last moon

Monday, August 20, 2012

The life or great hero Garibaldi

5) The delusion of Aspromonte seeking to conquer  Rome and return to Caprera
 (1862 - 1870)

Waiting for  the convenient opportunity to attack Rome in May 1862, Garibaldi, who is not able to keep doing nothing, goes to Trescore Balneario, near the Austrian border.

After the Unification of Italy, he now has two objectives: as we have already said, one is Rome as Capital, which is still in the hands of the Pope and the other regards  the region of Venice Venetian which still belongs to the Austrians.
On May 14, hundreds of volunteers, commanded by Francesco Nullo and supported by Garibaldi try to enter Austria and are stopped by the Italian army. A demonstration in support of Brescia causes the death of three people, Garibaldi is responsible for the coup and condemns repression.

In Europe is enormous the emotion and Italy is divided. Moderates and the military are offended by the words of Garibaldi, who accuses them to shoot against Italians. He distanced himself from the Association emancipatory and decides not to disclose his intentions.

Garibaldi will be glad not more few months later when he sought to attack Rome.  Via Sicily he arrived in Calabria, but at  the foot of the Aspromonte mountain Garibaldi was wounded and captured by the Italian troops.

Here are the facts: on 27 June 1862 he embarked in Caprera, joined Palermo where he was greeted by a cheering population. He travels places emblematic of his expedition to Marsala (July 20) where he began his campaign to take Rome with 3000 men. However, the conditions are not the same, the men he has with him are not willing to sacrifice for a great ideal, his valiant officers are now part of the Italian army and the operation does not have the support of the public opinion. Despite calls from Victor Emmanuel II, Garibaldi thinks to go ahead.

Napoleon III, the only ally of the new kingdom of Italy, took Rome under his protection and this operation is an embarrassment. So the Italian government decided to stop Garibaldi in Calabria by sending regular army.

Garibaldi tries to avoid confrontation through a path in the heart of the mountains of Aspromonte. It is intercepted by troops of commander Emilio Pallavicini. The Piedmontese Bersaglieri open fire while their opponents are fighting back gently, Garibaldi who gave the order not to shoot. He then injured his left thigh and the left foot, the ball still lodged in the joint. Knocked out, the confrontation continues and General stopped. On September 2, he was taken to La Spezia and locked in prison Varignano. The ball has not been removed, the foot injury does not heal. Also, a large number of doctors succeed at his bedside, tilll the French Auguste Nelaton  provides a method to extract it.
On November 20, Garibaldi is transported to Pisa where he was examined by Professor Paolo Tassinari and on 23 November Professor Ferdinando Zannetti extracts the bullet according to the method recommended by Nélaton. Garibaldi finds its full powers in August 1861. In October, because of the wedding of one of Italian princesses, the General and his men were pardoned by Victor Emmanuel II on the recommendation of Napoleon III in order not to make a martyr. Meanwhile, Garibaldi supports the Polish uprising against the Russian Empire.

Our hero spends his convalescence in Caprera and we find him in March 1864 in the United Kingdom with his son Menotti and his private secretary  Giuseppe Guerzoni.  Against the advice of the British government, feared of  his stance, he  meets  exiles such as Mazzini. He arrived in Southampton, Portsmouth and then went to London (April 11) when he receives each time an enthusiastic or triumphant (500 000 people in London). He is received by the highest civil authorities, mayors, aristocrats, lords. He is the host of the Duke of Sutherland and the mayor gives him honorary citizenship. Only the most conservative does not share this enthusiasm, Queen Victoria said "Honest, courageous and selfless, Garibaldi certainly is, but he is a revolutionary leader."

During his stay, Garibaldi met Mazzini also, which he hoped raises money for Veneto, Alexander Herzen, the exiled French: Alexandre Ledru-Rollin and Louis Blanc. March 17, under the pressure of Turin, he is far from London. He then began a series of visits and then he decided to return to Italy. On 9 May, he returned to Caprera. In 1865, the second half of the island is offered by subscription of British donors. Prussia Austria claims to the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, the challenge is to take the ascendancy in the Germanic Confederation. By the Treaty of 8 April 1866, Prussia allied with Italy, which still hopes to get the Veneto, and mid-June the war begins.

Even before the start of the war, the volunteer corps, composed of 10 regiments, nearly 40,000 men poorly armed and poorly equipped, is organized before being assigned to the command of Garibaldi. Once again, the mission is the same as that carried out around the lakes of Lombardy in 1848 and 1859: Acting in an area of ​​secondary operation, the Alps between Brescia and Trento to the west of Lake Garda, with the strategic goal to cut the road between Tyrol and the Austrian fortress of Verona. The main strategic action is entrusted to two great armies on the plains, led by Alfonso La Marmora and Enrico Cialdini.

Garibaldi bypasses Brescia then goes on the offensive in Ponte Caffaro June 24, 1866. On July 3 at Monte Suello he suffered a setback and he was wounded in the thigh but forced the Austrians to retreat. With the victory of the Battle of Bezzecca and Cimego on  July 21, he opens the road to Riva del Garda and therefore the imminent occupation of Trent prevented by the truce, August 12, 1866, due to the Prussian victory at Sadowa . On this occasion, he received the news of the armistice and the order to abandon the occupied territory. It meets telegraph "I obey." Venetia was ceded to Italy, Garibaldi becomes a citizen and joined Caprera.

Quickly, Garibaldi resumed his crusade to conquer Rome. It creates associations to raise funds and is particularly anticlerical speeches. The Roman conspirators seek and March 22, 1867, he took the title of general was conferred by the Roman Republic. Initially the public supports, unlike the government. As in the past, he tries to foment rebellion in the Papal States to justify intervention. Crispi warns against a new Aspromonte. After the resolutions of French and German workers against the war, he participated in September 1867 at the International Congress for Peace and Freedom in Geneva peace conference where he was received triumphantly, offering a visionary program in 12 points announcing the Company Nations but shocked by his bellicose tone and anticlericalism. Among the participants, there Arago and Bakunin. The intervention of the latter is particularly noteworthy: "Garibaldi, who presided, stood up, took a few steps and gave him a hug. This solemn meeting of two old veterans of the revolution produced an astonishing impression. Everyone rose and there was prolonged applause and enthusiastic. "

After his return to Italy, 24 September 1867, Garibaldi was arrested while leaving Florence, the then capital, to the border with the Papal States, which triggered violent protests. He is under house arrest on the island of Caprera, from which he escaped in October to resume the fight. It organizes new shipment of Rome (third) commonly called "Agro Romano campaign for the liberation of Rome," this time of Terni: it takes the stronghold of the revolution but Monterotondo awaited in Rome has not occur. October 30, 1867, French troops landed at Civitavecchia and Garibaldi was defeated decisively November 3, 1867 at the Battle of Mentana by the papal troops and reinforcements, with the new Chassepot rifles, sent by Napoleon III. Victor Emmanuel II, meanwhile, confirms the Franco-Italian initiative and disclaims Garibaldi. A despatch from General Failly dated 9 ending with these words: "Our Chassepot rifles were perfectly" provoked strong criticism in France and Italy.


It was not until the defeat of the French Empire and Napoleon III's surrender on 2 September 1870 that Rome was conquered by Italian troops September 20, 1870. On 2 October 1870, Rome is incorporated into Italy after a plebiscite. Garibaldi Italian dream is realized, but has been the Italian army which conquered the Eternal Town to Unity.

...to be continued...









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