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"Help with the Risorgimento" Topic

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Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 11:27 a.m. PST

Can anyone give me sources for the organization and equipment of the Papal army of 1849 and 1867 and the army of Naples in 1860?

Any and all pointers will be greatly appreciated.

Prince Alberts Revenge07 Jan 2013 12:44 p.m. PST

John: I have a few books at home. I will check them out this evening and give you a detailed answer later. I am working on my Papal Army for 1867 myself (10mm). In the meantime, off the top of my head, you had two major groups: native and foreign. The native were recruits from the Papal lands and the foreign were typically Swiss. There were Line and Carabinerri regiments.

In 1867, there were also the Papal Zouaves and the Legion D'Antibes. The Zouaves were from all over the Catholic world (including US and Canada), they were very tough fighters and very well motivated. The Legion d'Antibes were French soldiers whose service was transferred over to the Papal army.

The mounted arm consisted of a few squadrons of dragons. Additionally there was a fairly large paramilitary force too.

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 1:36 p.m. PST

I ordered "The Pope's Legion: The Multinational Fighting Force that Defended the Vatican" by Charles A. Coulombe from Amazon. That should give me a head start. I have put together a scenario for Mentana using Regimental F&F rules but it would be nice to be able to confirm my suppositions.

The intent of this exercise is to create a series of scenarios for Garibaldi's battles.

Prince Alberts Revenge07 Jan 2013 1:57 p.m. PST

Pope's Legion is a good book. Deals with the Papal military from 18th century to pretty much current times. Doesn't really give you a specific breakdown of the military at that point. The old Freikorp booklet "Redshirts" is invaluable because it does breakdown the military organization and units for all the participants with the exception of Piedmont. I got mine from Caliver in the UK.

Prince Alberts Revenge07 Jan 2013 7:01 p.m. PST

Ok, in 1860 the Papal Army consisted of 25 battalions of infantry, 4 squadrons of cavalry and 11 batteries of artillery when full mobilized. There were two "native" line regiments with two battalions each and two foreign (Swiss mercenary) line regiments. Line had six companies of fusiliers, a grenadier company and a voltiguer company.

The Papal Light Infantry consisted of two "native chasseur battalions, five Austrian bersaglieri/jager battalions, a Swiss caribinerri battalion, the "St. Patrick Battalion (Irish) and the Pontifical Zouaves Regiment. Lemme know if you need anything else.

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2013 6:57 a.m. PST


Thanks, this helps a lot. I am guessing I would be safe to say a company was about 100 men?

Robert Burke08 Jan 2013 9:36 a.m. PST

I put together this bibliography 2-3 years ago. I hope you find it useful.

I have been collecting books with uniform plates depicting Italian soldiers of the 1850s and 1860s, as well as Orders of Battle.

I thought I would share a listing of the books that I have found helpful so that other wargamers interested in wargaming the Crimean War or Italian Wars of Unification can look for these books and add them to their collection.

East Riding Miniatures (1 The Woodlands, Goddard Avenue, Hull, HU5 2BW, United Kingdom. Workshop Tel: 01482 445775; After Hours Tel: 01482 445215. <>; sells the following books"

"The Second Italian War of Independence 1859" (£5.00), and "Red Shirts, Garibaldi's Campaign in Southern Italy" (£5.50), by Luigi Casali. These booklets are a must for any wargamer interested in the Italian Wars of Unification. They cover all of the various Italian states and include many black and white drawings of various Italian soldiers. They text describes the uniforms colors. The books also contain a few orders of battle, including the OB for Castelfidardo.

On Military Matters (31 West Broad Street Hopewell, NJ 08525; 609/466-2329; <>; is a great resource for anyone wishing to find military history books on a variety of subjects.

The following books are available from:

1) "Tavole dal Codice Cenni". This book is a true gem. The entire book consists of color plates of various Italian states from the Napoleonic period up through the early 1900s. Best of all for me, there are several plates showing Papal troops from the 1860s, including the St. Patrick's battalion.

