Tuesday, 4 January 2011


This weeks blog entry is one of the longest of all the battlefield blogs. There are 17 photographs to cover our visit to Castiglione. In fact I could have used more, but I felt that the blog is long enough as it is. I personally find it difficult to concentrate on long blogs, and am sure many of you will feel the same.

Most visitors to this famous battlefield will go straight to Solfernio and climb the La Rocca tower to view the battlefield. The village is famous as the place where the International Red Cross was formed, and consequently it is easy to find. On 5 August 1796 it also formed the right flank of the Austrian army. And the top of La Rocca provides an excellent platform to view the battlefield from the Austrian side.

It is much less easy to find a suitable spot to view the battlefield from the French side. This is where "Castiglione 1796" by Bernhard Voykowitsch came in so useful. This was my guide to the battlefield. It contains a mass of information about all operations in the area throughout 1796, with many photographs and excellent battle maps.

The book advises against visiting Castiglione itself, which is now so overdeveloped that it is not suitable to explore the battle. Instead it recommends a hill overlooking the small village of Girole. The village, which formed the left of the French position, was difficult enough to find. I would never have found the road leading to the hill without the book. But it was well worth the effort, because this hill provides the same sort of excellent views of the Austrian positions as La Rocca does of the French.

The blog can be found at


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