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Battle of Santa Lucia: Map

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The battle of Santa Lucia was an episode in the First Italian War of Independence. On 6 May 1848, when the king of Sardinia, Carlo Alberto, sent I Corps of the Sardinian army to assault the fortified positions held before the walls of Veronamarker by the Austrian army under field marshal Josef Radetzky. It is named after the Santa Lucia district of Verona. Franz Joseph (then only 17 years old) assisted at the battle.

Context

Scope of hostilities

On 18 March 1848, revolt broke out in Milanmarker. The commander of the Lombard–Venetian army, field marshal Josef Radetzky, had excited the rebellion but did not know how to crush it and was forced to abandon the city of fierce fighting. At the same time many other cities in Lombardy–Venetia and at Como the entire garrison went over to the insurgents.

The day after Radetzky evacuated Milan, the king of Sardinia declared war on Austria and crossed the Ticino. His army was organised in 2 corps, the first entrusted to Eusebio Bava, the second to Ettore Gerbaix di Sonnaz.

First phase of the campaign

Liberation of Lombardy

Forcing the passage of the Mincio

Advance on Mincio

Battle of Pastrengo

Austrian strategic weakness

Results of Pastrengo

Radetzky's impasse

Radetzky penned in at Verona

Improved Sardinian position

Strategic opportunities arise

Carlo Alberto's tactical initiative

The troops draw up for battle

Battle

Battle plan

Advance

Fighting begins

Santa Lucia occupied

Parallel attempt at Croce Bianca

Refusal to continue the battle

Losses

The Austrians make a show of pursuit

Failure to re-enter

Minor Austrian counter-attack

Military content

Failed uprising in Verona

Radetzky's boasting

Results

Errors in fortification

A lost opportunity

Notes




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