Battle of Bassignano

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This article is about the battle in 1745. For the battle in 1799, see Battle of Bassignana (1799).
Battle of Bassignana
Part of the War of the Austrian Succession
Date 27 September 1745
Location Bassignana near Alessandria, AL, Italy
Result Franco-Spanish victory
 Kingdom of France
Spain Kingdom of Spain
 Republic of Genoa
 Kingdom of Sardinia,
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of France Marquis of Maillebois
Spain Infante Philip
Spain Comte de Gages
Republic of Genoa Gian Francesco Brignole Sale II
Kingdom of Sardinia Charles Emmanuel III of Savoy[1]
70,000 55,000
Casualties and losses
200 dead,
300 wounded
300 dead,
1,200 wounded or captured

The Battle of Bassignana was fought in the Italian campaign of the War of the Austrian Succession on September 27, 1745. It resulted in a victory for the combined armies of France and Spain over Austria and the Kingdom of Sardinia.

The Bourbon armies, finally united after a two-year campaign, won through a maneuver that caused 25,000 Austrian troops to head towards Piacenza and leave their Sardinian allies isolated.[3] The Sardinians were then overwhelmed and beaten.

The Spanish forces along with a strong contingent of Genoese captured a series of towns: Tortona, Parma, Piacenza and threatened to take Milan. The Austrians moved to protect the capital of Lombardy leaving Victor Emmanuel, the king of Sardinia, unaided with his force of 55,000. He was defeated by Gages at Bassignano who subsequently advanced the conquest of Lombardy against the advice of the French commanders who preferred the reduction of Piedmont. Gages took Casale and Milan on 16 December where the citadel held out against him.[4] The cities of Lodi and Como soon surrendered and by the end of 1745 all of Lombardy, except for the fortress at Mantua and the citadel in Milan, were under the control of Spain and France.[5]

The Austrians were now unable to oppose the Spanish advance and support Piedmont to keep Victor Emmanuel in the war and the campaign had disastrous results for Maria Theresa. In order to reinforce Austrian armies in Italy peace with Prussia was a necessity and the Silesian war would have to be ended. As a result of the gains of the Spanish and French, Victor Emmanuel reopened negotiations with D'Argenson for an understanding between France and Sardinia and possible treaty.[6]

With the end of the Second Silesian War, Austrian was able to send 30,000 soldiers into Italy under Count Maximilian Ulysses Browne and negotiations between France and Sardinia fell apart. The Battle of Piacenza in the following year turned back the French and the Spanish and erased the effects of Bassignano.


  1. ^ Tivaroni (1888), p. 175
  2. ^ a b Browning, p. 234
  3. ^ Guicciardini (1832), p. 112
  4. ^ Hassall, Arthur. Periods of European History The Balance of Power 1715-1789, Macmillan Co., 1914, p.184
  5. ^ Browning, p. 239.
  6. ^ Hassall, p.185-186.


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