The History Place - World War I

Looking though his binoculars is Col. Pepino Garibaldi, a grandson of the Italian patriot who had defeated the Austrians back in 1866. He joined the same Italian Alpine unit founded by his grandfather, vowing along with his four brothers to defeat the Austrians once more. Below Left: Austrian mountain troops ascend to gain a tactical advantage over the Italians. Below Right: Austria's best soldiers, its elite mountain ski troops, prepare to move out.


Below Left: Italian frontline troops in their mountain trenches amid the snow and barbed wire. The harsh terrain made supplying the troops very difficult. The Italians were also at a disadvantage against well-entrenched Austrian positions--most of which had been set up before the war for border security. The Austrians had carefully plotted the artillery range of every nearby site. They simply waited for the Italians to make a move, then blasted them. Below Right: Italians wounded in the Isonzo River Valley, a mobile and much more lethal front compared to the mainly defensive mountain trench positions. Early successes by the Italians against the Austrians in the Isonzo were negated when German troops propped up the sagging Austrian Army and launched combined Austro-German attacks.


Below: An Italian examines some captured Austrian artillery shells.

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