Battle of Tolentino

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Battle of Tolentino
Part of the Neapolitan War
Battle of Tolentino.jpg
The Battle of Tolentino by Vincenzo Milizia
Date2–3 May 1815
Location
Tolentino, Macerata, present-day Italy
Result Decisive Austrian victory
Belligerents
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg  Austrian Empire Kingdom of Naples
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Frederick Bianchi Flag of the Kingdom of Naples (1811).svg Joachim Murat
Flag of the Kingdom of Naples (1811).svg Michele Carrascosa
Strength
11,938 men
1,452 horses
28 guns
25,588 men
4,790 horses
58 guns
Casualties and losses

800 total:

700 killed
100 wounded

4,120 total:

1,120 killed
600 wounded
2,400 captured

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.

Tolentino Comune in Marche, Italy

Tolentino is a town and comune of about 20,000 inhabitants, in the province of Macerata in the Marche region of central Italy.

Kingdom of Naples former state in Italy

The Kingdom of Naples comprised that part of the Italian Peninsula south of the Papal States between 1282 and 1816. It was created as a result of the War of the Sicilian Vespers (1282–1302), when the island of Sicily revolted and was conquered by the Crown of Aragon, becoming a separate Kingdom of Sicily. Naples continued to be officially known as the Kingdom of Sicily, the name of the formerly unified kingdom. For much of its existence, the realm was contested between French and Spanish dynasties. In 1816, it was reunified with the island kingdom of Sicily once again to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

Marche Region of Italy

Marche, or the Marches, is one of the twenty regions of Italy. The name of the region derives from the plural name of marca, originally referring to the medieval March of Ancona and nearby marches of Camerino and Fermo. Marche is well known for its shoemaking tradition, with the finest and most luxurious Italian footwear being manufactured in this region.

Contents

Background

By the end of April 1815, Murat had lost all the early gains he made at the start of the war as two advancing Austrian corps under the command of Generals Bianchi and Neipperg forced the Neapolitans south-east to a base in Ancona. The two Austrian corps had become separated on either side of the Apennine Mountains and Murat hoped to defeat Bianchi to the west before quickly turning on Neipperg, who had been pursuing his retreat from the north. His plan was similar to Napoleon's plan to defeat the British before turning on the Prussians during the Waterloo Campaign.

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.

Corps military unit size

Corps is a term used for several different kinds of organisation. A military innovation by Napoleon, the formation was first named as such in 1805.

Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza Austrian general

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

Murat planned to face Bianchi near the town of Tolentino. Dispatching a small force under General Michele Carrascosa to delay Neipperg, Murat moved his main force to meet Bianchi. On 29 April, a small advance party of Hungarian hussars routed the small Neapolitan garrison stationed in Tolentino. With the Austrian vanguard already established in Tolentino, Murat's army camped to the north east in Macerata. Bianchi realised Murat's plan and decided to delay Murat for as long as possible. The Austrians established a defensive line based on the Tower of San Catervo, with further troops being positioned at Rancia Castle, the church of Maestà and at Saint Joseph. Murat had to force the issue and march on Bianchi. The two armies met on 2 May.

Michele Carrascosa (1774–1853) was a Neapolitan general and politician.

Macerata Comune in Marche, Italy

Macerata is a city and comune in central Italy, the county seat of the province of Macerata in the Marche region. It has a population of about 41,564.

The Cathedral of San Catervo is a Roman Catholic church located in Tolentino, Province of Macerata, Region of Marche. The 13th-century Gothic style church is now generally contained by a newer Neoclassical facade.

Battle

The battle opened at dawn with an artillery bombardment from both sides on the valley leading north to Sforzacosta. Although the Austrians were already established around Tolentino, Murat managed to catch them by surprise. In the opening engagements, Neapolitan troops managed to surround and capture General Bianchi near Sforzacosta but he was almost immediately freed by a regiment of Hungarian hussars. By mid morning, the Neapolitan army had concentrated near Pollenza, with fierce fighting in the area. During the day, the main action occurred around the Austrian outpost at Rancia Castle, which changed hands many times. By the end of the first day, although the Neapolitan army had the upper hand and had made slight gains, including Monte Milone, the Austrians were still in an excellent defensive position.

Pollenza Comune in Marche, Italy

Pollenza is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Macerata in the Italian region Marche, located about 40 kilometres (25 mi) southwest of Ancona and about 9 kilometres (6 mi) southwest of Macerata. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 6,086 and an area of 39.5 square kilometres (15.3 sq mi).

On the second day, fog delayed the start of battle until 7:00 a.m. The day started well for Murat as the Neapolitan army managed to take Rancia Castle as well as the hills of Cantagallo. From here, the Neapolitans staged a further attack on the Austrian positions. Two Neapolitan infantry divisions, including Murat's Guard Division, descended from Monte Milone against the Austrian left flank.

The Neapolitans made the mistake of forming square, expecting a swift cavalry counter-attack, which never happened. The Austrian infantry delivered a series of volleys, supported by devastating artillery fire. General Mohr (de) had also repulsed an attack on the Austrian right and the entire Neapolitan line fell back to Pollenza. With the result of the battle still undecided, Murat received word Neipperg had defeated Carascosa at the Battle of Scapezzano and was approaching. To make matters worse, he received false rumours that a British fleet had just unloaded a Sicilian army in the south of Italy, threatening his line of retreat. Unbeknownst to Murat, the British fleet were sailing to blockade Naples and Ancona. Murat sounded the retreat and the fighting ended.

The Battle of Scapezzano was a short engagement in the Neapolitan War on 1 May 1815 between an Austrian corps under Adam Albert von Neipperg and Neapolitan division under Michele Carrascosa.

Aftermath

Murat fell back to Naples but with the Austrians approaching by land and the British by sea, he had no choice but to flee to Corsica, disguised as a Danish sailor. The battle proved decisive; on 20 May 1815, Austria and Naples concluded the Treaty of Casalanza, restoring Ferdinand IV to the throne.

Corsica Island in the Mediterranean, also a region and a department of France

Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 18 regions of France. It is located southeast of the French mainland and west of the Italian Peninsula, with the nearest land mass being the Italian island of Sardinia to the immediate south. A single chain of mountains makes up two-thirds of the island.

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

Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies King variously of Naples, Sicily, and the Two Sicilies

Ferdinand I, was the King of the Two Sicilies from 1816, after his restoration following victory in the Napoleonic Wars. Before that he had been, since 1759, Ferdinand IV of the Kingdom of Naples and Ferdinand III of the Kingdom of Sicily. He was also King of Gozo. He was deposed twice from the throne of Naples: once by the revolutionary Parthenopean Republic for six months in 1799 and again by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1805.

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References

Coordinates: 43°12′49″N13°17′28″E / 43.21361°N 13.29111°E / 43.21361; 13.29111