Author Topic: Isonzo -- Some Impressions from an almost forgotten front  (Read 378 times)

Offline Borsos

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Isonzo -- Some Impressions from an almost forgotten front
« on: June 09, 2017, 03:28:18 AM »
Of course, this is no forum for changing holiday pics  ;) I do it anyway as I hope that some of mine might be of interest for you. Whoever has got the opportunity to visit the Slovenian-Italian border won't only see a beautiful landscape and enjoy great holidays but visit a region that had a totally different appearance 100 years ago: Around the Isonzo (Soça) the most cruel battles on the southwestern front took place between 1915 and 1917, that is between the Italian declaration of war towards Austro-Hungaria in Mai '15 and the 12th Battle on the Isonzo in autumn 1917 which is also known as the Battle of Caporetto and drove the front downwards to the Piave river. The frontline went from the Swiss border to the Mediterranean Sea (shaping a huge "S"), but in Southern Tyrol and Kärnten it was more or less a war without huge offensives. To break through the Austro-Hungarian front at the Isonzo and to conquer Gorizia (Görz) and Trieste (Trst) was the main Italian goal. Therefore they tried to break the deadlock in 11 fierce battles between Bovec in the North and Monfalcone in the South:

Please have a look at all the airfields on this map!

The upper Isonzo river at Karfreit/Kobarid/Caporetto


View on Caporetto like the Austrians and Germans had, attacking from Tolmein, on October 24 1917 in the 12th Battle of Isonzo:


There is also a very nice museum at Caporetto.

Caverns on the Monte S. Michele:

Italian guns on the Monte S. Michele (not identified yet):


The old Austro-Hungarian first line on the Monte San Michele next to Gorizia, where heavy fightings took place in 1916. There the Austro-Hungarians used Poison Gas (Chlorine) for the first time. Contrary to the Western Front, where the gas can spread out the heavy gas clouds poisoned the valleys killing each and everyone there. Neither the Italians nor the Austro-Hungarians had adequate gasmasks in these days.


Not much Aviation related information in the museums. The Museum of the Great War at Gorizia is worth a visit as well.
Sadly the only Aviation related display case there:

Original Austro-Hungarian marking in the background. I don't know if the white of the cross has faded over the years or if they toned it down. In the background a damagened Aviatik D. I, a Phoenix D. I or II and an OEFFAG C. I (?)

The battlefield reconstructed


Much Italian Equipment at the War and Peace museum in Trieste. I love these horse drawn carts...

A beautifully restored 18to truck

Lancia armoured car (post-WWI wheels)

Austro-Hungarian aerial bomb

(Anybody more precise information?)

No information neither besides of "model of an Italian observation ballon".
Borsos
"Deux armées aux prises, c'est une grande armée qui se suicide."
Barbusse.
"Ein Berg in Deutschland kann doch einen Berg in Frankreich nicht beleidigen. Oder ein Fluß oder ein Wald oder ein Weizenfeld."
Remarque.

Online RLWP

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Re: Isonzo -- Some Impressions from an almost forgotten front
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2017, 04:31:36 AM »
Great report, Borsos. Thank you

Richard

Offline Des

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Re: Isonzo -- Some Impressions from an almost forgotten front
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2017, 07:37:07 AM »
Thanks Borsos for the pictures, there is some very interesting information here.

Des.
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Re: Isonzo -- Some Impressions from an almost forgotten front
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2017, 07:57:26 AM »

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Offline Edo

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Re: Isonzo -- Some Impressions from an almost forgotten front
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2017, 03:15:07 PM »
after Caporetto braktrough, austrian troops stormed Friuli region and reached Piave river penetrating many miles the italian lines and leaving italian army completely adrift.
In doing so, they stormed also the village where my grand mother (then a fiew yeat old) lived with her family.
In those days, of fear and hunger, she and other babies and children where put playing on the outside of the stable to disguise the sound on the cow inside form incoming austrian troops looking for something to eat.
The story goes that the cow was spared and all survied those dangerous times and she lived to reach 100 years age.... but I now imagine those soldiers having pity on them and overlooking the stable on purpose....
ciao
edo

Offline Nigel Jackson

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Re: Isonzo -- Some Impressions from an almost forgotten front
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2017, 08:19:04 AM »
Thanks, Borsos. Very interesting.

Best wishes
Nigel

Offline Borsos

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Re: Isonzo -- Some Impressions from an almost forgotten front
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2017, 04:08:53 AM »
Thank you Richard, it's probably a 10 or 20 Kg Carbonit Brandbomb, you are right. Should have seen that, but I am totally uninformed regarding a-h equipment and didn't think about the obvious. I checked my references and yes, the Austro-Hungarians used that kind of German bomb too.

Thank you for sharing that touching memory of your grand mother, Edo. I am caught by the idea that the cattle could be overlooked by intention as an act of humanity. What I didn't know yet and learned now here was that the Austro Hungarian troops were indeed generally short of food supply and hunger was a widespread phenomenon at the a-h front.
All the best
Borsos
"Deux armées aux prises, c'est une grande armée qui se suicide."
Barbusse.
"Ein Berg in Deutschland kann doch einen Berg in Frankreich nicht beleidigen. Oder ein Fluß oder ein Wald oder ein Weizenfeld."
Remarque.