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914
ITALIAN WARS


to Mantua (as in IS48), or gather his forces for battle before Milan. Radetzky himself openly announced that he would take the offensive, and the king's plans were framed to meet this case also. Two-thirds of the army, 4 divisions, were grouped in great depth between Novara, Galliate and Castelnuovo. A little to the right, at Vespolate and Vigevano, was one division under Durando, and the remaining division under Ramorino was grouped opposite Pavia with orders to take that place if possible, but if Radetzky advanced thence, to fall back fighting either on Mortara or Lomello, ' while the main body descended on the Austrian flank. The grouping both of Ramorino and of the main body-as events proved in the case of the latter-cannot be seriously criticized, and indeed one is almost tempted to assume that Chrzanowski considered the case of Radetzky's advance on Mortara more carefully than that of his own advance on Milan. But the seething spirit of revolt did not allow the army that was Italy's hope to stand still at a foreign and untried general's dictation and await Radetzky's coming. On the 19th of l-larch orders were issued to the main body for the advance on Milan and on the 20th one division, led by the king himself, crossed the Ticino at San Martino.

But no Austrians were encountered, and such information as was available indicated that Radetzky was concentrating to his left on the Pavia-Lodi road. Chrzanowski thereupon, abandoning (if indeed he ever entertained) the idea of Radetzky's retirement and his own triumphal march on Milan, suspended the advance. His fears were justified, for that- evening he heard that Ramorino had abandoned his post and taken his division across the Po. After the war this general was shot for disobedience, and deservedly, for the covering division, the lighting flank-guard on which Chrzanowski's defensive-offensive depended, was thus withdrawn at the moment when Radetzky's whole army was crossing the Ticino at Pavia and heading for Mortara?

The four Austrian corps began to file across the Ticino at noon on the 20th, and by nightfall the heads of Radetzky's columns were at Zerbolo, Gambolo and La Cava, the reserve at Pavia, a flank-guard holding the Cava-Casatisma road over the Po against the contingency of Ramorino's return, and the two brigades that had furnished the outposts along the Ticino closing on Bereguardo. Chrzanowski, however, having now to deal with a foreseen case, gave his orders promptly. To replace Ramorino, the 1st division A i f was ordereclfrom Vespolate through Mortara to Trumello; ct 0” ° the 2nd division from Cerano to push south on Vigevano; M°"“""' the reserve from Novara to Mortara; the remainder to follow the 2nd division. Had the 1st division been placed at Mortara instead of Vespolate in the first instance the story of the campai n might have been very different, but here again, though to a fir less culpable degree, a subordinate general is default imperilled the army. Durando (2 IS(March), instead of pushing on as ordered to Trumello to take contact with the enemy, halted at Mortara. The reserve also halted there and deployed west of Mortara to guard against a possible attack from San Giorgio. The Sardinian advanced guard on the other road reached Borgo San Siro, but there met and was driven back by Radetzky's Il. corps under Lieut. field Marshal d'Aspre (IYSQ-1850), which was supported by the brigades that now crossed at Bereguardo. But the Italians were also supported, the Austrians made little progress, and by nightfall the Sardinian II., III. and IV. divisions had closed up around 'ige'ano. Radetzky indeed intended his troops on the Vigevano road to act simply as a defensive flank»guard and had ordered the rest of his army by the three roads, Zerbolo-Gambolo, Gropello-Trurnello and Lomello-San Giorgio, to converge on Mortara. The rearmost of the two corps on the Gambolo road (the I.) was to serve at need as a support to the Hank-guard, and, justly confident in his troops, Radetzky did not hesitate to send a whole corps by the eccentric route of Lomello. And before nightfall an important success had justified him, for the Il. corps from Gambolo, meeting Durando outside llortara had defeated him before the Sardinian reserve, prematurely deployed on the other side of the town, could come to his assistance. The remaining corps of Radetzky's army were still short of Mortara when night came, but this could hardly be well known at the royal headquarters, and, giving up the slight chances of success that a counter stroke from Vigevano on Mortara offered, Chrzanowski ordered a general concentration on Novara. This was effected on the 22l'l(I, on which day Radetzky, pushing out the II. corps towards Vespolate, concentrated the rest at Mortara. That the Italians had retired was clear, but it was not known whither, and, precisely as Napoleon had done before Marengo (see FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WARS), he sent one corps to seize the l<ing's potential line of retreat, Novara-Vercelli, kept one back at Mortara-Students of Napoleonic strategy will find it interesting to replace Ramorino by, say, Lannes, and to post Durando at Mortara-Vigevano instead of Vespolate-Vigevano, and from these conditions to work out the probable course of events.

