Tuesday, 11 January 2011


We have around 20 odd original figures in production now and they are about the best on the market so please buy our soldiers so we can make more , I'm not worried if you don't but its a shame you don't own some. The Mexican american war fuigures will be discontinued soon but we still have cavalry and infantry left . all sets come in fantastic wooden boxes. I do Napoleonics and FFL  as well. I'm trying to get a range for the soldiers of this blog both in model soldier types and toy soldier types.
 .In 1859, Piedmont, the substantial influx of refugees from  the Lombardo-Veneto, Trentino areas meant that a corps could be made. They were mostly eager to be recruited under the flag of King of Sardinia and they arrived in June, after the outbreak of the war, almost 40 thousand men bent on revenge or at least getting back at the Austrians.

the Cacciatori delle Alps  could be defined as a special military corps created by Giuseppe Garibaldi in Cuneo on February 20, 1859 to help the regular Sardinian army to free the northern part of Italy in the Second Italian War of Independence.
They were basically Garibaldini but had a special name and their un iforms were piedmont army cast offs.
  Maybe they were less inclined to think of themselves as Garibaldians but that is only an idea on my part .It might be that the real Garibaldians were the ones who followed the great General to conquer the South. I will try to get more info on that. File:Vezza d'Oglio Malagrida 1866.jpg

As their name suggests, they operated in the Alps. Among their victories in the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859, were those over the Austrians at Varese and Como.
If we talk of the actions of Garibaldi and his Hunters at Varese then we must mention the fact that they were short on all supplies especially uniforms they nevertheless   occupied Varese, in the night of 23 May. The Austrian commander in chief, Ferencz Gyulai, had sent the Urban division to settle the matter.

In the meantime, on 25 May, 500 Austrian riflemen, 130 Ulans, and two guns from Gallarate attacked a company led by Carlo De Cristoforis at Sesto Calende, but were rejected to Somma.

 The encounter

On 26 May, at dawn, Urban arrived at Varese, where Garibaldi had already prepared the defence. The Italians were deployed as: one battalion (Enrico Cosenz) on the right, two battalions on the left (Giacomo Medici), one battalion in the middle (Nicola Ardoino); two reserve battalions, one at Varese (Nino Bixio), and one at Biumo Superiore.

The Austrians opened fire with the guns, then moved three columns against the enemy. Cosenz's battalion attacked the incoming Austrians, and routed them into the other columns, repulsing the Austrian attack with the help of the Medici battalion. Urban, overestimating the enemy forces, retreated on Malnate. Medici and Ardoino attacked the retreating Austrians, causing more losses.

Übergang der Gebirgsjäger unter Garibaldi über den Ticino in Sesto Calende am 23./24.Mai 1859 of artist Eleuterio Pagliano, Italienische, Befreiungs-und, Einigungskriege, Krieg, Piemonts, Frankreichs, Gegen, österreich
the hunters arrive in ticino canton

They also saw action during the Third Italian War of Independence in 1866, fighting on the Prussian side against the Austrians. On this occasion, the 40,000 volunteers showed their value by achieving the only Italian victory during the conflict at the battle of Bezzecca (July 21 1866), and thus nearly reaching the town of Trento.At the outbreak of the third Italian war of Independence (June 23, 1866), Giuseppe Garibaldi received the order to take up positions with his volunteer force the Hunters of the Alps (Italian: Cacciatori delle Alpi) along the frontline between Lombardy and Trentino.turr

Initially Garibaldi could only muster 4 battalions, but in the end managed to obtain some 38,000 men, which were to face the roughly 15,000 Austrian regulars under general baron Franz von Kuhn. The Austrians were supported by their fleet on Lake Garda.

Mr lotherigen in the Wirral has made this splendid unit of wargames hunters of the alps
 First actionsGaribaldi's men started the fights on June 21, 1866. After some initial minor clashes, they were, due to the Italian defeat at the Battle of Custoza ordered to retreat to the south-western tip of Lake Garda on June 25. As the Austrians choose not pursue, Garibaldi renewed his advance on July 3, but was wounded during an attack on an enemy mountain position. Nonetheless the advance of the Cacciatori was successful and on July 12th Storo and Condino were occupied.

Contemporarily, actions took place near the Tonale Pass, where 3,000 Austrians had established a defensive line between Vezza d'Oglio and Temù. During the battle of Vezza d'Oglio, July 4 the Austrians were dislodged from their positions by an attack of the Italian regular Bersaglieri infantry, which suffered heavy losses. On July 2 an Austrian column crossed the Stelvio Pass and captured Bormio and the Mortirolo Pass, but was later defeated by a force from the Italian National Guard.

 CondinoAlthough apparently feeble, the Austrian moves were part of a larger offensive planned by Kuhn which aimed to outflank Garibaldis positions from Lardaro and Bezzecca. On July 16th an Austrian column ousted the Italians from Cimego. Three columns were now encircling the Italians at Condino, but Garibaldi took advantage of his numerical superiority and of the strength of his defensive position and was able to defeat the attack on (July 16th), which forced the Austrians to retreat to their starting positions.

In the following days the Italians marched northwards until, on July 20th, they occupied Bezzecca.
As the Austrians had suffered a decisive defeat at the Battle of Sadowa, Kuhn had only a few days left before part of his troops would be sent to augment the defense of Vienna. Profiting from the situation, the Italians began to advance on the southern front too, when a division under Giacomo Medici was sent from Padua to fight its way to the city of Trento.

 Battle of Bezzecca

The battle as depicted in The Illustrated London News from August 11, 1866
in July 21 two Austrian columns clashed with the Hunters of the Alps at the Battle of Bezzecca. After some initial Austrian successes, Garibaldi's counterattacks finally forced them to retreat from Bezzecca as well as from Cimego and Condino.

The Italian commander had now opened the road to Trento, while Medici had successfully swept the Austrian troops from the Valsugana, reaching Civezzano, not far from Trento, on July 25th. Kuhn was preparing to be besieged in Trento, and had received orders to concentrate on the defense of South Tyrol in the case of further defeats.

On July 25th and 26th the Italians attacked near Riva del Garda(above), but were defeated. However, a truce signed on July 24th, ended all operations. On August 9th the Italian troops received the order to leave Trentino, as a treaty of peace between Italy and Austria was forthcoming. Garibaldi, from the square of Bezzecca, replied with his famous: "Obbedisco!" ("I obey!"). Hostilities finally ceased with the Armistice of Cormons (August 12, 1866).

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