Siege of Brescia
Ten Days of Brescia
Part of the First Italian War of Independence

Episode from the Ten Days of Brescia in 1849
Date23 March – 1 April 1849[1]
Result Capitulation of Brescia[3]
Flag of Brescia.svg
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg
Austrian Empire[3]
Commanders and leaders
Tito Speri
Giuseppe Martinengo
Pietro Boifava
Julius von Haynau
Field marshal

Johann Graf Nugent 
Major general
Numerous barricades[9]
armed insurgents:[7][10]
Austrian garrison:[11]
4 companies & 30 guns
Nugent Brigade:[7][8]
2,300 infantry & cavalry
4 guns
30-pound Mörser-Batterie
Casualties and losses
ca. 1,000 killed [12][13]
Including Civilians [14]
16 executed[10]
31 March and 1 April: [7]
53 KIA[7]
including 3 officers
209 wounded[7]
including 13 officers
54 MIA[7]

The Ten Days of Brescia (Italian: Dieci giornate di Brescia) was a revolt which broke out in the northern Italian city of that name, which lasted from 23 March to 1 April 1849.

In the early 19th century Brescia was subject of the Austrian empire, as the rest of Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia. The revolt, headed by the patriot Tito Speri, began on the same day as the Battle of Novara (though news of Austria's victory there had not yet reached Brescia).

The Austrian troops, under General Nugent, were initially surprised and retired to the castle, from which they heavily cannonaded the city, damaging many of Brescia's historical monuments. A total encirclement of Brescia was established by the Austrians beginning on the 8th day of the revolt, when reinforcements arrived. The following day General Haynau, later nicknamed "The Hyena of Brescia", came and demanded the unconditioned surrender of the Bresciani. As the latter refused, the fighting continued until late night, when the heads of the revolt decided to surrender. The following day (April 1), however, the Austrian troops sacked the city and massacred numerous inhabitants before the surrender could be signed.

Some 1,000 citizens were killed during the battle. For its fierce resistance, the city of Brescia earned the surname Leonessa d'Italia (Lioness of Italy).

See also


  1. ^ a b Corti, Siro (1885). Breve storia del Risorgimento italiano narrata alla gioventù. Turin.
  2. ^ Wochenblatt, Freitag, 6. April (1849). Wochenblatt für den Königlich-Bayerischen Gerichtsbezirk Zweibrücken No. 41. Zweibrücken.
  3. ^ a b W. & R. Chambers (1868). Chambers's encyclopaedia: Vol. 2. London.
  4. ^ Bradshaw, George (1898). Bradshaw's illustrated hand-book to Italy. London.
  5. ^ Murray, John (1858). Handbook for travellers in northern Italy Part I. and Part II. London.
  6. ^ Stramacci, Mauro (1991). Goffredo Mameli: tra un inno e una battaglia. Rome.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Aus der Kaiserlich Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei (1850). Kriegsbegebenheiten bei der Kaiserlich österreichischen Armee in Italien vom 20. März bis 1. April 1849. Vienna.
  8. ^ a b Rüstow, Wilhelm (1862). Der italienische Krieg von 1848 und 1849. Zürich.
  9. ^ Wagener, Friedrich Wilhelm Hermann (1862). Staats- und Gesellschafts-Lexikon. Berlin.
  10. ^ a b Sked, Alan (2011). Radetzky: Imperial Victor and Military Genius. New York.
  11. ^ Schweigerd, Carl Adam (1857). Geschichte des K.K. Linien-Infanterie-Regimentes No. 8, Erzherzog Ludwig. Vienna.
  12. ^ Keates, Jonathan (2005). The siege of Venice. New York.
  13. ^ Colburn, Henry (1860). The United service magazine, Part 1. London.
  14. ^ July–December Vol.II (1859). The Eclectic review. London.