Sunday, 29 November 2009

THE BATTLE OF SANTA LUCIA 4

Chaos moved with the Italians as if it was a part of their being.

austrian cavalry pistol 1848


. Whatever they did, nothing went right.If we look back at the actions a theme starts to run through them as regards why.
The answer seems to be jealousy between officers.No one could agree and what was true in 1846/48 is still so terribly true today. It's a nation where the obvious, the most logical is to be ignored and in the anarchy of surreal negative thinking a kind of absurd compromise is preffered to the staightforward step.
 They were outpaced, outjudged and out fought by a man with a capital M and it is fitting that this man , the great Radetsky had a march named after him because he was one of trhe great military figures of any age.Italian cavalrySardinian Guards. Both from a newsagent offer in 2000. These were made by Almirall of Spain .Either them or AlymerThe atack of the Italian forces was met by concentrted Austrian resistance. At Santa Lucia where the real fighting took place the Austrians had fortified a church and a bell tower plus the cemetery that was near.
Loopholes plus abattis.All around were loose stone walls .All these defences were manned by jagers of Strassoldo and his Austrian brigade. On the left a long garden wall were held by the Archduke Sigismund's infantry. This covered the approaches to Villa franca. Strassoldo was 2,100 me plus six guns. It was composed of  Austrans and Italians. There were Kopal's 10h Field Jagers one of the best,and the Lombards and Venetians of the 3rd battalion of Sigismund's infantry. t every ├Ępoint of the battle Piedmontese offiers rushed forward to encourage and they were riddled with bullets.They were the bravest of the brave and letters shown on the bodies after the battle proved many to be Savoyards. At 0 am Bava sent in the Guards they had to take thePellegrino farm. This was the cacciatori battalion. It did this then reurned to take the cemetery. The Regina brigade and the Casale brigade concentrated themselves on Santa Lcia and now any hope of  a disciplined attack was lost. It was like a Football match where every player chases the ball. There was no organisation.25,000 men concentrated on a small village and its church and bell tower . The defenders had held out for 3 hours. The strain was telling. At 1 O'clock the Austrian guns next to the cemetery were withdrawn after heavy Italian battery fire from Fenilone. The Jagers were left without artillery. The Guards and the Aosta brigade plus General Passalaqua with a musket in his hand rushed into the cemetery. The Austrians witdrew but turned upon reaching some vineyards and firedIn the cemetery it was a fight of heroes. Two companies had defended it under a captain called Hauptman , e than 200 but they had 50 per cent casualties.Those who write stirring war stories  write the Devils propaganda but this really was a day of Homeric fortitude. Hauptman Bradt was unbendable, he and his jagers twice through back the enemy with the bayonet

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