2 Ramorino's defence was that he had received information that the Austrians were advancing on Alessandria by the south bank of the Po. But Alessandria was a fortress, and could be expected to hold out for forty-eight hours; moreover, it could easily have been succoured by way of Valenza if necessary.

l

ready, it may be presumed, to grapple an enem coming from Vigevano-and engaged the other three in a single long column, widely spaced out, on the Novara road. Thus it came about that on the 23rd d'Aspre's II. corps encountered Charles Albert's whole army long before the III. and Reserve could join it. The battle of Novara was, nevertheless, as great an event in the history of the Imperial-Royal Army as Marengo in that of the French. First the II. corps, and then the II. and III. together attacked with the utmost resolution, and as the hours went by more and more of the white coats came on the field until at last the Novara IV. corps, swinging inward from Robbio, came on to the flank of the defence. This was no mere strategical triumph; the Austrians, regiment for regiment, were more than a match for the Italians and the result was decisive. Charles Albert abdicated, and the young Victor Emmanuel II., his successor, had to make a hasty armistice. - .,

After Novara, the first great struggle for Italian unity was no more than a spasmodic, if often desperate, struggle of small bodies of patriots and citizens of walled towns to avert the inevitable. The principal incidents in the last phase were the siege of Venice, the sack of Brescia by the merciless Haynau and the capture of Rome by a French expeditionary corps under General Oudinot.

THE ITALIAN WAR or 1859 A

The campaign of Magenta and Solferino took place ten years later. Napoleon III., himself an ex-tarbrmaro, and the apostle of the theory of “ nationalities, ” had had his attention and his ambitions drawn towards the Italian problem by the attempt upon his life by Orsini. The general political horizon- was by no means clear at the end of 1858, and on the 1st of January 13 SQ the emperor of the French publicly expressed to the Austrian ambassador his regret that “ our relations are not so good as heretofore.” This was regarded by all concerned as a. prelude to war, and within a short time a treaty and a marriage contract allied Sardinia with the leading European powerl In the smaller Italian states, as before, the governments wereon the side of Austria and the “ settlement of 181 5, ” and the peoples on that of United Italy. The French still maintained a garrison in Rome to support the pope. The thorny question of the temporal power 'versus the national movement was not yet in the foreground, and though Napoleon's support of the former was later to prove his undoing, in 18 SQ the main enemy was Austria and the paramount factor was the assistance of 200',000 French regulars in solving the immediate problem. V The Sardinian army, reconstituted by La Marrnora with the definite object of a war for union and rehabilitated by its conduct in the Crimea, was eager and willing. The French army, proud of its reputation as the premier army in the world, and composed, three-fourths of it, of professional soldiers whose gospel was the “ Legend, ” welcomed a return to the first Napoleon's battle-grounds, while the emperor's ambitions coincided with his sentiments. Austria, on the other hand, did not desire war. Her only motive of resistance was that it was impossible to cede her Italian possessions in face of a mere threat. To her, even more than to France and infinitely more than to Italy, the war was a political war, a “ war with a limited aim ” or “ stronger form of diplomatic note ”; it entirely lacked the national and personal spirit of resistance which makes even a passive defence so powerful.

Events during the period of tension that preceded the actual declaration of war were practically governed by these moral conditions. Such advantages as Austria possessed at the outset could only be turned to account, as will presently appear, by prompt action. But her army system was a combination of conscription and the “ nation in arms, ” which for the diplomatic war on hand proved to be quite inadequate. Whereas the French army was permanently on a two-thirds war footing (400,000 peace, 600,000 war), that of Austria required to be more than doubled on mobilization by calling in reservists. Now, the value of reservists is always conditioned by the temperof the population from which they come, and it is more than probable that the indecision of the Austrian government between January and April 1859 was due not only to its desire on

general grounds to avoid war, but also, and perhaps still more,