Battle of San Germano

Last updated
Battle of San Germano
Part of the Neapolitan War
Date15 May – 17 May 1815
Location
Cassino, 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
Laval Nugent von Westmeath Joachim Murat
Strength
8,000 15,000
Casualties and losses
500 killed or wounded 3,500 killed or wounded
1,000+ captured

The Battle of San Germano (or the Battle of Mignano) was the final battle in the Neapolitan War between an Austrian force commanded by Laval Nugent von Westmeath and the King of Naples, Joachim Murat. The battle started on 15 May 1815 and ended on 17 May, after the remaining Neapolitan force was routed at Mignano.

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.

Austrian Empire monarchy in Central Europe between 1804 and 1867


The Austrian Empire was a Central European multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of the realms of the Habsburgs. During its existence, it was the third most populous empire after the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom in Europe. Along with Prussia, it was one of the two major powers of the German Confederation. Geographically, it was the third largest empire in Europe after the Russian Empire and the First French Empire. Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it partially overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the latter's dissolution in 1806.

Laval Nugent von Westmeath Irish soldier

Laval Graf Nugent von Westmeath was a soldier of Irish birth, who fought in the armies of Austria and the Two Sicilies.

Following his defeat at the Battle of Tolentino, Murat had fallen back to San Germano, now Cassino. There Murat reinforced his battered army with the Army of the Interior, which had been left in reserve to defend Naples during the war. Even so, most of the original Neapolitan force had been killed, wounded or deserted, and Murat's force only totalled 15,000. Meanwhile, General Nugent's force, who had marched from Florence, arrived in Rome on 30 April. From there, he marched towards Ceprano, where there was a minor engagement with a band of local militia. After receiving word of Murat's defeat at Tolentino, Nugent moved to intercept his retreat back to Naples.

Battle of Tolentino battle

The Battle of Tolentino was fought from 2–3 May 1815 near Tolentino, Kingdom of Naples in what is now Marche, Italy: it was the decisive battle in the Neapolitan War, fought by the Napoleonic King of Naples Joachim Murat to keep the throne after the Congress of Vienna. The battle was similar to the Battle of Waterloo. Both occurred during the Hundred Days following Napoleon's return from exile and resulted in a decisive victory for the Seventh Coalition, leading to the restoration of a Bourbon king.

Naples Comune in Campania, Italy

Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents. Its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe.

Florence Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.

By 14 May, the Austrians were moving on Murat's position in San Germano. The following day, Murat decided to counterattack and drove back Nugent's vanguard, before attacking the entire Austrian line. However, another Austrian force of 25,000 men under the command of Frederick Bianchi, which had followed Murat from Tolentino, were now moving to surround the Neapolitan position. With the attack faltering, and the Neapolitans beginning to sustain substantial casualties, Murat pulled back to San Germano and formed a defensive position. But as soon as Nugent's force approached, the Neapolitans panicked and retreated. Murat fell back to Capua with a small portion of the army, whilst the bulk of the army regrouped and took up a position around Mignano.

Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza Austrian general

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

Capua Comune in Campania, Italy

Capua is a city and comune in the province of Caserta, in the region of Campania, southern Italy, situated 25 km (16 mi) north of Naples, on the northeastern edge of the Campanian plain.

It was here that a force of about 1,000 hussars supported by jägers and Grenzers assaulted and routed the remaining 6,000 Neapolitans. The majority of the Neapolitans fled as soon as the battle started, with the Austrians eventually taking over 1,000 prisoners. With the entire Army of the Interior now in disarray, Murat chose to flee Italy altogether on 19 May and the Neapolitans sued for peace, resulting in the Treaty of Casalanza.

Hussar light cavalry originally from Hungary

A hussar was a member of a class of light cavalry, originating in Central Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. The title and distinctive dress of these horsemen were subsequently widely adopted by light cavalry regiments in European armies in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

The Treaty of Casalanza, which ended the Neapolitan War, was signed on 20 May 1815 between the pro-Napoleon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies on the one hand and the Austrian Empire, as well as the United Kingdom, on the other. The signature occurred in a patrician villa, owned by the Lanza family, in what is now the commune of Pastorano, Campania, southern Italy

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References

Coordinates: 41°30′00″N13°50′00″E / 41.50000°N 13.83333°E / 41.50000; 13.83333

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.