The striving of the hoped for new Italian state had preened itself like a peacock (above) expecting that every European state would help , first of all France and England had aided it but now the Italians turned to the dangerous militarism of Prussia and thus paved the way to what would be the butcher's shop of all wars, The Great War.It was a country that knew no self control as to its aims and like the peacock saw only itself on the world stage.
They had snubbed ,because of jealousy ,their one ace card Garibaldi and therefore had been beaten at every turn by the Austrians. They were lucky that Radetsky wasn't still on the scene for he may have well defeated the French at Solferino as the 80 year old was the only brain on court at the start of the wars, if there was a great it may have been the old warrior.
Let us ask the questions was Cavour great? Was Garibaldi great? Maybe great as a soldier but deluded as a patriot in that he took orders from those that couldn't achieve what he could and minnows should never call below austrian pistol the shots on those that "do".?
The only person who really comes out of it all in a better light apart from Radetsky is Louis Napoleon who offered his services for little gain but even he lacked greatness.Napoleon of course got Savoy and Nice as part of his "bargain" but no one else was ready to support Italy with force of arms.
Radetsky at his advanced age is the one truly great soldier of the war if we look at how old he was when he defeated the Italians everywhere. He had done his utter best to keep Italy Austrian but now the whole show went ahead with all the players thinking of their own rightousness.
When Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy had been crowned King of Italy on March 17, 1861, his reign did not control Venetia and Lazio. The situation of the Irredente (a later Italian term for part of the country under foreign domination, literally meaning un-redeemed) created an unceasing state of tension for the inner politics of the newly created Kingdom, as well as being a cornerstone of its foreign policy.inaugaration of the railway rome to velletri 1861
As we have seen in an earlier post there was the attempt on Rome by Garibaldi .His first attempt to capture Rome was that of 1862 . Confiding in the King's neutrality, he had set sail from Genoa to Palermo. Collecting 2,000 volunteers, he moved from Catania and landed at Melito, in Calabria, on August 24 to reach the Aspromonte, with intention to climb the peninsula up to Rome. The Piedmontese general Enrico Cialdini, however, sent a division under colonel Pallavicino to stop the volunteer army. Garibaldi himself was wounded in the ensuing battle, and taken prisoner along with his men.
The growing divergences between Austria and the growing Prussia's predominance in Germany turned into an open war in 1866, offering Italy an occasion to regain Venetia. On April 8, 1866 the Italian government signed a military alliance with Prussia, through the mediation of Napoleon III of France. Italian armies, led by general Alfonso La Marmora, were to engage the Austrians on the southern front. Simultaneously, taking advantage of their naval superiority, the Italians threatened the Dalmatian coast, forcing Austria to move part of its forces there from the central European front
Garibaldi's own generals, Bixio, Medici, Cosenz and Sirtori, were now all in the regular army, and therefore not free to join him. He begged for the loan of a few regular officers, indicating amongst other names that of Colonel Pallavicini, who commanded against him at Aspromonte: a trait characteristic of the man. But this assistance, though promised, was not granted, and the same was the case with the guns which were vainly asked for. Without charging La Marmora with a deliberate intention of neglecting the volunteers, it must be owned that under the influence of the prejudice which holds irregular troops in small esteem, he did not do for them what ought to have been done if their services were accepted at all.
The Austrian Southern Army, excellent in discipline and equipment though weak in numbers, was commanded up to the outbreak of the war by Field-Marshal Benedek, but he was called to Vienna to take command of the unfortunate army of operation against Prussia, and was succeeded in Italy by the Archduke Albrecht(below), with General Von John, an officer of the first capacity, as chief of the staff.
The numerical strength of the forces which could be put in the field has been stated with startling divergence by different military writers on the war, but every calculation gives the Italian side (exclusive of the volunteers) a superiority of not less than two to one. The Austrian mobilised army has been reckoned at as low a figure as 63,000, certainly an understatement, as it appears that the Archduke mustered not less than 70,000 at the battle of Custoza. That he mustered on that day every man he could produce is probably a fact. Had the Italian generals followed the same rule, however enormous their other errors might have been, they would have won. Of all conceivable faults in a military commander that which is the least pardonable is the neglect to crush his antagonist by force of superior numbers when he has them at his disposal. How many great military reputations have been built up, and justly built up, on the care never to meet an enemy without the odds being largely in your favour!new uniforms of the austrians
For obvious political reasons the King of Italy assumed the supreme command of the army, with General La Marmora as chief of the staff. Cialdini had been offered the latter post, but he declined it, objecting, it is said, to the arrangement by which the real head of the army has no guarantee against the possible interference of its nominal head.
