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Alfonso Ferrero la Marmora

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Alfonso Ferrero la Marmora (November 18, 1804 - 1878), Italian general and statesman, was born at Turin. His brother Alessandro Lamarmora founded the branch of the Italian army now called the "Bersaglieri".

He entered the Sardinian army in 1823, and was a captain in March 1848, when he gained distinction and the rank of major at the siege of Peschiera. On August 5 1848 he liberated Charles Albert of Sardinia, from the Milan revolutionaries, and in October was promoted general and appointed minister of war. After suppressing the revolt of Genoa in 1849, he again assumed in November 1849 the portfolio of war, which, save during the period of his command of the Crimean expedition, he retained until 1859.

Having reconstructed the Piedmontese army, he took part in the war of 1859 against Austria; and in July of that year succeeded Cavour in the premiership. In 1860 he was sent to Berlin and St Petersburg to arrange for the recognition of the kingdom of Italy and subsequently he held the offices of governor of Milan and royal lieutenant at Naples, until, in September 1864, he succeeded Minghetti as premier. In this capacity he modified the scope of the September Convention by a note in which he claimed for Italy full freedom of action in respect of national aspirations to the possession of Rome, a document of which Visconti-Venosta afterwards took advantage when justifying the Italian occupation of Rome in 1870.

In April 1866 La Marmora concluded an alliance with Prussia against Austria, and, on the outbreak of war in June, took command of an army corps, but was defeated at Custoza on June 23. Accused of treason by his fellow countrymen, and of duplicity by the Prussians, he eventually published in defence of his tactics (1873) a series of documents entitled Un po' piu di luce sugli eventi dell' anno 1866 (More light on the events of 1866) a step which caused irritation in Germany, and exposed him to the charge of having violated state secrets.

Meanwhile he had been sent to Paris in 1867 to oppose the French expedition to Rome, and in 1870, after the occupation of Rome by the Italians, had been appointed lieu tenant-royal of the new capital. He died at Florence on the 5th if January 1878. La Marmora's writings include Un episodio di risorgimento italiano (Florence, 1875); and Il segreti di tato nel governo constituzionale (Florence, 1877). See G Massani, Il generale Alfonso La Marmora (Milan, 1880).


Preceded by:
Marco Minghetti I
Prime Minister of Italy
September 23, 1864 - June 17, 1866
Succeeded by:
Bettino Ricasoli II

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