|Battle of Magenta|
|Part of the Second Italian War of Independence|
The Battle of Magenta by Gerolamo Induno. Musée de l'Armée, Paris
Second French Empire|
|Commanders and leaders|
Emperor Napoleon III|
Piedmont-Sardinia Victor Emmanuel II
|Feldmarschall Ferenc Gyulay|
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Magenta was fought on 4 June 1859 during the Second Italian War of Independence, resulting in a French-Sardinian victory under Napoleon III against the Austrians under Marshal Ferencz Gyulai.
It took place near the town of Magenta in northern Italy on 4 June 1859. Napoleon III's army crossed the Ticino River and outflanked the Austrian right forcing the Austrian army under General Gyulay to retreat. The close nature of the country, a vast spread of orchards cut up by streams and irrigation canals, precluded elaborate maneuver. The Austrians turned every house into a miniature fortress. The brunt of the fighting was borne by 5,000 grenadiers of the French Imperial Guard, still in the First Empire style uniform. The battle of Magenta was not particularly large, but it was a decisive victory for the French-Sardinian forces. Patrice Maurice de MacMahon was created Duke of Magenta for his role in this battle, and later served as President of the French Republic.
The Franco-Piedmontese coalition consisted in overwhelming majority of French troops (1,100 Piedmontese and 58,000 French). Their victory can therefore be considered as mostly a French victory.
The colour magenta, a dye producing which was discovered in 1859, was named after this battle, as was the Boulevard de Magenta in Paris.
- Ambès, Intimate Memoirs of Napoleon III: Personal Reminiscences of the Man and the Emperor, 1912, P. 148.
- Spofford, Ainsworth Rand. The Library of Historic Characters and Famous Events of All Nations and All Ages, P. 77.
- Cunnington, C. Willett, English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth Century, Dover Publications, Inc. New York 1990, page 208
- The web site of the battle. (English) (Italian) (French) (German)
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