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Peschiera-Mantua, the Quadrilatero's western side

Mincio and war - Itinerary n. 2

By bike Car         Great Interest: Hystory 
  • Departure: Peschiera
  • Arrival: Mantova
  • Length: 91.7 km

At the end of the 18th century, war events following the French Revolution touched the Mincio Valley, too. The importance and potential of these places were rediscovered through accurate investigation and knowledge of the territory, which were strong points of Napoleon's army, and through testing of new war techniques. For the Italian Campaigns, Napoleon's army applied a strategy which took advantage of the position of the Mincio and Adige rivers and of the territories in between: that was a ready-made defence system, which nature and history had already built, and which only needed to be strengthened. The effectiveness of this scheme was fully proven during the 1848-49 war, when the Quadrilatero was definitively designed: this territorial defence system came from an intuition by Field marshal Josef Radetzky, and it combined the defence potentialities of the Mincio and Adige rivers with those of the fortresses in Verona, Legnago, Peschiera and Mantua. Verona, which was located in the rear and directly linked with the Empire, served as a depot for all the military supplies for the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom; Legnago, in second line, was a bridgehead that granted support to the mid-Adige wing; Mantua and Peschiera, on the frontline along the Mincio River, were pivotal in army manoeuvres. Mantua was especially important, since its defences had been greatly strengthened by the French. Together with Peschiera and Borgoforte it constituted a system, which could easily control the Quadrilatero's western side, taking advantage of the defence line provided by the Mincio River and the Serraglio until the Po River.

Further information
Peschiera del Garda, Bastion Tognon, 1552
Peschiera del Garda, Bastion Tognon, 1552

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