The battle of Solferino, 1859

Nearly 160 years ago, Frenchmen and Sardinians fought against the young Austrian emperor Franz Josef, in order to drive the Habsburgs out of northern Italy. The horrors witnessed by Dunant in the wake of the Battle of Solferino on June 24, 1859 and his ensuing humanitarian appeal led to creation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, which today comprises 186 National Societies with millions of members, as well as the two international bodies – the ICRC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.