The Storming of Brescia 31st of March - 1st April 1849
On hearing the news of the revolt, Feldmarschall-Lieutenant
von Haynau despatched a force under the command of General-Major Johann Graf
on the 26th of March towards
The city of
On the late evening of the 30th of March,
Feldmarschall-Lieutenant von Haynau, the popular and energetic corps commander
joined the small force at
1st column under the command of Major Peter von
Vierendeels of the 59th Infantry Regiment on the road from
2nd column under Oberstlieutenant Friedrich Fuchs of the 13th Roman Banat Border Infantry Regiment to take the Porta Pille on the north side of the city: 15th Company of I.R. 59 under Oberlieutenant Maximilian Heffele, the 3rd and 4th companies of the Border Regiment and a company of the Ceccopieri Infantry Regiment.
3rd Column on the road from Crema to Porta S. Nazzaro under Major Carl Fabius Terzaghi of the Ceccopieri Infantry Regiment: the 16th Company of I.R. 59 under Hauptmann Alois Kolber and the 5th Company of the Border Regiment.
4th Column under Hauptmann Robert Kublang von
Seltenhof of the Ceccopieri Infantry
Regiment on the road from
5th Column under Oberst Julius Graf Bernay-Favancourt on the Verona road to Porta torre lunga: the 18th Company of I.R. 59 under Oberlieutenant Josef Schaub, the 6th Company of the Border Regiment, the 13th and 14th Company of the Ceccopieri Infantry Regiment, the troop of the 5th Chevauxlegers Regiment and the four guns. Generalmajor Graf Nugent and his Brigade Adjutant accompanied this column.
Using the cover of a thick fog, FML von Haynau led the 1st Battalion of I.R. 59 over the difficult path to the castle in pouring rain. The caste which stood on a hill on the north side of the town was reached by a narrow path which ran closely parallel to the city walls and although the insurgents opened fire on the small Austrian force most of the fire was ineffective. By Haynau had reached the castle but had lost two men killed and a further seven wounded from fire from a Closter just beneath the castle. He therefore had the Closter assaulted by a detachment of the 8th Infantry Regiment, the Castle’s original garrison and the insurgents killed.
Major von Vierendeel’s column had secure positions at Fuimicello on the
At this stage FML von Haynau let it be known to the insurgents that he was himself in the castle and demanded unconditional surrender of the city. Around a delegation from the city appeared at the castle and requested an armistice of three hours so that they might have the insurgents lay down their arms. However during this period, the existing barricades were strengthened, further barricades erected and as the bells rang at , fire was opened on the castle from the city. At , his patience exhausted, FML von Haynau had the town bombarded from the castle and set in motion the general assault. The individual columns were to storm their assigned city gates and were then to attempt to fight their way to the municipal place. The Porta torre lunga was assaulted by Graf Favancourt’s column after a brief bombardment and after the outlying houses and obstacles were cleared, the colonel was the first to enter the city. In the ensuing vicious street fighting the Austrian troops cleared the adjoining streets against determined resistance from the insurgents.
In the meantime the 1st column was repulsed at the Porta S. Giovanni, the commander of the 14th Company of I.R. 59, Hauptmann von Engel being seriously wounded. The wounded officer was brought to safety by his men and the column took up positions in the houses in the immediate vicinity of the gate. The 2nd Column had similar difficulties at the Porta Pille and the commander of the 15th Company of I.R. 59, Oberlieutenant Heffele was killed along with four of his men. After two unsuccessful attempts to take the gate they were ordered that evening to proceed to the Porta torre lunga on the following morning and to open the Alessandro and Nazzaro gates from within the city.
The 3rd Column was more successful and quickly cleared the heavily fortified suburb of St. Nazzaro, pursued the insurgents from the walls and cleared the adjacent buildings. In so doing they considerably eased the following morning’s task of the 2nd Column. The 4th column could not take the adjacent houses to the Porta S. Alessandro and at was also ordered to the Porta torre lunga to strengthen Oberst Graf Favancourt’s column.
Following the capture of the Porta torre lunga,
General-Major Graf Nugent had split his force into two columns, one under his
personal command and the other under Graf Favancourt. These now proceeded to
fight their way into the city and in further bitter fighting; Graf Nugent was
wounded in the foot. Although brought to safety and taken to the
With the onset of darkness FML von Haynau ceased offensive operations for the night so that the exhausted troops might get some rest and the fighting died down. Although shooting continued throughout the night, the objectives so far taken were held and early the following morning, Palm Sunday, the assault continued. House to house fighting continued throughout the morning until at about a deputation of the city’s magistrates appeared before Hauptmann Heinrich Schetzko of the 1st Battalion I.R. 59. These were sent on to FML von Haynau accompanied by an officer. Von Haynau informed them that unless all firing ceased half an hour after they returned the assault would continue. In fact the firing increased and the battle was renewed. The insurgents were now inexorably cleared from the houses and streets, their barricades taken and the ring around the city ever more tightened. During the afternoon Graf Favancourt was wounded in the chest but around it was all over. Refusing to negotiate further, FML von Haynau demanded unconditional surrender and this was accepted.
Favancourt was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Military Order of Maria
Theresia and would rise to the rank of General-Major in July 1850 and retire
shortly afterwards. Two of his NCOs – Feldwebels Franz Pittrich and Mathias
Mayer were awarded the Golden Bravery
Military Events in
 The son of the later Feldmarschall Laval Graf Nugent.
 The later Chief of Staff of the Austro-Hungarian Armed Forces and Generaloberst, Friedrich Graf Beck-Rzikowsky, 21 March 1830 – 9 February 1920.
 Geschichte des k.k. Infanterie-Regiments Erzherzog Rainer Nr. 59 von seiner Errichtung 1682 bis 3. Juni 1882 by Oberst Justuz Knorz.
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