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"1866 Battle of Custoza - Italian Line Infantry" Topic

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paperbattles02 Feb 2024 2:00 a.m. PST

I always studied at school about the 3rd Italian Indipendence War as a weird war for Italy (the first as a unified Nation) where a disomogenous Army fought and lost against Austria at the Battle of Custoza. The idea you get when you don't go to deep in the info yhey "pass" to you is that the Italian Army did not fight with honour and value at that huge battle. Well, nothing more wrong than that: if you look at the episodes and at the decorations that the Italian units got, if you look at the Austrian reports of the Battle, if you are able to go deeper in history and research the orginal sources – as usual – you will get a total different vision of that war and above all of that Battle (Custoza) and of the behaviour Italian Army.

And in fact I chose the Infantry Regiment 49 "PARMA" to explain this, not by chance. This regiment, during the Battle, by the village of Villafranca, deployed in square, protecting the Hereditary Prince Umberto di Savoia (future King Umberto I) against a valliant attach of Austrian (Polish) Uhlans.


paperbattles02 Feb 2024 8:59 a.m. PST

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2024 5:10 p.m. PST

Just played that battle using Rich Hasenauer's playtest version of Fire and Fury for the period. Austrians won but it was a fun battle.

Prince Alberts Revenge04 Feb 2024 9:32 a.m. PST

Very cool stuff. I've always been intrigued about the various wars of Italian unification. I remember there was a nice book on the Battle of Custoza. I regret not getting it at the time because it is hard to come by and expensive.

I have 1860 armies in 10mm, I might ultimately do the bigger battles in 6mm (although I have a lot of the necessary figures in 10mm).

paperbattles05 Feb 2024 5:32 a.m. PST

@privh43; I didn't know about this ruleset. Is it fitting also for III Italian Indipendence War? do you have a blog?

@Prince Alberts: it is a very interesting period indeed. Being Italian, well – better – Piedmontese I have access to all a sort of military books in Italian full of details that are not accessible to English readers.
I just got 2 super books about this battle that I will comment on my blog.

The Risorgimento wars are a very interesting field of investigation. As you can see I did some for the First War (1848 – 1849)


Decebalus05 Feb 2024 7:51 a.m. PST

@paperbattles. Nice pictures. Thanks.

Am i right, that i cannot use 1870th french miniatures for italians, because french have a double breated coat and italians dont have one? (Perry miniatures french dont have epaulettes, so that wouldnt be a problem.)

paperbattles05 Feb 2024 10:58 a.m. PST

you are correct: the piedmontese Army (1859) than Italian Army (from 1860 on) wore a single breasted (pale azure) coat without epaulettes, while French had a double breasted coat; but I think it would be impossible to detect.
My opinion, the main differce would be the kepy, that was taller and conical to the Piedmontese/Italian Army, while the French in 1870 adopted a shorted cap.

paperbattles05 Feb 2024 11:56 a.m. PST

@Decebalus: you gave me idea. Please have a look at the transformation of a French caporal to an Italian Caporal. Please note also the little differences in the coat, in the kepy as well as buttons.
I hope it helps.

paperbattles06 Feb 2024 2:46 a.m. PST

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