Battle of Custoza (1848)
|Battle of Custoza|
|Part of the Italian Wars of Independence|
|Kingdom of Sardinia||Austrian Empire|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Charles Albert
Ettore de Sonnaz
|Casualties and losses|
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.
- Battle of Custoza (1848), Encyclopædia Britannica