When La Marmora went to the front, Baron Ricasoli took his place as Prime Minister; Visconti-Venosta became Minister of Foreign Affairs; and the Ministry of the Marine was offered to Quintino Sella, who refused it on the ground that he knew nothing of naval matters. It was then offered to and accepted by a man who knew still less, because he did not even know his own ignorance, Agostino Depretis, a Piedmontese advocate.
Before the commencement of hostilities a secret treaty was concluded between Napoleon III. and the Austrian Government, according to which Venetia was to be ceded to the Emperor for Italy, even if Austrian arms were victorious both on the Mincio and on the Maine.
Napoleon's real purpose in this singular transaction is not perfectly clear; but he was probably acting under a semi-romantic desire to have the appearance of completing his programme of freeing Italy from the Alps to the Adriatic which had been interrupted at Villafranca.
In spite of his enmity towards Italian unity, there is no reason to doubt that he was in very few things as sincere as in the wish to see the Austrians out of Italy. His reckonings at this time were all founded on the assumption that Prussia would be defeated; he even seems to have had some hopes of getting the Rhine bank in return for his good offices on behalf of that Power with triumphant Austria. Be this as it may, he inspired the Italian Government (or rather La Marmora, for there were then two Italian Governments, and the real one was on the Mincio) with his own expectation of Prussian disasters, and it is possible that this expectation had a material and unfavourable influence on the manner of conducting the war in Italy.
Through the Prussian Minister at Florence, General La Marmora received the draft of a plan of campaign which is known to have been prepared by Count Moltke; in it the great feature was a descent on the Dalmatian coast. From an independent quarter he received another plan in which a descent on the east coast of the Adriatic was contemplated, the main difference being that Istria, instead of Dalmatia, was proposed for the landing-point. This second plan was modestly submitted to him by Garibaldi, who was thus in substantial accord with the Prussian strategist. The prospect which either of these plans opened was one of great fascination. What Italian can look across the sea to where the sun rises and forget that along that horizon lies a land colonised by Rome and guarded for four hundred years by Venice?
Istria was marked out by Dante as the frontier province of Italy:
Si come a Pola presso del Quarnero
Che Italia chiude e i suoi termini bagna
.Tyrolean sharpshooters 1860's
It forms, with the Trentino, what is called Italia Irredenta. Although the feeling of Italians for unredeemed Italy is not what their feeling was for Lombardy or Venetia, . The aspiration existed and cannot have helped existing because of the idiocy of those that can't accept less and those that wanted the "real estate" for the Italian wars of Independence like the American revolt in the colonies were about "real estate" and money. Think on the Scots wanting their own parliament in the present age and then look at how that experiment worked in Ireland ,bankruptcy in 2010.The stupidity of nationalists, so called nationalists, knows no bounds.
. An English statesman who called on Pius IX. was somewhat surprised by the Pope saying that Italian unity was very well, but it was a pity it did not include Trento and Trieste.Ask why he said this? There is no answer for people say things that sound good very often meaningless.
The case of Dalmatia is different; there the mass of the population is unquestionably of a non-Italian race, though that race is one which, whenever left to itself, seems created to amalgamate with the Italian. Slav and Teuton are racially antagonistic, but the Slav falls into Italian ways, speaks the Italian language and mixes his blood with Italian blood: with what results Venice can tell. For more than two thousand years the civilisation of Dalmatia has been exclusively Latin; the Roman column points to the Venetian Campanile; all the proudest memories are gathered round the Lion of St Mark, which in every town, almost in every village, recalls the splendid though not blameless suzerainty of the Serene Republic. The sky, the olive-groves, the wild pomegranates make us think of Salerno; by the spoken tongue we are often reminded of Tuscany, for few Italian dialects are so pure. The political subjection of the country to Italy dates from Augustus; its political subjection to Austria dates from Napoleon.
