The Resurgence – Second War of Italian Unification
Following an assassination attempt on French Emperor Louis Napoleon III’s life in 1858, the French Emperor became a sympathizer for Italian Unification. To this end and in order to secure trans-alpine Nice and Savoy from the Piedmontese, the French and Sardinia-Piedmont engaged in a complicated scheme whereby they would provoke Austria into attacking Piedmontese possessions in Northern Italy, thereby allowing France to intervene on Piedmont’s behalf. The combined army would seize Milan and Venice from Austria for Sardinia and in return, Piedmont would cede their trans-alpine possessions of Nice and Savoy to the French.
In early 1859, the Franco-Piedmontese alliance provoked unification demonstrations and protests in Austrian controlled Northern Italy. Predictably, the Austrians issued a series of ultimatums to unification sympathizers and the Franco-Piedmontese alliance had its opening. The result was the Second War of Italian Unification.
Player Side: France/Sardinia-Piedmont
Objectives: Capture Milan and Venice
Scenario Duration: 15 Turns
(AGEOD’s Scenario Description)
The Franco-Piedmontese Armies:
The French Army under the command of Emperor Louis Napoleon III (3-1-0) himself is stationed in Grenoble. Napoleon has under his command 175,000 men including 24,000 cavalry and almost 900 guns. His army is divided into 5 Corps plus the Imperial Guard. 1st Corps is commanded by Achille Baraguey d’Hilliers (4-2-1). 2nd Corps is commanded by Marie Patrice de Mac-Mahon (4-4-0). 3rd Corps is commanded by Francois Canrobert (4-2-2). 4th Corps is commanded by Adolphe Niel (5-3-2). 5th Corps is the Reserve Corps of the Army and the Imperial Guard is commanded by Auguste Michel Etienne (4-2-0).
The bulk of the Piedmontese Army under the command of Vittorio Emmanuel II (4-1-1) is stationed in Turin. Vittorio has 85,000 men including 16000 cavalry and 275 guns under his command. Assisting Vittorio Emmanuel II are Generals Enrico Cialdini (3-2-1), Domenico Cucciari (4-3-1) and Guiseppe Garibaldi (6-4-3). General Givanni Durando (4-3-0) is in Allesandria with 20,000 men. Piedmonetese Reserves of 20,000 men commanded by Manfredo Fanti (5-3-2) are in Chambery awaiting orders.
(The French Army)
(The Piedmontese Army)
Quick combination of the two main French and Piedmontese armies is critical. The Austrians have local superiority over the Italians absent French help. I plan on using Alessandria as a forward base from which to strike and lay siege to Milan. I expect that the Austrians will sortie from Milan early to isolate and destroy the Italians before French help can arrive.
Initial intelligence estimates approximately 150,000 Austrians are based in the Austrian held Northern Italian city of Milan. Emperor Napoleon set out in Early April for Alessandria to rendezvous with Vitor Emmanuel II’s main Piedmontese force. He estimated it would take 11 days to arrive. Vitor Emmanuel II set out for Allesandria and was scheduled to arrive in 5 days. Both armies were given orders to advance cautiously and defend it attacked, but not to engage Austrian forces until the armies could be combined.
(Intelligence on Austrians and Initial Movement Orders)