ITALY. Italian ironclad Affondatore sinking, antique print, 1866

ITALY. Italian ironclad Affondatore sinking, antique print, 1866

Product SKU: P-5-04367

Price £7.99

'The Italian iron-clad ram Affondatore foundering in the harbour of Ancona' from Illustrated London News (1866). Antique wood engraved print, 16.0 x 24.0cm, 6.25 x 9.25 inches

Third Italian War of Independence
The Third Italian War of Independence was a conflict which paralleled the Austro-Prussian War, and was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austrian Empire.

When Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy had been crowned King of Italy on March 17, 1861

CAPTION BELOW PICTURE: 'The Italian iron-clad ram Affondatore foundering in the harbour of Ancona'

Third Italian War of Independence
The Third Italian War of Independence was a conflict which paralleled the Austro-Prussian War, and was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austrian Empire.

When Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy had been crowned King of Italy on March 17, 1861, his reign did not control Venetia and Lazio. The situation of the Irredente (a later Italian term for part of the country under foreign domination) created an unceasing state of tension for the inner politics of the newly created Kingdom, as well as being a cornerstone of its foreign policy.
A first attempt to capture Rome was that of 1862 by Giuseppe Garibaldi. Confiding in the King's neutrality, he had set sail from Genoa to Palermo. Collecting 2,000 volunteers, he moved from Catania and landed at Melito, in Calabria, on August 24 to reach the Aspromonte, with intention to climb the peninsula up to Rome. The Piedmontese general Enrico Cialdini, however, sent a division under colonel Pallavicino to stop the volunteer army. Garibaldi himself was wounded in the ensuing battle, and taken prisoner along with his men.
The growing divergences between Austria and the growing Prussia's predominance in Germany turned into an open war in 1866, offering Italy an occasion to regain Venetia. On April 8, 1866 the Italian government signed a military alliance with Prussia, through the mediation of Napoleon III of France. Italian armies, led by general Alfonso La Marmora, were to engage the Austrians on the southern front. Simultaneously, taking advantage of their naval superiority, the Italians threatened the Dalmatian coast, forcing Austria to move part of its forces there from the central European front.

Italian invasion
Prussia began hostilities on June 16, 1866 by attacking several German principates allied with Austria. Three days later Italy declared war on Austria, starting the military operations on June 23.
The Italian forces were divided into two armies: the first, under La Marmora himself, was deployed in Lombardy, west of the Mincio River, aiming toward the powerful Quadrilatero fortress of the Austrians; the second, under Enrico Cialdini, in Romagna, south of the Po River, aiming toward Mantua and Rovigo.
La Marmora moved first through Mantua and Peschiera del Garda, but was severely defeated at the Custoza on June 24. Cialdini, however, did not act offensively for the entire first part of the war, conducting only several shows and even failing to besiege the Austrian fortress of Borgoforte, south to the Po.
Custoza marked a general arrest of operations, as the Italians decided to reorganize for fear of an Austrian counter-offensive. The Austrians indeed profited from the situation to invade Valtellina and Val Camonica (battle of Vezza d'Oglio). The general course of the war, however, was to turn in Italy's favor thanks to Prussian victories in the north, especially that of Sadowa on July 3, 1866. The Austrians were compelled to move one of their three army corps deployed in Italy to Vienna, concentrating on the defense of Trentino and Isonzo.

New Italian offensive
On July 5 the Italian government received news of a mediation effort by Napoleon III for a settlement of the situation, which would allow Austria to receive favourable conditions from Prussia, and, in particular, to maintain Venice. The situation was embarrassing for Italy, as its forces had failed to obtain any relevant military success on the field. As the Austrians were redeploying troops to Vienna, La Marmora was solicited to take advantage of the numeric superiority, score a good victory, and thus improve the conditions for Italy.

On July 14, during a council of war held in Ferrara, the new conduct of the war was decided, according to the following points:
Cialdini was to lead the main army of 150,000 troops through the Veneto, while La Marmora, with c. 70,000 men, would continue the block on the Quadrilatero;

the Italian Navy, commanded by Admiral Carlo di Persano was to sail in the Adriatic Sea from Ancona;
Garibaldi's volunteers (named "Cacciatori delle Alpi"), reinforced by a regular division, was to penetrate Trentino, trying to approach as close as possible to the capital, Trento. Though it was sure that Venetia was to be gained through battle or condition of peace, the fate of Trentino was dubious.
Cialdini crossed the Po and occupied Rovigo (July 11), Padua (July 12), Treviso (July 14), San Donà di Piave (July 18), Valdobbiadene and Oderzo (July 20), Vicenza (July 21) and finally Udine, in Friuli (July 22). In the meantime Garibaldi's volunteers had pushed forward from Brescia towards Trento (see Invasion of Trentino) fighting victoriously at the battle of Bezzecca of July 21.
These victories were however obscured by the disastrous defeat of the bulk of the Italian army at the Battle of Custoza in June 24 and of the Italian Navy at the Battle of Lissa (July 20, 1866). On August 9, upon receiving from the King the order to retreat from the newly conquered positions, Garibaldi complied with his famous "Obbedisco!" ("I obey!") telegram, and retreated from Trentino.
The ceasing of hostilities was marked by the Armistice of Cormons signed on August 12, followed by the Treaty of Vienna of October 3, 1866.

The conditions of the treaty of peace included: the return to Italy of Mantua, including western Friuli. Austria retained Trentino, the north of Venetia, eastern Friuli, the Venezia Giulia and Dalmatia. The lost provinces were ceded to France, which in turn gave them to Italy.
The terms included also the cession of the Iron Crown, the crown worn by the old Lombard Kings of Italy and by the Holy Roman Emperors, as well as by Napoleon Bonaparte himself.
The Redente ("Redemeed") lands were annexed to Italy through a plebiscite held on October 21 and 22 of 1866.
After the war, Garibaldi led a political party that agitated for the capture of Rome, the peninsula's ancient capital. In 1867, he again marched on the city, but the Papal army, supported by a French auxiliary force, proved a match for his badly-armed volunteers. He was shot and wounded in the leg on the Aspromonte, taken prisoner, held captive for a time, and then again returned to Caprera.

(Source Wikipedia)

DATE PRINTED: 1866    

IMAGE SIZE: Approx 16.0 x 24.0cm, 6.25 x 9.25 inches (Medium)

TYPE: Antique wood engraved print

CONDITION: Fair: No top margin (image incomplete: a small part of the print may be missing compared to that shown in the scan). The image shown may have been scanned from a different example of this print than that which is offered for sale: Any flaws described in this statement may not be visible on the scan but will be present on the print you receive. Please note any other blemishes on the scan prior to purchasing this picture. Virtually all antiquarian maps and prints are subject to some normal aging due to use and time which is not obtrusive unless otherwise stated. We offer a no questions asked return policy.

AUTHENTICITY: This is an authentic historic print, published at the date stated above. It is not a modern copy.

VERSO: There are images and/or text printed on the reverse side of the picture. In some cases this may be visible on the picture itself (please check the scan prior to your purchase) or around the margin of the picture.


PROVENANCE: Illustrated London News


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