dalmatia, with the glorious little commonwealth of Ragusa, and the free city of Cattaro, was bartered away with Venice at Campo Formio; and as with Venice, so with Dalmatia, the Holy Alliance violated its own principle of restoring the proe-Napoleonic state of things and confirmed the sale.
the austrians at the time of the third war
At the beginning of the war, Austria did not ignore that her loss of territory might exceed Venetia. The Archduke Albrecht, in his proclamation to his soldiers, appealed to them to protect their mothers, wives and sisters from being ruled by a foreign race.uhlans
Even a successful raid upon Dalmatia or Istria need not have given those districts to Italy, but it would have brought such an event within the range of a moderately strong political telescope. The Slavs (erected since into a party hostile to their Italian fellow-citizens by a fostering of Panslavism which may not, in the long run, prove sound policy for Austria) were then ready to make friends with anyone opposed to their actual rulers. They would not have been easy to govern after an Italian invasion; still less easy to govern would the Latin element have been, which was and is Italianissimo. Since Prussia became the German Empire, she has set her face against Italian extension eastward, but in 1866, had her advice been intelligently acted upon, it might have generated facts the logic of which none would have had the power to stay.
Moltke's plan more than hinted at a march on Vienna by the Semmering, and this is what is supposed to have induced La Marmora to treat it with scorn. With the bogey of Prussia vanquished before his eyes, he doubtless asked what the Italians would do at Vienna if they got there? He put the plan in his pocket, and showed it neither to his staff nor to the King, who would certainly have been attracted by it, as he had set his heart on the volunteers, at least, crossing the Adriatic. With regard to the campaign at home, both Moltke and Garibaldi counselled turning the Quadrilateral in preference to a direct attack upon fortresses which had been proved impregnable except with the assistance of hunger, and at present they were better provisioned than in 1848. The turning of the Quadrilateral meant the adoption of a route into Venetia across the Po below Mantua. An objection not without gravity to that route was the unfavourable nature of the ground which, being marshy, is liable after heavy rains to become impassable. But against this disadvantage had to be weighed the advantage of keeping out of the mouse-trap, the fatality of which needed no new demonstration.volunteers. Remember that the idea that Garibalians wore red all the time is deeply flawed, they wore what they could find including Austrian stock
In Italy it is common to hear it said that it was necessary to station a large army on the Mincio to bar the Archduke's path to Milan. But apart from the rumoured existence of a promise to the French Emperor not to invade Lombardy, it was unlikely that so good a general as the Archduke would have taken his small army far from the security it enjoyed among the four fortresses which, if the worst came to the worst, assured him a safe line of retreat.
The plan adopted by La Marmora is vaguely said to have been that which was prepared by the French and Sardinian staffs for use in 1859, had the war been continued. But in what it really consisted is not to this day placed beyond dispute. The army, roughly speaking, was divided into halves; one (the larger) half under the King and La Marmora was to operate on the Mincio; the other, under Cialdini, was to operate on the lower Po. It is supposed that one of these portions was intended to act as a blind to deceive the enemy as to the movements of the other portion; the undecided question is, which was meant to be the principal and which the accessory?
aude 15mm .Milan based company
The volunteers were thrown against the precipices of the Tridentine mountains, where a detachment of the regular army, well-armed and properly supplied with artillery, would have been better suited for the work. The Garibaldian headquarters was at Salò on the Lake of Garda. Less than half of the 35,000 volunteers who appear upon paper, were ever ready to be sent to the front. It was widely said that only patriotism prevented Garibaldi from throwing up his command, so dissatisfied was he with the conduct of affairs.aude 20mm.click on photo
Prussia invaded Hanover and Saxony on the 16th of June, and declared war with Austria on the 21st, one day after the Italian declaration of war had been delivered to the Archduke Albrecht. On the 23rd La Marmora's army began to cross the Mincio. It consisted of three corps d'armée under the command of Generals Durando, Cucchiari and Delia Rocca, each corps containing four divisions. The force under Cialdini was composed of eight divisions forming one corps d'armée. An Italian military writer rates the numbers at 133,000 and 82,000 respectively. La Marmora acquired the belief that the Archduke's attention was absorbed by Cialdini's movements on the Po, and that his own operations on the Mincio would pass unobserved.below is austrian rifle 1857
While the Italian commander had no information of what was going on in the enemy's camp, the Archduke's intelligence department was so efficient that he knew quite well the disposition of both Italian armies. Cialdini's advance, if he meant to advance, was checked by floods. On the night of the 23rd most of La Marmora's force bivouacked on the left (Venetian) bank of the Mincio. No reconnaissances were made; everyone supposed that the Austrians were still beyond the Adige, and that they intended to stay there. The King slept at Goito.
