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915
ITALIAN WARS


to its 'hopes of averting' it by firmness, without having recourse to the possibly dangerous expedient of a real mobilization. A few years before the method of “ blufiing ” had been completely successful against Prussia. But the Prussian reservist of 1850 did not want to light, whereas the French soldier of 1859 desired nothing more ardently.

In these conditions the Austrian preparations were made sparingly, but with ostentation. The three corps constituting the Army of Italy (commanded since Radetzky's death in 18 58 by Feldzeugmeister Count Franz Gyulai (1798-1863)), were maintained at war efficiency, but not at war strength (corps averaging 15,000). Instead, however, of mobilizing them, the Vienna government sent an army corps (III.) from Vienna at peace strength in January. This was followed by the II. corps, also at peace strength, in February, and the available field force, from that point, could have invaded Piedmont at once.1 The initial military situation was indeed all in favour of Austria. Her mobilization was calculated to take ten weeks, it is true, but her concentration by rail could be much more speedily effected than that of the French, who had either to cross the Alps on foot or to proceed to Genoa by sea and thence by one line of railway to the interior. Further, the demands of Algeria, Rome and other garrisons, the complicated political situation and the consequent necessity of protecting the French' coasts against an English attack, ” and still more the Rhine frontier against Prussia and other German states (a task to which the greatest general in the French army, Pélissier, was assigned), materially reduced the size of the army to be sent to Italy. But the Austrian government held its hand, and the Austrian commander, apparently nonplussed by the alternation. of quiescence Mobmzb and boldness at Vienna, asked for full mobilization m and turned his thoughts to the Quadrilateral that had served Radetzky so well in gaining time for the reserves to come up. March passed away without an advance, and it was not until the 5th of April that the long-deferred order was issued from Vienna to the reservists to join the II., III., V., VII. and VIII. corps in Italy. And, after all, Gyulai took the field, at the end of April, with most of his units at three quarters of their war strength.” On the side of the allies the Sardinians mobilized 5 infantry and I cavalry divisions, totalling 64,000, by the third week in April. A few days later Austria sent an ultimatum to Turin. This was rejected on the 26th, war being thereupon declared. As for the French, the emperor's policy was considerably in advance of his war minister's preparations. The total of about 130,000 men (all that could be spared out of 500,000) for the Italian army was not reached until operations were in progress; and the first troops only entered Savoy or disembarked in Genoa on the 2 5th and 26th of April.

Thus, long as the opening had been delayed, there was still a period after both sides had resolved on and prepared for war, during which the Austrians were free to take the

'
f:g“" offensive. Had the Austrians crossed the frontier

e, ¢ ., instead of writing an ultimatum on the 10th of April, they would have had from a week to a fortnight to deal with the Sardinians. But even the three or four days that elapsed between the declaration and the arrival of the first French soldiers were wasted. Vienna ordered Gyulai to 'take the offensive on the 27th, but it was not until the goth that the Austrian general crossed the Ticino. His movements were unopposed, the Whole of the Sardinian army having concentrated (by arrangement between La Marmora and Marshal Canrobert) in a flank position between Casale and Alessandria, where it covered Turin indirectly and Genoa, the French disembarkation The Sardinians, at peace strength, had some 50,000 men, and during January and February the government busied itself chiefly with preparations of supplies and armament. Here the delay in calling out the reserves was due not to their possible ill-will, but to the necessity of waiting on the political situation. “The Volunteer movement in England was the result of this crisis in the relations of England and France. As far as possible Italian conscripts had been sent elsewhere and replaced by Austrians.

port, directly. Gyulai's left was on the 2nd of May opposite the allied centre, and his right stretched as far as Vercellif' On the 3rd he planned a concentric attack on King Victor Emmanuel's position, and parts of his scheme were actually put into execution, but he suspended it owing to news of the approach of the French from Genoa, supply difficulties (Radetzky, the inheritor of the 18th-century traditions, had laid it down that the soldier must be well fed and that the civilian must not be plundered, conditions which were unfavourable to mobility) and the heavy weather and the dangerous state of the rivers. Gyulai then turned his attention to the Sardinian capital. Three more days were spent in a careful flank march to the right, and on the 8th of May the army (III., V. and VII.) was grouped about Vercelli, with outposts IO-I4 m. beyond the Sesia towards Turin, reserves (II. and VIII.) round Mortara, and a iiank-guard detached from Benedek's VIII. corps watching the Po. The

extreme right of the main body skirmished with Garibaldi's volunteers on the edge of the Alpine country. The Turin scheme was, however, soon given up. Bivouacs, cancelled orders and crossings of marching columns all contributed to exhaust the troops needlessly. On the oth one corps (the V.) had its direction and disposition altered four times, without any change in the general situation to justify this. In fact, the A:g"?I"; Austrian headquarters were full of able soldiers, each im, of whom had his own views on the measures to be taken and a certain measure of support from Vienna-Gyulai, Colonel Kuhn his chief of staff, and Feldzeugmeister Hess, who had formerly played Gneisenau to Radetzky's Blücher. But what emerges most clearly from the movements of these days is that Gyulai himself distrusted the offensive projects he had 'been ordered to execute, and catching apparently at some expression of approval given by the emperor, had determined to imitate Radetzky in “ a defensive based on the Quadrilateral.” His immediate intention, on abandoning the advance on Turin was to group his army around Mortara and to strike out as opportunity offered against the heads of the allied columns wherever they appeared. Meantime, the IX. corps had been sent to Italy, and the I. and XI. were mobilizing. These were to form the I. Army, Gyulai's the II. The latter was by the 13th of May grouped in the Lomellina, one third (chiefly VII. corps) spread 4 The movements of the division employed'in policing Lombardy

(Urban's) are not included here, unless specially mentioned.