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Siege of Brescia
The Ten Days of Brescia
Part of the Italian Wars of Independence
Episode from the Ten Days of Brescia in 1849
Date23 March - 2 April 1849[1]
LocationBrescia, Lombardy
Result Capitulation of Brescia[3]
Flag of Italy.svg Brescia[1][2] Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Austrian Empire[3]
Commanders and leaders
Tito Speri
Giuseppe Martinengo
Pietro Boifava
Julius von Haynau
Field Marshall

Johann Graf Nugent
Major General
Numerous Barricades[9]
Armed Insurgents:[7][10]
Austrian Garrison:[11]
4 Companies
30 Guns
Nugent Brigade:[7][8]
2,300 Infantry & Cavalry
4 Guns
30pound Mörser-Batterie
Casualties and losses
ca. 1,000 Killed[12][13]
Exact figures of the Insurgent casualties are unknown[14]
Among the casualties were also Women and Children[15]
78-82 Executed[10][14]
Only for the days:[7]
53 Killed[7]
Including 3 Officers
217 Wounded[7]
Including 13 Officers
54 MIA[7]
Poss. total:[10][14][16]
1,512 including 36 Officers

The Ten Days of Brescia (Italian language: Dieci giornate di Brescia ) was a revolt which broke out in the northern Italian city of that name, which lasted from March 23 to April 1, 1849. In the early 19th century Brescia was part of the Austrian puppet state called Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia. The revolt, headed by the patriot Tito Speri, began on the same day as the Battle of Novara (though news of Austria's victory there had not yet reached Brescia).

The Austrian troops under general Nugent, were initially surprised and retired to the castle, from which they heavily cannonaded the city, damaging many of Brescia's historical monuments. A total encirclement of Brescia was established by the Austrians beginning on the 8th day of the revolt, when reinforcements arrived. The following day General Haynau, later nicknamed "The Hyena of Brescia", came and demanded the unconditioned surrender of the Bresciani. As the latter refused, the fighting continued until late night, when the heads of the revolt decided to surrender. The following day (April 1), however, the Austrian troops sacked the city and massacred numerous inhabitants before the surrender could be signed.

Some 1,000 citizens were killed during the battle. For its fierce resistance, the city of Brescia earned the surname Leonessa d'Italia (Lioness of Italy).

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Corti, Siro (1885). Breve storia del Risorgimento italiano narrata alla gioventù. Turin. 
  2. Wochenblatt, Freitag, 6. April (1849). Wochenblatt für den Königlich-Bayerischen Gerichtsbezirk Zweibrücken No. 41.. Zweibrücken. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 W. & R. Chambers (1868). Chambers's encyclopaedia: Vol. 2. London. 
  4. Bradshaw, George (1898). Bradshaw's illustrated hand-book to Italy. London. 
  5. Murray, John (1858). Handbook for travellers in northern Italy Part I. and Part II.. London. 
  6. Stramacci, Mauro (1991). Goffredo Mameli: tra un inno e una battaglia. Rome. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Aus der Kaiserlich Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei (1850). Kriegsbegebenheiten bei der Kaiserlich österreichischen Armee in Italien vom 20. März bis 1. April 1849. Vienna. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Rüstow, Wilhelm (1862). Der italienische Krieg von 1848 und 1849. Zürich. 
  9. Wagener, Friedrich Wilhelm Hermann (1862). Staats- und Gesellschafts-Lexikon. Berlin. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Sked, Alan (2011). Radetzky: Imperial Victor and Military Genius. New York. 
  11. Schweigerd, Carl Adam (1857). Geschichte des K.K. Linien-Infanterie-Regimentes No. 8, Erzherzog Ludwig. Vienna. 
  12. Keates, Jonathan (2005). The siege of Venice. New York. 
  13. Colburn, Henry (1860). The United service magazine, Part 1. London. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Reuchlin, Hermann (1870). Geschichte Italiens von der Gründung der Regierenden Dynastien bis zur Gegenwart. Leipzig. 
  15. July–December Vol.II (1859). The Eclectic review. London. 
  16. M. Mazzini (1852). M. Mazzinis Lecture. London. 

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