Monday, July 14, 2014
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
We have reprimanded […] the “Giornale di Sicilia” which, in the year XI [of the fascist era], has deemed it necessary to talk about the storming of the Bastille, a topic now behind the times.
”[È stato ripreso] il Giornale di Sicilia che, nell’anno XI, ha ritenuto necessario occuparsi della presa della Bastiglia, argomento ormai sorpassato.”
From a directive to the press issued by the Italian fascist government, 31 August 1933, quoted in La stampa del regime 1932-1943, p. 89
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Entrance of Guglielmo Pepe in Naples at the head of the Constitutional army, 9 July 1820
Some basic facts on the 1820-21 uprisings in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies here (in Italian) because the English wiki gives even less than the bare bones.
Drummers of the Italian pre-unification States through the first half of the 19th century, in a plate by Quinto Cenni (1845-1917)
Monday, June 23, 2014
Murat reviewing the 7th Line Regiment (Royal African) of the Neapolitan army.
But the return to peacetime society of army and navy veterans was not a quantitative matter alone. There was also a qualitative element. It was not just the sheer numbers of men who returned, but the attitudes they brought back with them. At worst they had been brutalized by their experiences in war. At best they had acquired new self-confidence through their martial skills. What is more, they had had novel experiences and their eyes had been opened to a world beyond their parish or hundred. “How you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm, now that they’ve seen Paree?” asks the old music-hall song, and it expresses a fundamental truth. The core notion for the maintenance of stable hierarchy in eighteenth-century England was deference. Yet it is deference that wartime experience, with its cross-class mingling, most of all breaks down … Men who had seen the officer class at close quarters, under fire, and were not necessarily impressed, could not return to the old deference/hierarchy nexus. They preferred to make a living by crime rather than touch their forelocks to the village squire. This was recognized in the eighteenth century and was considered by the elite a worrying development.
Frank McLynn, Crime and punishment in eighteenth-century England, p. 322
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Lying face-down to the ground I send you a few words: my division has taken camp on the hill out of Castenedolo, to the right there is the first division and then the French. To the left there is the rest of our army, the Austrians are in front of us on the Chiese and occupy the line from Lonato to Volta Mantovana with the villages of Calcinato, Montechiaro, Solferino and Castiglione delle Stiviere. It is believed that as soon as the French shall have completed their movement of concentration the attack will begin and we expect serious combats for our positions are magnificent. In the meantime I roast myself in the sun.
Part of a letter by Piedmontese Captain Lorenzo Lazzari, fallen at San Martino, writing to his brother on 18 June 1859, six days before the battle. The letter is currently on display in the museum of San Martino della Battaglia.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
El regimiento de Nápoles tuvo que acoger los restos del [regimiento] de Flandes en 1791, y el de Hibernia, tradicional de los irlandeses, al de Milán, ya casi sin italianos. En 1818 el mismo regimiento de Nápoles fue extinguido por orden de Fernando VII, cuando hacer la recluta en Italia se había vuelto imposible. Quedaron seguramente sus banderas, guardadas en algún museo, y su nombre, inscrito en los historiales militares. Pero quedaron también unos pocos apellidos italianos dispersos por toda América, firmamente identificados con la vieja historia americana, testigos de que allá lejos y hace tiempo, unos oficiales italianos pasearon sus blanquirojos uniformes por las calles y las plazas de sus ciudades, por los baluartes de alguna vetusta fortificación, sirviendo a un rey tan ausente y remoto como su propia tierra, mientras construían una nueva vida.
Juan Marchena Fernández, Italianos al servicio del rey de España en el Ejercito de América. 1740-1815
Saturday, May 31, 2014
I slept soundly till 6 in the morning, when I was brutally awakened by one of my old servants - the chief valet to be precise - who rushed into the barn [where the count had spent the night] nearly out of his wits. He had just come back from taking my horse to graze at four in the night, as I had ordered him to do. That man, Lefranc, shook me until I woke up and screamed that the enemy was there. Thinking I could poke fun at him, I asked, “Where? There?” and he replied, “Yes, there! There!” As he spoke he opened the barn door and the curtains of my bed. The open door showed me the beautiful, sunny plain below; and the entire surface appeared covered with enemy squadrons. I coolly considered that the enemy must at least give me enough time to take my morning cup of chocolate.
Jean-Philippe-Eugène Comte de Mérode-Westerloo, describing the morning of the battle of Blenheim, 13 August 1704
The many heroic deaths of the Chevalier d’Assas, or: A compilation of seriously random uniforms through time, illustrative art and printed media.