merited the abuse which was heaped upon him. The case would have been very different if his hybrid force had been supported by the Neapolitan army who were in short what neopolitans have always been good at pizza but not much else.

Pontifical Grenadiers of 1844. I have no idea if they marched into Veneto like this but will keep you posted
Nugent was ordered by Radetsky to let the intermediate places alone, and to come on to him as fast as circumstances would admit. The junction of their troops was, the Field-Marshal saw, of vital necessity, but when this was achieved, and when Welden had also brought his 15,000 fresh men from Tyrol, he turned his attention to Vicenza, since, as long as that town remained in Durando's hands, Venetia would still be free.

austrian field police 1848

He conceived the bold plan of making an excursion to Vicenza with his complete army, while Charles Albert enjoyed the pleasant illusion that the Austrians were in full retreat owing to his success at Goito. The result of Radetsky's attack was not doubtful, but the defence of the town on the 10th of June could not have been more gallant; the 3500 Swiss, the Pontifical Carabineers, and the few other troops belonging to the regular army of the Pope did wonders.
 Cialdini, the future general, and Massimo d'Azeglio, the future prime minister, fought in this action, and the latter was severely wounded. After several hours' resistance there was nothing to be done but to hoist the white flag; Radetsky's object was accomplished, the Venetian terra firma was practically once more in the power of Austria. On the 14th he was back again at Verona without the least harm having happened in his absence.

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