Tag: Gustavo Corni

Yesterday I visited the battlefield of last year. The place was scarcely recognisable. Instead of a wilderness of ground torn up by shell, the ground was a garden of wild flowers and tall grasses. Most remarkable of all was the appearance of many thousands of white butterflies which fluttered around. It was as if the souls of the dead soldiers had come to haunt the spot where so many fell. It was eerie to see them. And the silence! It was so still that I could almost hear the beat of the...
Over the course of the First World War, even given its prolongation and the increasing number of victims, the acceptance of obedience to political power changed into an open justification of war in religious terms: war as a sacrifice, as a crusade. However, this sanctification of the war, twisted for the purposes of a national religious discourse, was in sharp contrast to the action of the Pontiff who, in August 1917, replied with a famous Note to the leaders of the belligerent peoples, in...
Erwin Rommel was born in 1891 in the town of Heidenheim an der Brenz (Baden-Württemberg) to the secondary school teacher and later headmaster Erwin Rommel Sr. and Helene Lutz. His family was typical of the educated middle class. National Socialist propaganda created a very different family history, depicting him as coming from a working-class background and thus as a  model of the ability of children from the lower classes to rise to the highest career levels in Hitler's Third Reich.
He...
The Great War profoundly changed the everyday life of society, as well as its institutions. The enlisted men and the areas of the fighting were the hardest hit. However, not even the civilians and the rear guard were spared. Gradually, the war impacted, in a somewhat direct way, all aspects of civic life and brought about enduring transformations.
 

Military occupation and relations between occupiers and occupied
by Gustavo Corni
The Battle of Verdun, fought between the French and German armies on the Meuse between February and December 1916, was the longest battle of the First World War. This battle of attrition, whose symbolic impact greatly exceeded its strategic and political importance at the time, became the metonymic expression of the horrors of modern warfare.

 
Fritz Weber, Austrian writer and journalist, was born in 1895 and died in Vienna in 1972. He participated in the Great War and told of his experiences in many books. As artillery officer, he served for the entire duration of the conflict on the Italian front, first over the Plateau and then on the Isonzo. At the conclusion of the war, he was deployed on the Piave Front and participated in the last battle fought by the imperial Austro-Hungarian army. No doubt, Fritz Weber’s most successful book...
From the circular of the Supreme Command of 15 July 1915 dictating the tactical lines for the attack
The troops with bayonets erupt with the maximum violence possible through the gaps opened in the fences to conquer the trenches closest to the adversary. Thus they move toward the main objective, reinforced by other troops arriving in intermittent waves. The main target was the occupation of the trenches rather than the following enemy lines of defence.
 
From...
Ivan Stanislavovic Bloch, who was born in Radom in 1836 and died in Warsaw in 1902, lived in the part of Poland under Czarist domination. A Jew converted to Calvinism, he was a successful businessman and banker. Already very rich and sensitive to the closelink between the economy and society, he retired from business to devote himself to his studies. He had been struck by the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/71, which had showed new features compared to previous wars. He devoted...
Are defined as “Francs-tireurs” those irregular combatants who, without uniform, make disruptive actions against a regular army. They are civilians, or disbanded soldiers, to whom the law of war does not recognize the status of fighter. Already in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 French civilians had taken up arms to attack the Prussian troops behind or so considered not suited to military traditions. The mobilization of French civilians was the result of the revolutionary tradition and...
In the decades preceding the Great War, industrial development and the ambitions of the great powers generated an exponential growth of the armed forces and the arms industry. The arms race caused a situation of growing tension, which led to the outbreak of war.

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