Armies of the Italian Wars of Unification 1848–70 (1)

Piedmont and the Two Sicilies

Armies of the Italian Wars of Unification 1848–70 (1) cover

Armies of the Italian Wars of Unification 1848–70 (1)

Piedmont and the Two Sicilies


In the 1840s, post-Napoleonic Italy was 'a geographical expression'--not a country, but a patchwork of states. The north (Savoy/Piedmont, and Venice ) was ruled by Austria-Hungary, and most of the minor central states were more or less clients of Austria. From Naples, a Spanish-descended Bourbon monarchy ruled the south--'the Two Sicilies.' The European 'Year of Revolutions', 1848, saw popular uprisings against the regimes all over the peninsula. These were eventually crushed (First War of Independence, 1848–49); but they left King Victor Emmanuel of Savoy/Piedmont--and his able minister Cavour--determined to liberate and unify the country, while royal authority in the Two Sicilies was left deeply unpopular.

Savoy/Piedmont endeavored to strengthen the relationship with France and Britain, by sending troops to fight alongside them in the Crimean War, 1854-56 and, as a result, it was actively supported by a French army in the Second War of Independence (1859), when the battles of Magenta and Solferino freed most of the north from Austrian rule. In the south, Garibaldi's 'Redshirts' led a successful rising against the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1860). Eventually the south voted to join the north in a unified kingdom (February 1861); nevertheless, northern troops had to enforce this by a ruthless occupation during the 1860s--a little-known campaign.

Product details

Published Aug 22 2017
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 48
ISBN 9781472819499
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 45 b/w; 15 col
Dimensions 10 x 7 inches
Series Men-at-Arms
Short code MAA 512
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Gabriele Esposito

GABRIELE ESPOSITO is a professor of modern history…


Giuseppe Rava

Giuseppe Rava was born in Faenza in 1963, and took…


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