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Battle of Bezzecca
Part of the Austro-Prussian War
Illustrated London News - 11 agosto 1866. Combattimento fra garibaldini e austriaci a Bezzecca.jpg
Battle of Bezzecca
Date21 July 1866
LocationBezzecca, Trentino, northern Italy
Result Italian victory
 Kingdom of Italy  Austrian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Italy Giuseppe Garibaldi Austrian Empire Franz Kuhn
15,000 13,000
Casualties and losses
500+ 3500+

Attack of the Austrians

The Battle of Bezzecca was fought on 21 July 1866 between Italy and Austria, in the course of the Third Italian Independence War. The Italian force, the Hunters of the Alps, were led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, and had invaded Trentino as part of the general Italian offensive against the Austrian force occupying north-eastern Italy after the decisive Prussian victory of Battle of Königgrätz, which had led Austria to move part of their troops towards Vienna (see Invasion of Trentino).

The Austrians, commanded by Generalmajor Franz Freiherr von Kuhn, attacked and conquered the city of Bezzecca. The Italians uncoordinately[Clarification needed] tried to recover the lost town. Garibaldi himself, moving on the battlefield in a coach because of a wound from a previous encounter, was in danger of being captured. The Italian artillery took a hill close to the town, and an assault by the Italian infantry caused the Austrians to withdraw to their emplacements in the surrounding mountains, thus marking an Italian victory that cost many casualties.

While Garibaldi was preparing to continue the invasion toward Garda to conquer the forts of Lardaro, on 9 August he received the message of the armistice between Italy and Austria and the order of general La Marmora, commander-in-chief of the Piedmontese army, to abandon Trentino. On that occasion, in the square of Bezzecca, Giuseppe Garibaldi replied with the famous telegram, with only one word: "Obbedisco!" ("I obey!").

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