Raffaele Cadorna

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General Raffaele Cadorna (Carlo Ademollo)

Count Raffaele Cadorna (February 9, 1815 – February 6, 1897) was an Italian general who served as one of the major Piedmontese leaders responsible for the unification of Italy during the mid-19th century.

Born in Milan, Cadorna entered the Piedmontese military academy at Turin in 1832. Entering the engineering corps in 1840, Cadorna would command a volunteer engineer battalion in Lombardy from March 1848 until August 1849 during the Italian War of Independence.

Serving with Piedmontese forces in January 1855 during the Crimean War, Cadorna would win distinction during the Piedmontese War at the Battle of San Martino and awarded the rank of Colonel in 1859.

Appointed Minister of War to the republican regime of Tuscany that same year, Cadorna served as a lieutenant general and corps commander during the Seven Weeks War leading successful operations against the Austrians in the Friuli campaign June to July, 1866.

Later leading the invasion of the Papal States, Cadorna's capture of Rome on September 20, 1870 would fully complete the unification of Italy (and for his service, Cadorna would be named a Senator the following year). Retiring from public life soon after, he would live in Tuscany until his death in 1897. His son Luigi Cadorna rose to the rank of Field Marshal and served as Italian chief of staff during part of World War I, while his grandson Raffaele Cadorna Jr. was a general and commander of the Italian resistance during World War II.