Tag: alpini

Loss of the element of surprise
The Austrians do not know the exact day that of the attack on the Plateau: but they certainly know that there will be an attack.
(Colonel Angelo Gatti, 4 June 1917.)
It cannot be ruled out that there may be a surprise attack in Trentino in three or four days' time. The generals who will be in charge have come to witness the recent action at the behest of the Commander. It was an excellent idea. In the event of an...
Mount Ortigara was the scene of the battle that, according to Cadorna, would mark the Italian comeback in Trentino after having checked the enemy at the Battle of Asiago (Strafexpedition). Despite the abundance of men and means at their disposal, the offensive on Ortigara turned into a bloody disappointment. The hardships suffered by the Italian Alpini gave rise to the legendary status of these mountain troops.

The battle of Mount Ortigara was the biggest clash at high altitude, fought during the First World War. Despite the failure of the operation, Ortigara has become a central episode in the Italian epic of the Great War and in the formation of the myth of the Alpini Corps.
The Trentino Salient was the scene of the White War. The rugged terrain of the area made this war a confrontation marked out by sudden attacks of a few hundred soldiers, putting to the test individual skills and military mountaineering. 
In August 1915, the Italian forces launched a heavy offensive on the Trentino Front. The Italian artillery constantly bombarded the Austrian fortifications on the plateau, attempting to destroy them and initiate penetration of the enemy lines. However, the so-called war of the forts had distant origins and its consequences, negligible at the tactical level, showed the inadequacy of the field armies in the new war they were fighting. 
In June,  a long series of bloody Italian offensives began on the Isonzo front. Forced to attack on unfavourable terrain, with  few machine guns and a shortage of heavy artillery, Italian troops were soon forced to an exhausting war of position.
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