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Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza

Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza

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Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza (full name: Vincenzo Federico Bianchi; 1 February 1768—August 18, 1855), was an Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

n general and later field marshal
Field Marshal or Generalfeldmarschall in German, was a rank in the armies of several German states and the Holy Roman Empire; in the Austrian Empire, the rank Feldmarschall was used...



Born in Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, he studied at the Imperial Engineering Academy in Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

. In 1788, he was a sub-lieutenant in the Army of Slavonia
Slavonia is a geographical and historical region in eastern Croatia...

 and distinguished himself at the siege of Bubitza. He was appointed captain after the siege of Valenciennes
Valenciennes is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.It lies on the Scheldt river. Although the city and region had seen a steady decline between 1975 and 1990, it has since rebounded...

 in 1793. In 1796, he was in Italy, as staff officer under Wurmser
Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser
Dagobert Sigismund, Count Wurmser was an Austrian field marshal during the French Revolutionary Wars. Although he fought in the Seven Years War, the War of the Bavarian Succession, and mounted several successful campaigns in the Rhineland in the initial years of the French Revolutionary Wars, he...

's command. He captured the aide-de-camp Joachim Murat
Joachim Murat
Joachim-Napoléon Murat , Marshal of France and Grand Admiral or Admiral of France, 1st Prince Murat, was Grand Duke of Berg from 1806 to 1808 and then King of Naples from 1808 to 1815...

 at Brescia
Brescia is a city and comune in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy. It is situated at the foot of the Alps, between the Mella and the Naviglio, with a population of around 197,000. It is the second largest city in Lombardy, after the capital, Milan...

. While commanding the six battalions of the Count of Lusignan's regiment at the Battle of Rivoli
Battle of Rivoli
The Battle of Rivoli was a key victory in the French campaign in Italy against Austria. Napoleon Bonaparte's 23,000 Frenchmen defeated an attack of 28,000 Austrians under Feldzeugmeister Jozsef Alvinczi, ending Austria's fourth and final attempt to relieve the Siege of Mantua...

, he was taken prisoner, but released at the request of General József Alvinczi.

In 1799, as a Lieutenant-Colonel, he was attaché to Archduke Ferdinand, who was followed by the Archduke Charles
Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen
Archduke Charles of Austria, Duke of Teschen was an Austrian field-marshal, the third son of emperor Leopold II and his wife Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain...

 during the campaign in Germany and Switzerland. He was promoted to colonel in three months, leading the 48th Regiment of Hungarian infantry. In 1804, he put down a revolt at Cattaro, on the Dalmatian coast.

Adjutant-general after the campaign in Germany, he commanded the 48th Regiment until 1807, when he was made Brigadier General.

In 1808, he married Friederike Liebetrau von Maixdorf (1780-1838).

From 3-5 June 1809, he confronted Marshal Davout
Louis Nicolas Davout
Louis-Nicolas d'Avout , better known as Davout, 1st Duke of Auerstaedt, 1st Prince of Eckmühl, was a Marshal of France during the Napoleonic Era. His prodigious talent for war along with his reputation as a stern disciplinarian, earned him the title "The Iron Marshal"...

, denying him the bridgehead over the Danube near Pressburg, and was awarded the Military Cross of Maria Theresa. He was then made lieutenant-general, with the Infantry Regiment No. 63 as his personal regiment, and inspector of infantry in Hungary. In 1812, he commanded the 1st Division of the Army of Karl Philip of Schwarzenberg
Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg
Karl Philipp Fürst zu Schwarzenberg Karl Philipp Fürst zu Schwarzenberg Karl Philipp Fürst zu Schwarzenberg (or Charles Philip, Prince of Schwarzenberg (April 18, 1771 – October 15, 1820) was an Austrian field marshal.- Life :...

, taking part in Napoleon's Russian campaign.

In 1813, he only just kept his division at the Freyburg gate of Dresden
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....

, which he had tried to assault until he was attacked by Napoleon. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Leipzig
Battle of Leipzig
The Battle of Leipzig or Battle of the Nations, on 16–19 October 1813, was fought by the coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden against the French army of Napoleon. Napoleon's army also contained Polish and Italian troops as well as Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine...

 and was afterwards awarded the Cross of Saint-Georges by Tsar Alexander I of Russia. In 1814, he commanded an army corps which participated in diverse fighting around Moret-sur-Loing
Moret-sur-Loing is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.The town was a source of inspiration for Monet, Renoir and Sisley.-Twin towns:...


