Battle of Castelfidardo

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Battle of Castelfidardo
Part of the wars of Italian Unification
Giovanni Gallucci La Battaglia di Castelfidardo palazzo comunale di Castelfidardo.jpg
Battle of Castelfidardo
Date 18 September 1860
Location Castelfidardo, Marche
Papal States (presnt-day Italy)
Result Sardinian victory
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Kingdom of Sardinia

Flag of the Papal States (1808-1870).svg Papal States

  • Austrian auxiliaries
  • French volunteers
  • Irish volunteers
Commanders and leaders
Enrico Cialdini
Manfredo Fanti
Juchault de Lamoricière
Georges de Pimodan 
39,000 men 10,000 men
Casualties and losses
61 killed
184 wounded
88 killed
400 wounded
600 captured

The Battle of Castelfidardo was a battle of the Expedition of the Thousand that took place on 18 September 1860, at Castelfidardo, a small town in the Marche region of Italy. It was fought between the Sardinian army - acting as the driving force in the war for Italian unification, against the Papal States.

As a result of this battle, the Marches and Umbria entered in the Kingdom of Italy and the extent of the Papal States was reduced to the area of what is today known as Lazio.

The battle is remembered for being bloody, and for the highly disparate numbers of troops - less than 10,000 papal soldiers to 39,000 Sardinians. The papal army was composed of volunteers from many different European countries, amongst whom the French and Belgian nationals constituted a Franco-Belgian battalion. Among the French volunteers were a notable number of nobles from western France: after the battle, whilst consulting the list of dead and wounded members of the papal army, the Sardinian general Cialdini is reported to have said, in an example of rather black humor, "you would think this was a list of invites for a ball given by Louis XIV!"


The Franco-Belgian, Austrian and Irish battalions later joined the Papal Zouave corps, an infantry regiment of international composition that pledged to aid Pope Pius IX in the protection of the Papacy for the remainder of the Italian unificationist Risorgimento.


This article draws heavily on the fr:Bataille de Castelfidardo article in the French-language Wikipedia, which was accessed in the version of November 19, 2006.