I have seen at least one other edition of this book that has slightly different plates in it, although most of the plates in the two books appear to be the same. I found the other edition at the main library at the University of California, Berkeley. Interested wargamers might want to search university libraries close to where they live.

2) "La Neuvieme Croisade 1860-1870". This book is about the history, organization, and uniforms of the Papal Army. Unfortunately, the text is entirely in French but color plates are a must see. It has three pages on the History of the St. Patrick's Battalion.

3) "After Solferino" by Stuart Penhall. This book covers the battles that occurred in Italy between September 1860 and March 1861. Anyone who lives outside the US who wishes to purchase a copy of this book can contact Stuart at <>.

"Stato Maggiore Dell'Esercito Ufficio Stotrico", by Quinto Cenni, Rome, 2000. This book is very similar to "Tavole dal Codice Cenni", which is listed above. The book contains several hundred of color illustrations of Italian uniforms from 1861-1903.

One of my favorite references books is "Military Uniforms of the World in Color", by Preben Kannik. It contains 3 pages of color illustrations showing military uniforms of the various Italian States in 1859-1860, as well as a Sardinian Grenadier from 1855.

"Uniforms of the World's Great Armies, From 1700 to the Present", edited by I.T. Schick. Chapter 6, "The Rise of the Mass Armies, 1815-1860", was written by John Mollo. One of the uniform plates has 10 illustrations of various Italian soldiers, from 1848 through 1866. Included are Sardinians and Neapolitans, as well as post 1860 Italian troops. The quality of the plates is not up to Osprey standards, but they would be useful as painting guides.

"Military Uniforms 1686-1918, by Rene North, Grosset & Dunlap, 1970. It has a color illustration of the Sardinian Genoa Cavalry regiment in 1855 (which was one of the heavy cavalry regiments, so it did not go to the Crimea, but it may help in painting figures for 1859-1860).

"Dall'Armata Sarda All'Esercito Italiano 1843-1861". A pen pal in Rome sent this book to me. It contains 140 color uniform plates. In my opinion, the plates are slightly better than one finds in a typical Osprey book. It does show a Piedmontese infantryman in a greatcoat. The color is blue-gray, leaning towards the gray side.

I don't know if the book is still in print. Perhaps one of our Italian members can research it for us.

"The World's Great Regiments", by Vezio Melegari. This book contains numerous color plates on Italian soldiers, including the Garibaldini. Most of the plates are from 1880 and later, but there are a few that are earlier.

"Cavalry, The History of a Fighting Elite", by V. Vuksic and Z. Grbasic has beautiful color plates of cavalry from 650 BC up to 1914 AD. There is a plate showing a Nizza Cavalryman from 1848. Each plate is accompanied by a page of text giving a brief history of the cavalryman.

"La Fine Dell' Esercito Pontificio", by Attilio Viegvano. This book was published in 1920 but has recently been reprinted (at least, that is what Stuart Penhall once told me). The book contains 37 color plates, many of which are of Papal troops. It also includes illustrations of the three known Papal unit flags from the 1860s (Dragoons, Zouaves, and Artillery).

"L'Esercito Pontificio da Castelfidardo a Porta Pia – 1860-1870" is a wonderful companion to the previous book. It shows black and white or color illustrations for every type of Papal troop during the 1860s. It includes a very nice write up on the St. Patrick's Battalion.

"Uniforms & Weapons of the Crimean War", by Robert Wilkinson-Latham. This book includes uniform descriptions for all participants, including Sardinia. There are a couple of black and white sketches and a photograph of a Bersaglieri officer.

"Crimean War Basics", by Michael Cox and John Lenton, is a two-volume set covering the armies (including uniforms) of Britain, France, Sardinia, Russia and Turkey (Sardinia is covered in volume 1). It contains an OB for the Sardinian contingent, organizational information and uniform descriptions.

Pallas Armata (which was operated by Simon Gareth in the UK) used to publish hundreds of old books that are out of print. I have the following two books:

"The Italian Campaign of 1859", by Major Miller
"The Armies of Italy 1860"

Research Press in the UK <> has published a book entitled "The Armies of Europe 1855". One of the chapters is on the Sardinian Army. Another page discusses the smaller armies in Italy.

