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The Czech Mint pays tribute to one of the greatest Czech commanders and his triumph at the Battle of Custoza by issuance of the ninth gold medal from the author cycle of Karel Zeman entitled History of Warcraft.
Joseph Wenceslaus Radetzky of Radetz was born into an old Czech aristocratic family in 1766, and although the doctor said he was sick that he would not be able to handle the service, he refused to give up his dream of a military career. He helped to free Belgrade and Bucharest from Constantinople supremacy in the Russo-Turkish War, and quickly grew up as a command without any protection. He was given the opportunity to shine during the Napoleonic Wars. His tactics undermined the worldly plans of the French Emperor at the Battle of Nations at Leipzig in 1813. As a true commander, Radetzky learned from the French and pushed through the reform of the Austrian army, which earned him the rank of field marshal. As years passed, Radetzky had to face another enemy - nationalism, which threatened to destroy the monarchy in which he believed without limits. The desire of nation for self-determination grew into an armed uprising against the Habsburgs in 1848. Radetzky commanded troops in the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venice in Italy. Charles Albert, King of the neighboring sovereign Sardinian Kingdom, decided to unite the fragmented Apennine Peninsula in order to become the ruler of all Italians. He sent a hundred thousand army to his brothers suffering under the Habsburg supremacy. The well-fortified Radetzky outlived the attack of the Sardinian forces, and as soon as he gathered enough men, he launched a counterattack. The decisive conflict took place near Custoza on 25 July. The eighty-one-year-old marshal did not hesitate to support his men directly in the front line and the Austrians celebrated the victory. Charles Albert was forced to retreat and shortly thereafter signed a truce. He repeated his attempt the following year, but Radetzky thwarted his efforts…
Field marshal is depicted in salute with raised hat on the obverse side of the medal. “When thinking about the proposal for a medal of Joseph Wenceslaus Radetzky of Radetz, I heard the melody of Radetzky marsh in my ears. That is why I portrayed him after his return from the victorious campaigns in Italy, when he was welcomed by a military band with this piece composed by Johann Strauss the Elder in September 1849, ” the author of the medal and academic painter Karel Zeman explains. The reverse side was dedicated to the scene from the Battle of Custoza. In the foreground there is a military trumpeter playing the attack signal, and in the background there is a clash of another Austrian trumpeter with a Piedmont rider.
The schedule if issuance of a gold medal has been limited to only 100 pieces. Each medal is hand-numbered on the edge and it is supplemented with a special certificate of authenticity containing the author's accompanying word and historical text.
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