A close up on: the battles of Magenta and Solferino, 1859

Magenta and Solferino (June 1859), for their results, are probably Napoleon III’s most successful military campaigns. Not only did they allow France to be the patron of Italian independence and unity and to establish the natural frontiers to the south (through the accession of Savoy and Nice to French territory), they also underlined the weakness of Austria in the concert of nations and highlighted the potential of French military might if unleashed. The face of Europe changed almost over night.