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The Second War of Italian Unification 1859-61

The Second War of Italian Unification 1859-61
Author: Schneid, Frederick
Publisher: Osprey Pub Co
Year: 2012
ISBN: 9781849087872
Binding: Soft Cover
Book Condition: As New
Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall
New book, 96 pages, ESS74. The culmination of decades of nationalist aspiration and cynical Realpolitik, the Second War of Italian Unification saw Italy transformed from a patchwork of minor states dominated by the Habsburg Austrians into a unified kingdom under the Piedmontese House of Savoy. Overshadowed by subsequent conflicts, the war saw the first widespread use of railroads in war and the first battlefield deployment of rifled field artillery, as well as the last major battle in world history where all the forces involved were under the personal command of their monarchs. The savage nature of the fighting led to the foundation of the Red Cross and the establishment of the Geneva Conventions, while the colorful uniforms and aggressive doctrine espoused by the French Army in particular were to influence those on both sides of the American Civil War. Beyond the battlefields, the outcome of the war represented a culminating triumph for the Piedmontese prime minister, Camillo di Cavour, whose success in winning and retaining French and British support for his plans for Italian unification has provided a model for the leaders of junior partners allied to world powers ever since. Unlike many existing accounts, which approach the events of 1859-61 from a predominantly French perspective, this study draws upon a huge breadth of sources to examine the conflict as a critical event in Italian history. A concise explanation of the origins of the war is followed by a wide-ranging survey of the forces deployed and the nature and course of the fighting - on land and at sea - and the consequences for those involved are investigated. This is a groundbreaking study of a conflict that was of critical significance not only for Italian history but also for the development of 19th-century warfare.
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