Mirliton in Italy publishes a booklet on the Battle of Castelfidardo ("La Viglia Della Battaglia Di Castelfidardo"). Unfortunately (for me), it's entirely in Italian.

"Cadogan's Crimea" contains several illustrations of Sardinian troops, including a review of Sardinian troops by General Canrobert.

"Unit Organizations and Orders of Battle of the Great Armies of Europe, 1853-1870", by J. W. Brown, contains unit organizations and orders of battle for several Crimean and Italian battles. It was published by Absinthe Press and I highly recommend it.

There are a few miscellaneous references I wanted to mention briefly. I have three Knötel plates in color. Two show Neapolitan troops in 1859. The third shows Papal Zouaves and Carbineers from 1860-1870. I would love to get a complete set of Knötel someday, complete with color plates. I also have numerous postcards from Italy showing various Italian and Garibaldini troops.

Lastly, Tradition Magazine (the old English language magazine) published several articles on Italian troops and standards.

I hope this list of references proves helpful to anyone wishing to play wargames with Italian troops during the 1850s and 1860s.

Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2013 9:57 a.m. PST

I knew Bob had an extensive library on this subject, but even I am Agog with awe!

Cheers beer

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2013 12:43 p.m. PST

I'm stunned. TMP comes through again. Thank you. Now time to hit the internet and spend some money.

Robert Burke08 Jan 2013 12:52 p.m. PST

John, if you would like to correspond more about the Papal army, you can contact me directly at Burker1(at)

One little known fact is that in 1860, the Papal foot artillery was ox-drawn (not horses). I remember buying some 15mm oxen for my planned Papal army.

ITALWARS Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2013 12:19 p.m. PST

hello John the Greater
Risorgimento in the South is just my cup of tea…i've plenty of uniform plates, Toes, maps on Papal and Neapolitan Armies and their battles/ennemies..also rare sources plus those mentioned by Robert Burke in his excellent selection of books…i live close to Mentana and the route made in this campaign by Garibaldi, French and Papal troops (Monterotondo, Casal de Pazzi, Ponte Nomentano ecc..)…i play in 28mm with WF, Mirliton ecc minis and i 'll probably make a try in ordering those brand new Irregular on the same project. I don't have much material on 1849 wich i don't like too much..i plan to play or i 've played semi historical battles or part of it referring to Calatafimi, Volturno,Macerone, Gaeta, Castelfidardo, Mentana..all suitable in some extent to be battled or skirmished with 28mm minis….any help you need i'll be glad to do for mail:

Prince Alberts Revenge09 Jan 2013 10:45 p.m. PST

I can vouch for Folgore, he is a great wealth of resources and has helped me immensely when I put together my armies for the Mentana campaign.

Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2013 6:50 a.m. PST

Indeed, he knows his stuff!

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2013 8:59 a.m. PST

Folgore sent me a treasure trove of information, maps, photos and color plates.

Now comes the hard work of writing the book and imposing on my gamer friends to play test the scenarios.

Robert Burke18 Jan 2013 6:40 p.m. PST

Another book I accidentally left off my list above:

"The Pope's Legion" by Charles A. Coulombe. This book covers the various units in the Papal Army of the 1860s, with a special emphasis on the Papal Zouaves.

Frank the Arkie18 Jan 2013 9:38 p.m. PST

The British Library reprints two volumes with information about 1849: Emilio Dandolo's "The Italian Volunteers and Lombard Rifle Brigade" and Theodore Dwight's "The Roman Republic of 1849." The latter book is a bit polemic in places, but both volumes are helpful with regard to the Roman Republic's short-lived 1849 army. If you can find it, G.M. Trevelyan's "Garibaldi's Defence of the Roman Republic" is outstanding – great maps and diagrams about Rome's defenses, good bibliography of original French and Italian sources, uniform details here and there, details on the battles.

I've gone back and forth on recreating the Roman Republic's army to game against French or Neapolitan forces – one of these days….

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