The Campaigns of 1848 and 1849 in Upper Italy
Author: Michael Embree
Publisher: Helion & Company Limited
In the spring of 1848, revolution threatened to sweep away the old order throughout Europe. In the Austrian-occupied north of Italy, newly nurtured nationalism, further fueled by economic issues, prompted open revolt in Lombardy and Venetia. The Austrian army in Italy, commanded by 82-year-old Field Marshal Radetzky, soon saw itself under further threat from the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, that of Naples, and the Papal States, as well as thousands of volunteers, all determined to rid Italy of the occupier. Seemingly under attack from all sides, the Austrian Army was forced to concentrate in the famous 'Quadrilateral', formed by the fortress cities of Peschiera, Mantua, Legnago, and Verona, losing deserters by the thousand, to prepare for the war to follow, a war that would continue into the following year. This volume narrates the remarkable tale of how one old general quite possibly saved an empire. With iron will, the great personal affection of his men, and some luck, Radetzky maintained his army, and finally defeated his opponents. Such was the impact of the 1848 campaign, that Johann Strauss the Elder wrote the 'Radetzky March', in the Field Marshal's honor! The comprehensive story of the revolts and the subsequent military campaigns is recounted here, taken from many and varied sources, including a considerable number of contemporary and first-hand accounts, as well official reports from all sides. Radetzky's Marches is profusely illustrated, and is accompanied by maps, charts, diagrams and extensive orders-of-battle.