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.
|Battle of Magenta|
|Part of the Second Italian War of Independence|
The Battle of Magenta by Gerolamo Induno. Musée de l'Armée, Paris
|Commanders and leaders|
Victor Emmanuel II
Marechal Patrice de MacMahon
Feldmarschall Ferenc Gyulay|
Prince of Montenuovo
|Casualties and losses|
It took place near the town of Magenta in the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, a crown land of the Austrian Empire, 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 their First Empire style of uniforms. The battle of Magenta was not a particularly large battle, but it was a decisive victory for the Franco-Sardinian alliance. Patrice de MacMahon was created Duc de Magenta for his role in this battle, and would later go on to serve as President of the French Third Republic.
An overwhelming majority of the French-Piedmontese coalition soldiers were French (1,100 were Piedmontese and 58,000 were French).
- Brooks, R. (2009). Solferino 1859: The Battle for Italy's freedom. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-385-8.