Joseph Wenzel Radetzky, count, an Austrian general, born at Trzebnitz, Bohemia, Nov. 2, 1766, died in Milan, Jan. 5, 1858. He was in active service from 1784, and in 1805 was made a major general. He contributed much to the victory at Aspern and Essling, May 21 and 22, 1809, and commanded the Austrian cavalry at the battle of Wagram, having been raised to the rank of lieutenant field marshal. After the peace he was made chief of the quartermaster general's staff, and councillor of the minister of war, in which capacity he had a large share in the reorganization of the army. In the campaigns of 1813-'14 and 1815 he was chief of the staff of Field Marshal Schwarzenberg, had an important share in the victory at Kulm, and was severely wounded at the battle of Leipsic. In 1831 he took command of the Austrian troops in Italy, and in 1836 was made field marshal. During the revolution of 1848, though an octogenarian, he evinced remarkable vigor and equal ability as a commander. From March 18 to March 23 combats between the Austrian troops and the insurgents constantly took place in the streets of Milan. On the latter day Ra-detzky evacuated the city and retreated behind the Mincio, with his headquarters at Verona; but the advance of Charles Albert at the head of a large army compelled him to retire behind the Adige. After the reduction of Peschiera by the Sardinian army, May 30, he feigned a general retreat, reduced Vicenza, Treviso, and Padua, thus securing his rear, and rapidly returned to Verona. His victory at Custozza (July 25) forced the Piedmontese to retreat, and from this time the success of the Austrians was assured.
Milan capitulated on Aug. 6, and an armistice of six weeks was agreed upon between Sardinia and Austria. Charles Albert having resumed hostilities in March, 1849, Ra-detzky invaded Piedmont, and on March 23 gained the decisive victory of Novara. He now marched against Venice, which after a protracted siege finally surrendered, Aug. 23. Radetzky was made governor general and military commander of the whole country, the duties of which situation he performed with unmitigated rigor. On Feb. 28, 1857, at the age of 90, he retired from command.