Before the early dawn next morning the whole Italian army of the Mincio had orders to advance. The soldiers marched with heavy knapsacks and empty stomachs, and with no more precautions than in time of peace. The Austrian Archduke was in the saddle at four a.m., and watched from an eminence the moving clouds of dust which announced the approach of his unsuspecting foe.below aude garibaldians 20mm
La Marmora's intention had been to occupy the heights of Santa Giustina, Sona and Somma Campagna, but the Archduke anticipated his design, and while the Italians were moving from the Mincio, the Austrians were ranging themselves in those positions. At half-past five on the midsummer Sunday morning, the Austrian advance guard led by Colonel Pulz came up with Prince Humbert's division near Villafranca. The battle began dramatically, with a charge of the splendid Polish and Hungarian Hussars, who dashed their horses against the Italian squares, in one of which, opportunely formed for his shelter, was the gallant heir to the throne. Bixio's division was also engaged in this prelude, which augured not ill for the Italians, since at about eight o'clock Pulz received the Archduke's orders to retire.hussars attack
The first hours of the battle were spent in fortuitous encounters along the extensive chain of hillocks which La Marmora had intended to occupy. As the Italians approached each position they found it in the possession of a strong force of the enemy. On the right, however, Custoza and the heights between it and Somma Campagna had not been occupied by the Austrians. Here La Marmora placed the flower of his army, the Sardinian and Lombard Grenadiers, the latter commanded by Prince Amedeo. The fighting continued through the day over very widely distributed ground, but from about nine in the morning the supreme interest was concentrated at and near Custoza, in which the Archduke promptly detected the turning-point of the battle. To wrest Custoza from the hold of the Italians was to the Austrians on the 24th of June 1866, what the taking of the crest of Solferino had been to the French on the 24th of June 1859. La Marmora in person led the Grenadiers into action; they proved worthy of their reputation, but after losing a great many men, Prince Amedeo being among the wounded, they were obliged to retreat. At about midday, however, the Italian prospects improved so much that in the opinion of Austrian military writers, with moderate reinforcements they would have had a strong probability of winning the battle. La Marmora saw the importance of getting fresh troops into the field, but, instead of sending for the divisions under Bixio and Prince Humbert, which since eight a.m. had been fretting in inaction close by, at Villafranca, he rode himself to Goito, a great distance away, to look after the reserves belonging to the 2nd corps d'armée; a task which any staff officer could have performed as well. This inexplicable proceeding left the army without a commander-in-chief. The generals of division followed their individual inspirations, Govone, Pianel and Cugia especially distinguishing themselves: it is sad to think that death has removed these three officers from the Italian ranks. But the Austrians fatally gained ground, and as the afternoon closed in the Archduke began to feel sure that the Italian reinforcements whose arrival he had so much feared, were never coming. He therefore prepared for the final effort which was to give him the well-deserved honours of the day. Towards seven o'clock in the evening, his soldiers succeeded in storming the heights of Custoza, and Austria could write a second battle of that name among her victories.
get shot in the leg then this was what a ball did, at best crippled for life.
The Italians lost 720 killed, 3112 wounded and 3608 prisoners. The Austrian loss was 960 killed, 3690 wounded and 1000 prisoners. Both sides were much tried by the scorching midsummer sun, but the Italians laboured under the additional drawback of having to fight fasting. In his report, the Archduke Albrecht mentioned that the prisoners said they had not tasted food for twenty-four hours. In the same report, he did ample justice to the courage of the Italian soldiers.
waiting for a husband never to return
As has been stated, the Archduke fought Custoza with not less, probably with rather more, than 70,000 men. The force which La Marmora placed in the field was actually inferior in number. The divisions of Bixio and Prince Humbert were kept doing nothing all day at a stone's throw from the scene of action. Of the whole 2nd corps d'armée only a trifling detachment ever reached the ground. Inexplicably little use was made of the Italian cavalry.
