Open main menu

CIALDINI, ENRICO (1811–1892), Italian soldier, politician and diplomatist, was born at Castelvetro, in Modena, on the 10th of August 1811. In 1831 he took part in the insurrection at Modena, fleeing afterwards to Paris, whence he proceeded to Spain to fight against the Carlists. Returning to Italy in 1848, he commanded a regiment at the battle of Novara. In 1859 he organized the Alpine Brigade, fought at Palestro at the head of the 4th Division, and in the following year invaded the Marches, won the battle of Castelfidardo, took Ancona, and subsequently directed the siege of Gaeta. For these services he was created duke of Gaeta by the king, and was assigned a pension of 10,000 lire by parliament. In 1861 his intervention envenomed the Cavour-Garibaldi dispute, royal mediation alone preventing a duel between him and Garibaldi. Placed in command of the troops sent to oppose the Garibaldian expedition of 1862, he defeated Garibaldi at Aspromonte. Between 1862 and 1866 he held the position of lieutenant-royal at Naples, and in 1864 was created senator. On the outbreak of the war of 1866 he resumed command of an army corps, but dissensions between him and La Marmora prejudiced the issue of the campaign and contributed to the defeat of Custozza. After the war he refused the command of the General Staff, which he wished to render independent of the war office. In 1867 he attempted unsuccessfully to form a cabinet sufficiently strong to prevent the threatened Garibaldian incursion into the papal states, and two years later failed in a similar attempt, through disagreement with Lanza concerning the army estimates. On the 3rd of August 1870 he pleaded in favour of Italian intervention in aid of France, a circumstance which enhanced his influence when in July 1876 he replaced Nigra as ambassador to the French Republic. This position he held until 1882, when he resigned on account of the publication by Mancini of a despatch in which he had complained of arrogant treatment by M. Waddington. He died at Leghorn, on the 8th of September 1892.  (H. W. S.)