Second Genoese–Savoyard War

The Second Genoese–Savoyard War (1672-1673) was a short war fought between the Duchy of Savoy and the Republic of Genoa.

Second Genoese-Savoyard War
Result Genoese victory; Status quo ante bellum
 Duchy of Savoy  Republic of Genoa
Supported by:
Commanders and leaders
Charles Emmanuel II

The war was launched by Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy, in 1672,[1] but an exiled Genoese named Rafaello della Torre had initially prompted Charles Emmanuel into declaring war.[2] Charles Emmanuel believed that Spain, engaged in hostilities with France in the Franco-Dutch War, would not assist Genoa.[3] Charles Emmanuel’s declaration of war was based on pretexts that were “slight and trivial,”[2] and it was evident that his reasons for going to war were to gain the seaport of Savona.[2]

The Savoyards initially had the upper hand, as the attack on Genoa was unexpected,[4] and the Savoyards occupied Pieve di Teco “and some other Places; but these were soon recovered.”[4]

Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy

Despite Charles Emmanuel's predictions, the Genoese did receive aid from Spain.[3]

The Savoyards under the Marquis of Catalan[4] marched to Castelvecchio di Rocca Barbena with plans to fortify it.[2] The Genoese opposed them with a force of 9,000 men and seized all the roads, before the Savoyards could provision themselves.[2] As a result, about 300 Savoyard officers and men departed from Castelvecchio.[2] The remaining forces were overrun on August 15, 1672 by the Genoese.[2]

Some inconclusive battles followed,[4] including a struggle for control of Oneglia.[2] The Genoese advanced towards Oneglia with plans to attack by sea and land, but the Savoyards prevented them.[2]

End of war and aftermathEdit

Louis XIV of France intervened diplomatically in the war to protect French interests.[3] Louis XIV wanted to end the war between Savoy and Genoa before Charles Emmanuel could be completely defeated and a new front of the Franco-Dutch War could be opened in Italy.[3]

Under the mediation of France,[4] peace was concluded at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye[2] on January 18, 1673.[5] Both sides returned whatever conquests that they had made.[4]

According to George Procter, the war “scarcely merits our notice, for its circumstances and its conclusion were alike insignificant.”[6] However, the war had deleterious effects on the Duchy of Savoy.

Since the war ended in defeat for Savoy, “a bitter search for scapegoats followed,” including Marchese di Pianezza, who had a prominent role in this war and was the duke's chief advisor.[7] Pianezza was accused of treason and fled to France.[7]

Savoy’s 1672 war with Genoa also caused civil unrest: it had disrupted trade and resulted in the Savoyard government’s program to levy tolls on goods entering the territory of Mondovì.[7]

In 1684, French naval forces would bombard Genoa for its support of Spain.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Geoffrey Symcox, Victor Amadeus II: absolutism in the Savoyard State, 1675-1730. International Crisis Behavior Series (University of California Press, 1983), 80.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Edmund Ludlow, The memoirs of Edmund Ludlow, lieutenant-general of the horse in the army of the commonwealth of England, 1625-1672, Volume 2. Editor: Charles Harding Firth (Clarendon Press, 1894), 438n.
  3. ^ a b c d Ciro Paoletti, A military history of Italy. (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008), 34.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Joseph Sayer, Samuel Pufendorf (Freiherr von), Antoine Augustin Bruzen de La Martinière, An introduction to the history of the principal states of Europe, Volume 2 (Publisher: Printed for A. Wilde, 1764, 27.
  5. ^ "World History at KMLA: History of Warfare". KMLA. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  6. ^ George Procter, The history of Italy: from the fall of the Western empire to the commencement of the wars of the French revolution, Volume 2. (G. B. Whittaker, 1825), 506.
  7. ^ a b c Geoffrey Symcox, Victor Amadeus II: absolutism in the Savoyard State, 1675-1730. International Crisis Behavior Series (University of California Press, 1983), 85-6.