Battle of Custoza (1848)
|Battle of Custoza|
|Part of the First Italian War of Independence|
|Austrian Empire||Kingdom of Sardinia|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Joseph Radetzky
| Charles Albert
|Casualties and losses|
289 killed, including 19 officers
2,380 taken prisoner
(26–27 July at Volta):
77 killed, including 2 officers
202 taken prisoner
463 taken prisoner
(26–27 July at Volta):
352 taken prisoner
The Battle of Custoza was fought on July 24 and 25, 1848 during the First Italian War of Independence between the armies of the Austrian Empire, commanded by Field Marshal Radetzky, and the Kingdom of Sardinia, led by King Charles Albert of Sardinia-Piedmont.
In March 1848, the city of Milan launched an uprising against Austrian occupation. Charles Albert supported the Milanese revolt and declared war on Austria. Venice also declared its independence from Austria. The Austrian Field Marshal Radetzky withdrew his forces from Milan to the defensive positions based on the four fortresses known as the Quadrilateral: Verona, Mantua, Peschiera, and Legnago. The Piedmontese took Peschiera after a short siege, but Radetzky received substantial reinforcements.
In July, Charles Albert led an army across the Mincio River in order to occupy the strategic hill-top town of Custoza. Radetzky responded with a decisive counterattack. In a two-day battle, he inflicted a painful defeat on the Piedmontese, with the Austrians taking Custoza after a furious hand-to-hand struggle. Both sides suffered major casualties, each army having lost more than half of its troops during the fight.
Radetzky's victory drove the Piedmontese out of Lombardy and forced them to sign a six-month armistice with the Austrians. When the war resumed in March 1849, Radetzky was again victorious at Novara, resulting in Charles Albert's abdication in favor of his son, Victor Emmanuel. By August, Radetzky restored the Austrian authority throughout its Italian provinces.
- Aus der Kaiserlich Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei (1848). Der Feldzug der österreichischen Armee in Italien im Jahre 1848 III.Abschnitt. Mailand. pp. 119, 122 and 129.
- Berkeley, George Fitz-Hardinge (1940). Italy in the Making Vol.III. Cambridge University Press. p. 383.
- Battle of Custoza (1848), Encyclopædia Britannica