He was then sent to Dijon
Dijon is a city in eastern France, the capital of the Côte-d'Or département and of the Burgundy region.Dijon is the historical capital of the region of Burgundy. Population : 151,576 within the city limits; 250,516 for the greater Dijon area....

 to halt Marshal Augereau, but was defeated on 11 March 1814 and had to retreat to Saint-Symphorien near Mâcon
Mâcon is a small city in central France. It is prefecture of the Saône-et-Loire department, in the region of Bourgogne, and the capital of the Mâconnais district. Mâcon is home to over 35,000 residents, called Mâconnais.-Geography:...


In 1815, he was dispatched to Italy with a 20,000 strong force, to prevent the King of Naples Joachim Murat
Joachim Murat
Joachim-Napoléon Murat , Marshal of France and Grand Admiral or Admiral of France, 1st Prince Murat, was Grand Duke of Berg from 1806 to 1808 and then King of Naples from 1808 to 1815...

 from conquering Italy in the Neapolitan War
Neapolitan War
The Neapolitan War was a conflict between the Napoleonic Kingdom of Naples and the Austrian Empire. It started on 15 March 1815 when Joachim Murat declared war on Austria and ended on 20 May 1815 with the signing of the Treaty of Casalanza...

. He commanded one corps personally; the other he entrusted to Adam Albert von Neipperg
Adam Albert von Neipperg
Adam Albert, Count von Neipperg was an Austrian general and statesman. The son of a diplomat, famous for inventing a letter-copying machine, and a French mother, he was the grandson of Wilhelm Reinhard von Neipperg....

. He gained a decisive victory against Murat at the Battle of Tolentino
Battle of Tolentino
The Battle of Tolentino was fought on 2 – 3 May 1815 near Tolentino, in what is now Marche, Italy: it was the decisive battle in the Neapolitan War, fought by the Napoleonic King of Naples Joachim Murat to keep the throne after the Congress of Vienna. The battle itself shares many parallels with...

, which earned him the title of Duke of Casalanza from Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
Ferdinand I reigned variously over Naples, Sicily, and the Two Sicilies from 1759 until his death. He was the third son of King Charles III of Spain by his wife Maria Amalia of Saxony. On 10 August 1759, Charles succeeded his elder brother, Ferdinand VI, as King Charles III of Spain...

 and then a promotion to field marshal.

In 1824 he retired to a relatively private life, moving to an estate in Mogliano Veneto
Mogliano Veneto
Mogliano Veneto is a town and comune in the province of Treviso, Veneto, northern Italy, located halfway between Mestre and Treviso.-Culture:...

 that he had purchased in 1821; there he started vineyards that still bear his name. His presence was unremarkable until 1848, when the revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas
Revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas
From March 1848 through July 1849, the Habsburg Austrian Empire was threatened by revolutionary movements. Much of the revolutionary activity was of a nationalist character: the empire, ruled from Vienna, included Austrian Germans, Hungarians, Slovenes, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Ruthenians,...

 made him an enemy representative of the Austrian power, for which he was arrested and imprisoned in Treviso
Treviso is a city and comune in Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Treviso and the municipality has 82,854 inhabitants : some 3,000 live within the Venetian walls or in the historical and monumental center, some 80,000 live in the urban center proper, while the city...

. Two months later the imperial army reconquered the territories and freed Duke Bianchi.

He died at Sauerbrunn near Rogateč
Rogatec is a small town and a municipality in eastern Slovenia, on the border with Croatia. The area traditionally belonged to the region of Styria. It is now included in the Savinjska statistical region....

, Styria where he had moved temporarily to avoid a cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 epidemic that was ravaging Mogliano; the remains of the body were translated to his villa in 1864.

Further readings

  • Beran, Julius. Die Geschichte des k.u.k. Infanterie-Regimentes Freiherr von Merkl Nr. 55. - Vienna 1899, page 6
  • Bodart, Gaston (Ed.). Militär-historisches Kriegs-Lexikon (1618-1905). Vienna-Leipzig, 1908, page 406, 477, 485
  • Neue Deutsche Biographie, Berlin 1953, volume 2, page 214
  • Oettinger, Edouard-Marie. Moniteur des Dates contenant un million de renseignements biographiques, généalogiques et historiques, Dresden, and Leipzig, volume 1, page 90
  • Oesterreichisch-Kaiserliche privilegirte Wiener-Zeitung, 25.11.1809, 07.09.1813, 20.02.1814, 30.05.1815, 04.08.1815, 20.02.1816
  • Österreichischer Militär-Almanach (since 1804:) Schematismus der kaiserlich-königlichen Armee (since 1810:) Schematismus der Oesterreichisch-Kaiserlichen Armee (since 1815:) Militär-*Schematismus des österreichischen Kaiserthums, years 1792-1873 (years 1809 and 1849 not published)
  • Zivkovic, Georg. Alt-Österreichs Heerführer. Stellenbesetzung in Heer, Landwehr und Kriegsmarine 1541 bis 1918. Vienna 1976, pp.119, 132-134

External links