Battle of Carpi (1815)

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Battle of Carpi
Part of the Neapolitan War
Date10 April 1815
Location
Carpi, present-day Italy
Result Austrian victory
Belligerents
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg  Austrian Empire Flag of the Kingdom of Naples (1811).svg  Kingdom of Naples
Commanders and leaders
Frederick Bianchi Guglielmo Pepe
Strength
2,500 5,000
Casualties and losses
116 killed or wounded ~1,000 killed or wounded
612 captured

The Battle of Carpi was a battle in the Neapolitan War between a brigade of Neapolitan soldiers under the command of Guglielmo Pepe and an Austrian force under the command of Frederick Bianchi. The battle took place in the town of Carpi and resulted in an Austrian victory, with the Neapolitans being driven from the town.

Neapolitan War conflict

The Neapolitan War was a conflict between the Napoleonic Kingdom of Naples and the Austrian Empire. It started on 15 March 1815 when King Joachim Murat declared war on Austria and ended on 20 May 1815 with the signing of the Treaty of Casalanza. The war occurred during the Hundred Days between Napoleon's return from exile and before he left Paris to be decisively defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. The war was triggered by a pro-Napoleon uprising in Naples, and ended with a decisive Austrian victory at the Battle of Tolentino after which Bourbon monarch Ferdinand IV was reinstated as King of Naples and Sicily. However, the intervention by Austria caused resentment in Italy, which further spurred on the drive towards Italian unification.

Guglielmo Pepe Italian general

Guglielmo Pepe was an Italian general and patriot. He was brother to Florestano Pepe and cousin to Gabriele Pepe. He was married to Mary Ann Coventry, a Scottish woman who was the widow of John Borthwick Gilchrist, linguist and surgeon to the East India Company.

Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza Austrian general

Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza, was an Austrian general and later field marshal.

Battle

After Murat was defeated at the Battle of Occhiobello, the Neapolitan advance was stopped on the banks of the Po River. From here, the Austrians launched a counterattack against the Neapolitan position in northern Italy. A corps under the command of Bianchi was ordered to march of the Neapolitan position around Modena and drive the Neapolitans out of the duchy. Half of Bianchi's corps marched on the town of Carpi, whilst the other half were sent to cut off the Neaplotian line of retreat.

The Battle of Occhiobello was fought on 8 April – 9 April 1815 and was the turning point of the Neapolitan War. Joachim Murat, King of Naples was repulsed by an Austrian force under the command of Johann Frimont whilst trying to cross the bridge over the Po River at Occhiobello. Following the battle, the Austrians would not lose an engagement for the remainder of the war.

Modena Comune in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Modena is a city and comune (municipality) on the south side of the Po Valley, in the Province of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy.

The Austrians reached Carpi on 10 April, opening with an artillery barrage on the town's north gate. However, the Austrian column came through the south gate, surprising the Neapolitan garrison of 5,000 men commanded by Guglielmo Pepe and crushing any Neapolitan opposition. Having already received news of the defeat at Occhiobello, the Neapolitan morale crumbled and most of the surviving garrison deserted after the battle. Meanwhile, Michele Carascosa, who was in command of all the Neapolitan forces in the Duchy of Modena, realised the remaining troops were in danger of being surrounded, and ordered a general retreat from the area.

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