Friday, September 7, 2012
General Ettore Perrone di San Martino
It was also in March of 1848, in the famous “Five Days” that Italian nationalists in Milan rose up and expelled the Austrian garrison. Afterwards, the Provisional Government of Milan gave him the post of Inspector General of the Army of Lombardy and the city of Ivrea nominated him to be their Deputy in the recently formed Subalpine Parliament in Turin. However, General Perrone dismissed all praise for himself, claiming all the time to be nothing more than a humble farmer and foot soldier. Nonetheless, the government in Turin named him Minister of Foreign Affairs though at the same time others cast aspersions on him for his long stay in France and his handling of the army. From October 11 to December 16 he held the post of Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, though his enemies still tried to spread opposition to him. Not allowed to stand for elections, King Carlo Alberto stepped in and appointed him to the rank of general in his army, giving him command of the Third Infantry Division consisting of 12,027 men and 16 canon. It was in this capacity that, the following year, he took part in the pivotal battle of Novara in the First Italian War of Independence.
His funeral services were large affairs attended by many people and his family went on after him. His great-great granddaughter is HM Queen Paola of the Belgians.