This bungling had lost the battle, but the fact that on the morrow, six divisions of the army of the Mincio were practically fresh, might have suggested to a general of enterprise to try again, since it was known that the Archduke had not a single new man to fall back on. And there was Cialdini on the Po with his eight divisions that had not been engaged at all, WAS HE LACKING MORAL FIBRE. But, instead of adopting a spirited course, the Italian authorities gave way to unreasoning panic. It appears, unfortunately, that the King was the first to be overcome by this moral vertigo. The long and fiercely discussed question of who telegraphed to Cialdini: 'Irreparable disaster; cover the capital,' seems to have been settled since that general's death in 1892. It is now alleged that the telegram, the authorship of which was disowned by La Marmora, was signed by the King's adjutant, Count Verasio di Castiglione. Cialdini obeyed the order and fell back on Modena. Whether he was bound to obey an almost anonymous communication signed by an irresponsible officer is a moot point; it is reported that he repented having done so to the last day of his life.
A great event now happened across the Alps; one of the decisive battles of the world was lost and won on the 5th of July at Sadowa near Königgrätz in Bohemia. The fate of Europe was shaped on that day for decades, if not for centuries. Of the immediate results, the first was the scattering to the wind of all calculations based upon a long continuance of the war, the issue of which, as far as Prussia was concerned, could not be regarded as doubtful. In respect to Italy, Austria's first thought was to prevent her from taking a revenge for Custoza.
She attempted to compass this by ceding Venetia to Napoleon two days after Sadowa. It was making a virtue of necessity, as she was bound in any case to cede it at the conclusion of the war; but as the secret of the treaty had been well kept, the step caused great surprise, and in Italy, where the public mind had leapt from profound discouragement to buoyant hope, the impression was one of embarrassment and mortification. Italy was distinctly precluded by her engagement with Prussia from accepting Napoleon's invitation to conclude a separate peace. Meanwhile, Austria gained by the move, as it set her at liberty to recall the larger part of her troops from Venetia for the defence of Vienna. Her honour did not require her to contest the ground in a province which she had already given away. When Cialdini, at the head of the reorganised Italian army of which he now held the chief command, advanced across the Po to Padua, he found the path practically open.
prussian troop types v austria
It was still possible for Italy to accomplish two things which would have in a great measure retrieved her prestige. The first was to occupy the Trentino; the second was to destroy the Austrian fleet. With the means at her disposal she ought to have been able to do both.
austrian troop types v prussia
In the earlier phases of Italian liberation, no one disputed that if Lombardy and Venetia were lost to the Empire the Tridentine province, wedged in as it is between them, would follow suit. When, in 1848, Lord Palmerston offered his services as mediator between Austria and revolted Italy, it was on a minimum basis of a frontier north of Trento. The arguments for the retention of Trieste—that Austria had made it what it was; that Germany needed it as a seaport, etc.—were inapplicable here; and even after the defeat of Custoza, an occupation of the Trentino, had it happened in conjunction with a naval victory, would have opened a fair prospect to possession. But there was no time to lose, and much time was lost by ordering Garibaldi to descend to the southern extremity of the lake of Garda to 'cover Brescia' from an imaginary attack. When the fear of an Austrian invasion subsided, and Garibaldi returned to the mountains, he endeavoured to re-take the position of Monte Suello (above) which he had previously held, but the attempt failed.
Surrender at forte ampola
The volunteers were forced to retire with great loss, and the chief himself was wounded. On the 16th of July the volunteers renewed their advance up the mountain ravines, and, after taking Fort Ampola, reached the village of Bezzecca, where they were attacked by the Austrians early on the 21st. Each side claimed that sanguinary day as a victory; the Garibaldians remained masters of the ground, but the Austrians, in retiring, took with them a large number of prisoners.
The losses of the volunteers on this and other occasions when they were engaged were disproportionately heavy. They were spendthrift of their lives, but in war, and especially in mountain warfare, caution is as needful as courage, and in caution they were so deficient that they were always being surprised. General Kuhn's numerically inferior force of tried marksmen, supported by good artillery and favoured by ground which may be described as one great natural fortification, had succeeded up till now in holding the Trentino, but his position was becoming critical, because while Garibaldi sought to approach Trento from the west, Medici with 10,000 men detached from the main army at Padua, was ascending the Venetian valleys that lead to the same destination from the east. Kuhn was therefore on the point of being taken between two fires when the armistice saved him.
