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The Sack of Genoa happened between Thursday April 5 and Wednesday April 11, 1849. Genoa was then part of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, but had only become so comparatively recently, after the defeat of Napoleon. The uprising broke out in Genoa after King Vittorio Emanuele II (succeeding his father Carlo Alberto after the defeat of Novara) signed the armistice with the Austrian general Joseph Radetzky on March 25.

In the unrest that led to a temporary restoration of an autonomous government (missed by the inhabitants) in the ancient capital of the Republic of Genoa, General Alfonso La Marmora was sent by the king to quell the revolt. After several days of violent clashes, the 5 April, the city was bombarded for thirty-six hours, without any warning, in clear violation of international law. During the heavy bombing on April 5, the government troops began targeting the civilian homes; Genoese people were able to withstand up to 11 April, when the city was occupied by an army of 25000-30000 soldiers (the Italian Bersaglieri).

During this period, the soldiers resorted to the most petty actions against civilians, raping women and killing fathers and brothers who opposed the massacre, firing at the windows to the people surrounding and running through the streets shouting Genoese people are all Balilla (referring to the deeds of the young Genoese patriot Balilla), they do not deserve compassion, we must kill them all!

When the occupation was done, Vittorio Emanuele II thanked the General La Marmora with a letter.[1]

See also[]

  • List of massacres in Italy


  1. State Archive of Biella, Ferrero della Marmora Fund, Series Principi, Box VI - 11, File 141 page 1, page 2, page 3.

External links[]

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