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Battle of Salerno (Magnam Europae)

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Battle of Salerno
Date:

31 March 923

Location:

Salerno

Result:

Carolingian victory

Belligerents

Oriflamme du Christophorus I (893-930) Carolingian Empire

No flag League of Napoli

Commanders

Oriflamme du Christophorus I (893-930) Christophorus I

No flag Atenulf III †

Strength
Casualties and Losses
  

The Battle of Salerno was a conflict in 923 between the Carolingian Empire and the League of Napoli. Following the loss of Benevento, the League of Napoli consolidated its armies, allowing them to hold out against the Carolingians for about a year. Following several breaches in their defenses, however, the League of Napoli began to retreat more and more before the Carolingians were able to invade their capital city in 923. The Battle of Salerno is generally seen as the end of the Italian Wars.

Background

The defense of the northern Napolitan borders was relatively successful for the League of Napoli for a year. While the defenses were sometimes breached, the Carolingians were distracted with taking back the southern Ravenna territories and protecting them from Sicilian attacks. In January of 923, however, the Carolingians began increasing the brunt of their attacks, leading to successful invasions of the League's northern borders. As towns fell, the League rallied back to Salerno. In March, the Carolingians attacked Salerno, the head city of the League of Napoli.

History

Salerno was attacked on several sides. A naval invasion from the Tyrrhenian Sea along with an invasion from the north occurred on the last day of March, 923. The Carolingians set fire to the northern parts of the city while the harbor suffered minimal damage as the Carolingians intended to protect the harbor. The League of Napoli was unable to send in reinforcements, resulting in the quick fall of Salerno. By the end of the day, the League of Napoli had lost its capital. Atenulf III was executed the following day.

Legacy

Following the loss of Salerno, the League of Napoli became a loose conglomeration of rebelling cities and towns for the next year. Overall, the League had ceased to be a real threat to the Carolingian presence in Italy. In 924, following prolonged invasions by the Carolingians and threats by the Sicilian Emirate, the League surrendered officially to the Carolingian Empire.

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