Battle of Magenta
|Battle of Magenta|
|Part of the Second Italian War of Independence|
The Battle of Magenta by Gerolamo Induno. Musée de l'Armée, Paris
| Second French Empire
|Commanders and leaders|
| Emperor Napoleon III
Victor Emmanuel II
|Feldmarschall Ferenc Gyulay|
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Magenta was fought on 4 June 1859 during the Second Italian War of Independence, resulting in a French-Sardinian victory under Napoleon III against the Austrians under Marshal Ferencz Gyulai.
It took place near the town of Magenta in northern Italy on 4 June 1859. Napoleon III's army crossed the Ticino River and outflanked the Austrian right forcing the Austrian army under Gyulai to retreat. The confined nature of the country, a vast spread of orchards cut up by streams and irrigation canals, precluded elaborate manoeuvre. The Austrians turned every house into a miniature fortress. The brunt of the fighting was borne by 5,000 grenadiers of the French Imperial Guard, still mostly in First Empire style uniform. The battle of Magenta was not particularly large, but it was a decisive victory for the French-Sardinian forces. Patrice Maurice de MacMahon was created Duke of Magenta for his role in this battle, and later served as President of the Third French Republic.
The French-Piedmontese coalition comprised an overwhelming majority of French troops (1,100 Piedmontese and 58,000 French). Their victory can therefore be considered as substantially a French victory.
- Ambès, Intimate Memoirs of Napoleon III: Personal Reminiscences of the Man and the Emperor, 1912, P. 148.
- Spofford, Ainsworth Rand. The Library of Historic Characters and Famous Events of All Nations and All Ages, P. 77.
- Cunnington, C. Willett, English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth Century, Dover Publications, Inc. New York 1990, page 208