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"You Have to Die in Piedmont!: The Battle of Assietta,..." Topic


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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2019 11:27 a.m. PST

… 19 July 1747. The War of the Austrian Succession in the Alp"

"‘You have to die in Piedmont!' An old folk song, still played in the western Alps, speaks about the French regiments that were incoming from the Mongeneve Pass in order to attack a combined Austro-Sardinian force entrenched on the Assietta Plateau at 2,500 meters (about 8,200 ft) of elevation in the Cottian Alps, which controls two main roads from France to the Kingdom of Sardinia's capital, Turin. The battle occurred 19 June 1747, and was the bloodiest single day battle not only of the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748) in Italy, but also of the whole military history of the Alps, and of mountain warfare in general.

The strategic goal of the French offensive was the siege and the capture of the Fort of Exilles, a fortress in the Susa Valley on the road from Briançon to Turin. An army of about 20,000 soldiers under the command of Louis Charles Armand Fouquet de Belle-Isle (called the Chevalier de Belle-Isle, the younger brother of the Marshal de Belle-Isle) was divided into two corps: one went down the Moncenisio towards Exilles, while the other advanced towards the Chisone Valley, in order to reach the Assietta ridge from the south side. Having predicted that the French would move through it, the King Charles Emmanuel III of Savoy had fortified the area with an entrenched camp garrisoned with 7,000 men of 13 infantry battalions: 9 Sardinian, and 4 Austrian…."

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