The battle of Solferino, fought on June 24, 1859, was the decisive action of the Franco Austrian War. Fought near Lake Garda in northern Italy, it was the largest European battle since Leipzig in 1813 with over a quarter of a million combatants. In the presence of three crowned heads of state Napoleon III of France, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria and Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont Sardinia (later the King of all Italy) the armies clashed in a bitterly fought contest that would leave more than 40,000 dead and give the battle a reputation for savagery that would inspire not only the formation of the Red Cross, but also the first Geneva Convention. As a crucial climax to the Second Italian War of Independence, this title covers the build up to the battle, including actions at Montebello, Palestro and Magenta that led to the decisive moment of the campaign. Full color battlescene artwork and detailed maps illustrate this comprehensive account of the commanders, armies, plans and aftermath of one of the bloodiest battles of the period.