Thursday, February 4, 2010

#049 France...Thanks Christine!

The 0.56c stamp was issued on Jun.24,2009 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle of Solferino.

The Battle of Solferino, (referred to in Italian as the Battle of Solferino and San Martino), was fought on June 24, 1859 and resulted in the victory of the allied French Army under Napoleon III and Sardinian Army under Victor Emmanuel II (together known as the Franco-Sardinian Alliance) against the Austrian Army under Emperor Franz Joseph I; it was the last major battle in world history where all the involved armies were under the personal command of their monarchs. Over 200,000 soldiers fought in this important battle, the largest since the Battle of Leipzig in 1813. There were about 100,000 Austrian troops and a combined total of 118,600 French and allied Piedmontese troops. After this battle, the Austrian Emperor refrained from further direct command of the army.

The battle is especially notable for being witnessed by the Swiss Jean-Henri Dunant. Horrified by the suffering of wounded soldiers left on the battlefield, Dunant set about a process that led to the Geneva Conventions and the establishment of the International Red Cross.

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