Crimean War

Sardinian expeditionary corps
Bersaglieri halt the Russians during the Battle of the Chernaya.
1855 May 9

Sardinian expeditionary corps

Genoa, Metropolitan City of Ge

King Victor Emmanuel II and his prime minister, Count Camillo di Cavour, decided to side with Britain and France in order to gain favour in the eyes of those powers at the expense of Austria, which had refused to join the war against Russia. Sardinia committed a total of 18,000 troops under Lieutenant General Alfonso Ferrero La Marmora to the Crimean Campaign. Cavour aimed to gain the favour of the French regarding the issue of uniting Italy in a war against the Austrian Empire. The deployment of Italian troops to the Crimea, and the gallantry shown by them in the Battle of the Chernaya (16 August 1855) and in the siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855), allowed the Kingdom of Sardinia to attend the peace negotiations for ending the war at the Congress of Paris (1856), where Cavour could raise the issue of the Risorgimento with the European great powers.

A total of 18,061 men and 3,963 horses and mules embarked in April 1855 on British and Sardinian ships in the harbor of Genoa. While the infantry of the line and cavalry units were drawn from soldiers, who had volunteered for the expedition, the Bersaglieri, artillery and sapper troops were dispatched from their regular units. i.e. each of the army's 10 regular Bersaglieri battalions dispatched its first two companies for the expedition, while i.e. the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Provisional Regiment consisted of volunteers from the army's 3rd Line Infantry Regiment. The corps disembarked at Balaklava between 9 May and 14 May 1855.