Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza

Frederick Bianchi.

Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza (full name: Vincenzo Federico Bianchi; 1 February 1768[1] – 18 August 1855[2]), was an Austrian general and later field marshal.


Born in Vienna, Bianchi studied at the Imperial Engineering Academy in Vienna.[3] In 1788, he was a sub-lieutenant in the Army of Slavonia and distinguished himself at the siege of Bubitza.[4] He was appointed captain after the siege of Valenciennes in 1793.[5] In 1796, he was in Italy, as staff officer under Wurmser's command. He captured the aide-de-camp Joachim Murat at Brescia. While commanding the six battalions of the Count of Lusignan's regiment at the Battle of Rivoli, he was taken prisoner, but released at the request of General József Alvinczi.[6]

In 1799, as a Lieutenant-Colonel, he was attaché to Archduke Ferdinand, who was followed by the Archduke Charles during the campaign in Germany and Switzerland.[7] 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.[8]

Adjutant-general after the campaign in Germany, he commanded the 48th Regiment until 1807, when he was made Brigadier General.[9]

In 1808 he married Friederike Liebetrau von Maixdorf (1780–1838).[10]

From 3 to 5 June 1809 he confronted Marshal Davout, denying him the bridgehead over the Danube near Pressburg, and was awarded the Military Cross of Maria Theresa.[11] He was then made lieutenant-general, with the Infantry Regiment No. 63 as his personal regiment, and inspector of infantry in Hungary.[12] In 1812, he commanded the 1st Division of the Army of Karl Philip of Schwarzenberg, taking part[13] in Napoleon's Russian campaign.[14]

In 1813 he only just kept his division at the Freyburg gate of Dresden, which he had tried to assault until he was attacked by Napoleon.[15] He distinguished himself at the Battle of Leipzig and was afterwards awarded the Cross of Saint-Georges by Tsar Alexander I of Russia.[16] In 1814, he commanded an army corps which participated in diverse fighting around Moret-sur-Loing.

He was then sent to Dijon to halt Marshal Augereau, but was defeated on 11 March 1814 and had to retreat to Saint-Symphorien near Mâcon.

In 1815 he was dispatched to Italy, with a 20,000 strong force, to prevent the King of Naples Joachim Murat from conquering Italy in the Neapolitan War.[17] He commanded one corps personally; the other he entrusted to Adam Albert von Neipperg. He gained a decisive victory against Murat at the Battle of Tolentino, which earned him the title of Duke of Casalanza[18] from Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and then a promotion to field marshal.[19]

In 1824 he retired to a relatively private life, moving to an estate in Mogliano Veneto 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 made him an enemy representative of the Austrian power, for which he was arrested and imprisoned in Treviso. Two months later the imperial army reconquered the territories and freed Duke Bianchi.[20]

He died at Sauerbrunn near Rogateč, Styria where he had moved temporarily to avoid a cholera epidemic that was ravaging Mogliano; the remains of the body were translated to his villa in 1864.[21]


  1. Luraghi, Raimondo: "Italians in the Habsburg Armed Forces, 1815-1849". In: Király, Béla K. (Hg.): East Central European Society and War in the Era of Revolutions, 1775-1856 (= War and Society in East Central Europe, 4 = Brooklyn College Studies on Society in Change, 13 = East European Monographs, 150), New York 1984, p. 222
  2. Luraghi, cit.
  3. Hirtenfeld, Jaromir – Meynert, Hermann (Ed.): Österreichisches Militär-Konversations-Lexikon, Vienna 1851-1852, volume 1, page 400 and following
  4. Kneschke, Ernst Heinrich (Ed.). Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon, Leipzig 1859-1870, volume 1, page 408
  5. Hirtenfeld, Jaromir. Der Militär-Maria-Theresien-Orden und seine Mitglieder. Nach authentischen Quellen bearbeitet, Vienna 1857, volume 2, page 1147 and following
  6. Luraghi, cit.
  7. Militärische Zeitung. Zeitschrift für militärische Interessen. Ed. by Jaromir Hirtenfeld, Vienna, year 1855, Nr. 95 (from 01.09.1855), page 607 and following
  8. Frank-Döfering, Peter (Ed.). Adels-Lexikon des österreichischen Kaisertums 1804-1918. Vienna-Freiburg-Basel 1989: N° 486 and N° 488
  9. Nahlik, Johann von. Geschichte des kais. kön. 55. Linien-Infanterie-Regimentes Baron Bianchi. Brünn 1863, pages 39 and following, 64, 267 and following
  10. Gatti, Friedrich. Geschichte der k.k. Ingenieur- und k.k. Genie-Akademie. 1717-1869 (= Geschichte der k. und k. Technischen Militär-Akademie, vol.1). Vienna 1901, page 335 and following
  11. Hollins, David. Austrian Commanders of the Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815. Illustrated by Christopher Rothero (= Osprey Elite N°101), Botley 2004, page 16 and following
  12. Wrede, Alphons von. Geschichte der k.u.k. Wehrmacht, Bd.VI: Der Allerhöchste Oberbefehl – Die Garden. Rewritten by Peter Broucek, Georg Zivkovic and Herbert Klima after manuscript fragments of Alphons von Wrede. Ed. by the Austrian Military Museum (= Militaria Austriaca, vol. VI), Vienna 1988, page 33
  13. Zivkovic, Georg. Alt-Österreichs Heerführer. Stellenbesetzung in Heer, Landwehr und Kriegsmarine 1541 bis 1918.- Vienna 1976
  14. Wrede, Alphons von. Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht. Die Regimenter, Corps, Branchen und Anstalten von 1618 bis Ende XIX. Jahrhunderts, volume 1, Vienna 1898, page 503
  15. Hollins, cit.
  16. Hollins, cit.
  17. Hold, Alexander. Geschichte des k.k. 48. Linien-Infanterie-Regimentes von seiner zweiten Errichtung im Jahre 1798 an. Vienna 1875, pages 30, 34, 39, 41
  18. The title commemorates the Treaty of Casalanza following Tolentino, in which Bianchi served as plenipotentiary to the commander-in-chief of the Austrian forces.
  19. Lombroso, Giacomo. Vite dei primarj Generali et Ufficiali Italiani che si distinsero nelle guerre Napoleoniche dal 1796 al 1815. Milan 1843, page 592 and following
  20. Wurzbach, Constant von. Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich, 60 vols. Vienna 1856-1891, 1, page 373 and following
  21. Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. Ed. by the Historische Kommission der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Munich, volume 2, page 608

Further reading

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 7/18/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.