Thursday 1 May 2014

Risorgimento or Garibaldi in Sicily 1860

I studied the Italian Unification at school and it was fascinating; This lead to following Garibaldi's career and especially his amazing campaign in Sicily with the "Mille" (Thousand), or Redshirts , taking the island in the face of 20-30,000 Neapolitan troops.

In 1860, Garibaldi lead a small force to overthrow the Bourbons who ruled The Kingdom of The Two Sicilies (Naples and Sicily), one of the few parts of Italy not subject to the new Italy, created by Piedmont. How he succeeded with enthusiastic but poorly armed volunteers against an army totaling perhaps 150,000 is an amazing story.

Last year I saw some of Gringo 40s Mexican Republican troops with simple uniforms and havelocks (cloth neck covers) on their kepis and immediately thought, Dunne's English battalion, part of Garibaldi's  forces, being a 50 odd hard core of English soldiers, mostly ex-officers, and the rest being mostly young volunteers from Palermo's slums.

I'm collecting more figures but in the meantime here are two of Dunne's men.

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