If Prussia counted on Moltke to lead its army during the 19th century unification, Piedmont had Giuseppe Garibaldi. Although the help of both soldiers was crucial, the way of providing it was quite different. Moltke was a member of the Prussian army, while Garibaldi went completely free, and even faced Victor Emmanuel II. For his expeditions in South America and his successes in Europe, he was considered a hero on both sides of the Atlantic.
The life of the Italian military began on July 4, 1807, the day he was born in Nice, a city that at that time was in the hands of the kingdom of Piedmont. At the age of 20, Garibaldi was part of the crew of the ship Cortese, a ship that made routes through the Black Sea. Only five years later, he was appointed captain of another ship, the Clorinda, with which he traveled through the same area as the Cortese until he was attacked by some Turkish pirates. After escaping badly wounded from this conflict, he was absent for 6 years until in 1833 he returned to Istanbul. It was in that city where he began to make his first speeches on freedom.
In 1834, joined Mazzini's Young Italy movement, swearing his life to the defense of the nation and managing to be promoted to Captain in the Piedmont army. Garibaldi, a faithful follower of liberal speeches, participated in the insurrection that occurred in the Italian kingdom and was sentenced to death, for which he chose to flee to Brazil.
In South America joined the revolts of Rio Grande do Sul in 1836, fighting against the Empire of Brazil and supporting the troops of Bento Gonçalves da Silva. His participation was so outstanding that he later served in Uruguay in 1841, where he sent troops against Juan Manuel de Rosas.
But the call from home was too great so Garibaldi returned to Italy in 1848 and formed a group of volunteers to fight for the Italian unity against the Austrians and against the French from Oudinot that besieged republican Rome. He became a hero to the people of northern Italy but had to go into exile again, due to the persecution that the French, Spanish and Neapolitans undertook against him.
In 1854 he returned to Italy and acquired the island of Caprera. He was deputy of the commander of the Italian League troops with whom he prepared the insurrection in Umbria and the Marches in 1859. Seeing the success of the Seven Weeks War in terms of results (since in victories it was very relative), Garibaldi it set its objective in the south of the Italian peninsula. He led an expedition of troops, called the Thousand Red Shirts, and drove the Bourbons from Sicily and Naples in 1860.
This action did not please the President of the Council of Ministers of Piedmont, the Earl of Cavour, nor to Victor Emmanuel II, who tried to stop him by all means. Garibaldi ignored them and proclaimed himself dictator of both territories, while denying his annexation to the kingdom of Piedmont, stopping in his tracks the aspirations of the transalpine king.
Although the Garibaldi's intentions They were to unite an Italian kingdom whose capital was in Rome, on October 26, 1860, Victor Emmanuel II was recognized as King of Italy. Just a year later, he fought against the pontifical and French troops deployed in the Papal States. Although he lost the battle of Aspromonte in 1862 and that of Mentana in 1867, his actions facilitated the conquest of Rome by the army of Cavour and the Italian king.
In 1871returned to the front, intervening in the battle of the city of Dijon and helping the newly created French Republic. Later, in 1875, he was elected deputy of the Italian Parliament, a position from which he would end up resigning because his republican aspirations were not fulfilled. The last years of his life were spent on the island of Caprera, where he died on June 2, 1882. He left behind a legend, being considered a hero in both Europe and America, as well as one of the greatest defenders of the freedom on both continents.
Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.