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Custozza, Battles of


Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


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Austrian victories (July 24–25, 1848, and June 24, 1866) over Italian forces during the struggles for italian unification . Following the popular insurrections of 1848 (see revolutions of 1848–9) aimed at liberating Milan and Venice from the habsburg empire , charles albert of piedmont-sardinia was persuaded to lead an army of Sardinian regulars and Italian volunteers against the forces commanded by the 82-year-old radetzky , who had been obliged to retreat to the Mincio. Although Charles Albert's troops were superior in numbers, the king proved a mediocre general. The still energetic Radetzky took advantage of his opponents' dispersed positions to defeat them comprehensively in detail. The Austrians recovered Lombardy, and a further victory at novara in March 1849 ended the First Italian War of Independence. In 1866 numerically inferior Austrian forces, commanded by the Archduke Albert, were similarly victorious at Custozza against the army of victor emmanuel ii of Piedmont. Once again, poor Italian leadership and inspired Austrian tactics proved decisive. On this occasion, however, Prussian victory in the wider conflict (see austro-prussian war ) led to Austria losing Venetia to Victor Emmanuel. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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