Italy Men of Arms Part 1

At all times, many Italians militated in the ranks of foreign armies. Already at the beginning of the century. XII Galicia used Pisa and Genoa for sailors and ship builders; in 1146-47 the Genoese Oberto della Torre, Ansaldo Doria and Filippo Longo inflicted serious defeats on the Saracens of Spain; at the end of the century a Philip Albini went to England, where he became the king’s admiral and then tutor of Henry III, anglicizing his name into Daubency. In 1229-31 the fleet of Guglielmo Boccanegra, called by the Spaniards, drove the Moors from the Balearics; in 1264 the Genoese patrician Ugone Vento was admiral of Castile. In France Louis IX chartered a Genoese fleet in 1248 with the admirals Iacopo da Levanto and Ugo Lercari, and another in 1270, commanded by Filippo Cavaronco and Ansaldo Doria; in 1272 he commissioned Simone Boccanegra, also from Genoa, to build the walls of Aiguesmortes (Provence). In 1294 Enrico Marchese founded a maritime arsenal in Rouen; in 1296 Filippo il Bello entrusted the direction of the maritime war against the English to Benedetto Zaccaria, who had been head of the Spanish navy for many years. Montano de Marinis, Genoese, traced the colony of Galata, in Constantinople, and surrounded it with walls (1315), while the Genoese consuls Giov. de Scaffa and Gotifredo de Zoagli from 1342 to 1352 erected the colony of Caffa, in the Crimea. Genoese and Venetian walls and castles still show their ruins today on all the islands and the coasts of the Levant. In 1307 Raniero Grimaldi was admiral of France; commanders of French squads in the war against England were Carlo Grimaldi, Antonio Doria, Pietro Barbavara. In 1385 the Piedmontese Tommaso Ghilini was one of the marshals of France under Charles VI. In Portugal the Pessagno family distinguished itself during the 14th and 15th centuries: from which eight famous admirals came out (Emanuele, Carlo, Bartolomeo, Lanzerotto, Emanuele II, Lanzerotto II, Emanuele III). In England we find admiral of Edward II Leonardo Pessagno, admiral of Edward III, Oberto and Niccolò Usodimare, Pietro Bardi.

In the century XV Giosafatte Barbaro, Venetian, and Tomaso da Imola went to the Shah of Persia and competed with their bombards to ensure his victory against Mohammed II (1472). Then began the centuries during which the Italians on the sea and the Hungarians in continental Europe had to bear the brunt of the Turks. Then very many were the Italians who flocked to Hungary in the Middle Ages; on the end of the century. XIV, the Florentine Filippo Scolari, known as Pippo Spano, had the most delicate offices of the kingdom from King Gismondo (1382), which he defended against the rebel barons and the Turks. After the Spano, Hungary continued to welcome for the whole century. XV a number of Italians, men of arms and engineers. In France in the century XV Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, Lombard, and his nephew Theodore became marshals and governors of provinces; the count of Campobasso and others were in the service of Charles the Bold Duke of Burgundy. The Italians were then considered “the masters of chivalry”. Almost at the same time various Tuscans settled in Poland, including some members of the Torelli family: one of them, count of Montechiarugolo, was the progenitor of the family from which Stanislao Poniatowski general of Charles XII was born, and then Stanislaus Augustus king of Poland.

With the Renaissance, an era of great transformation of the art of war in general, and of fortification in particular, due to the introduction of artillery, our architects from the schools of Urbino, Florence and Rome spread everywhere. In Spain from 1550 to 1700 there are over 150 Italians who were military engineers: among them, in the century. XVI, Benedetto da Ravenna, Gabriele Tadini di Martinengo, Giovan Battista Calvi, who was the first to establish a general system of stable defenses on the peninsula, Giacomo Palearo and Adeodato Ferramolino. Our military engineers also worked in the Spanish American colonies: Battista Antonelli fortified Cuba and Puerto Rico; Cristoforo Bernardini, Diego Giordano and Leonardo Torriano the Philippines; Prospero Casola the Canaries; finally GB Antonelli, that for the works he directed to make the great rivers of Spain navigable, he is considered the “father of inland navigation of Spain”. At the end of the century and in the following one, the engineers Fabio and Francesco Borsotto, father and son, worked in Spain; Tiburzio Spannocchi, a Roman, became chief engineer and member of the supreme council of Castile, participated in the Azores expedition, worked on the fortifications of Pamplona, ​​Lisbon, Cadiz and other cities and established the first state cartographic deposit in Spain. According to MICROEDU.NET, the supreme management of the Spanish navy was held for 32 years by Andrea Doria, assisted by a series of illustrious Genoese admirals. In France in the long period of war between it and the Empire and in the civil wars of religion, the construction of the fortresses and the war operations were largely entrusted to Italian engineers who in France alone were over a hundred. Pietro Strozzi (1510-1558) fought as a general of the galleys in the Franco-English War, defended Metz against Charles V, recaptured Calais from the English, and besieged Thionville (he was then Marshal of France). Among the first engineers who applied the Italian bastion system in northern Europe are Antonio da Castello, Donato Buono dei Pelizzuoli, Giantomaso Scala. The city of Le Havre, very important for its position in front of England, was completely rebuilt with a master plan designed and executed by the Sienese Girolamo Bellarmati, then replaced by Giulio Spinelli of Urbino. In those years there were also in France various members of the family of the counts of Savorgnan, Friulians, of which in a century and a half seven were talented military engineers. Another Friulian, the aforementioned Scala, worked a lot in Champagne, who, among other things, built the Maddalena bastion in Valenciennes (one of the first of this type) and then passed to England and Scotland. Gerolamo Marini, from Bologna, fought for Henry II, fortified Landrecies, strenuously defended Saint-Dizier, besieged by the Spaniards led by Ferrante Gonzaga, while Mario Savorgnano was attacking. In the wars of religion in France he gave his work among others Vincenzo Locatelli, from Cremona, who rebuilt La Rochelle; Marcus Aurelius of Pasino of Ferrara, known as “Maurel” by the French, designed and built the entire city of Sedan and wrote the first fortification treatise in French. With the imperial army he fought Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, that he won the French in the battle of S. Quentin; Francesco Pacciotto from Urbino built the fortress of Antwerp, “queen of the fortresses of Europe”.

Italy Men of Arms 1