With the outbreak of the war against Prussia and Italy in 1866, Feldmarschall Archduke Albrecht assumed command of the monarchy's "South Army" facing the Italians on the 9th of May whilst the former chief of staff and commander in northern Italy, Feldzeugmeister Ludwig Ritter von Benedek was appointed to command the "North Army" in Bohemia. Archduke Albrecht's relatively small force of some 70,000 men and 168 guns was concentrated in the area of the "Quadrilateral" forts on the left bank of the middle Etsch river and consisted of three under strength corps each of just three brigades.Austrian Tyroleans
At this time the Austrian army had dispensed with divisional headquarters and the individual brigades were directly subordinated to their respective corps commander. Ably assisted by his competent chief of staff, Feldmarschall-Lieutenant Franz Freiherr von John, the Archduke was to lead Südarmee in the hard fought 2nd battle of Custozza on the 24th of June 1866 against the numerically superior Italian Mincio Army under General Alfonso La Marmora. Following the Italian crossing of the Mincio river on the 23rd of June, the complicated and rather confused battle took place the following day. After a somewhat shaky start, the Austrians eventually took Monte Vento and Santa Lucia and once Monte Croce was taken, the Italians were forced to retreat back across the Mincio in some disorder. Unfortunately for the Austrian cause FZM Benedek's force in Bohemia was comprehensively defeated in Bohemia culminating in the battle at Königgrätz (above) and Austria was in fact compelled to cede most of it's northern Italian possessions despite it's victory in the south.Albrecht was summoned to assume command of all the forces of the monarchy on the 10th of July and accompanied by FML Freiherr von John he reported to Vienna on the 13th. Following the conclusion of peace he was appointed army commander in chief on the 15th of January 1868 and the general inspector of the Imperial and Royal Army on the 24th March 1869
Austrian cavalry on the attack 1867
The numerical strength of the forces which could be put in the field has been stated with startling divergence by different military writers on the war, but every calculation gives the Italian side (exclusive of the volunteers) a superiority of not less than two to one. The Austrian mobilised army has been reckoned at as low a figure as 63,000, certainly an understatement, as it appears that the Archduke mustered not less than 70,000 at the battle of Custoza. That he mustered on that day every man he could produce is probably a fact. Had the Italian generals followed the same rule, however enormous their other errors might have been, they would have won. Of all conceivable faults in a military commander that which is the least pardonable is the neglect to crush his antagonist by force of superior numbers when he has them at his disposal. How many great military reputations have been built up, and justly built up, on the care never to meet an enemy without the odds being largely in your favour!austrians mobilised for the Italian front
Very near to my house in Italy is the village of Monticello.Probably few people know that Monticello Brianza, gave birth to General Joseph Sirtori. And perhaps, it is even more likely that many, will not know anything about the identity of a character who was one of the greatest garibaldian generals.
Not many Italians will care for most have their own idea of what they want history to be. Most of their versions are plain fantasy and lies. At the moment i'm watching some old bag saying that the north of italy was liberated entirely by the partizans, she forgets that the partizans came on the scene only when Mussolini was retreating although the Italian communists had made a good showing in Spain.In short the word thanks is not much in the Italian vocabulary; this woman forgot that many many British troops died trying to liberate Italy from the germans. Most Italians think it was an american invasion)and without the allied troops the partizans would have counted for zero.
Sirtori was from Brianza, a geographical area of mealy mouthed miserables whose God is money. But Sirtori was no normal Brianzan, one of the most active among the ranks of Mille, during 1860 and 1861 in the campaigns of Sicily. Well in Monticello, 193 years from his birth and 132 from the death there is a mystery. The House where he was born , in the hamlet of Casatevecchio, not far from the Institute Greppi and overlooking a road from which pass every day, dozens or even hundreds of cars and as many students.
The House, with signs of years spent badly , hides something curious. look carefully ast the façade, and you'll find on the first floor, something green on the wall,someone has placed a huge towel to protect something that protrudes. An unusual prominence, that seems to want to hide from view of passers-by, but instead a testimony that represents general Sirtori.This is a semi relief come statue of sirtori and someone has covered it up=why?As usual the council doesn't give a fuck about why?