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Lorenzo Bernardino Pinto

Bianzé, 9 August 1704 – Turin, 18 March 1788

Count of Barri di Massone

Son of Giuseppe Antonio, he entered in 1733 with the rank of second lieutenant in the Corps of
Engineers. He took his first experience of war during the War of Polish Succession (1733-1738),
after which follows the rank of Captain. The War of Austrian Succession sees him constantly
engaged to the front. In the autumn of 1744 he was the at siege of Cuneo, where he worked closely
with the governor Leutrum. Pinto was not limited to design and direct the defensive works, but was
present in the very first line. On 18 October 1744, while checking the status of the walls of the Stura
Redoubt, he was buried by the explosion of a mine that decimated the local guard. Pinto was
extracted from the rubble by the survivors, fainting, half suffocated, but still alive. After the
victorious siege, general Leutrum wanted him at his side during the great counteroffensive against
the French-Spanish forces in early 1746. This action led to the conquest of Asti and the release of
the blockade of the Citadel in Alexandria. In the winter of that year between the months of
November and December, he had the direction of the siege of Fort Priamar in the port of Savona.
Pinto had to deal with a large fortress, well equipped with artillery and ammunition, defended by a
garrison determined to resist. The engineer thought he could bend the stubborn resistance of the
Ligurian garrison using the firepower of its siege artillery park, 40 guns and 24 mortars pounded
relentlessly attacking the front for 18 days, throwing against walls Priamar 17,000 cannonballs and
4,000 bombs filled with explosives. Agostino Adorno, governor of the fort, at the first practicable
breach, had to surrender. Despite the excellent record of service, Pinto’s career was slow. Still
Captain at the end of hostilities, he must face the distrust of the powerful Minister of War
Giovambattista Bogino, who preferred Ignazio Bertola and his son. However, the 28 April 1747 he
received the Cross of Knight of St. Maurice. At the death of Bertola, in May 1755, Pinto was
promoted to colonel and commander of the Corps of Engineers of HM. Then he began the
reconstruction works of the Fort and Fort Exilles and Demonte. On 12 January 1761 he was ranked
Brigadier General, the 20 December 1766 received the title of Count of Barri (Bar Massone, Nice),
with an income of 5,000 Livres. In 1774 the new King Vittorio Amedeo III promoted him
Lieutenant General and Chef of Engineers that became in 1775 the new politically powerful Royal
Corps of Engineers. Both opposed by Bogino, as appreciated by Vittorio Amedeo III, Pinto
persuaded the king to rebuild the Fortress of Tortona, whose work began in August 1773. The 23
October 1779 he received the Great Cross of St. Maurice and Lazarus. Lorenzo Pinto Bernardino
Count Barri died in Turin in 1788, while around his masterpiece, the Fort of San Vittorio di
Tortona, yet to be completed jobs to counterscarps of deep ditches. The explicit command of the
Sovereign the Engineer was buried in the Church of the Beato Amedeo placed inside the Fort of
San Vittorio. During the dismantling of the fortress, Napoleon ordered the remains of the engineer
to be transferred to Alessandria.

1704, Born, 9 April

1733, Lieutenant of engineers

1738, Captain

1747, 28 April, Cross of Knight of St. Maurice and Lazarus.

1755, Colonel and commander of the Corps of Engineers of HM

1761, 12 January, Brigadier General

1766, 20 December, Count of Barri

1774, Lieutenant General and Chef of Engineers

1779, Great Cross of St. Maurice and Lazarus

1788, Died, 18 March

Fortress Built by LB Pinto


Fort of Demonte
Fort of Exilles
Fort of Tortona
(all rebuilt after the Austrian Succession War)

Giovanni Cerino-Badone