Tag: Isonzo

“Wir kamen vor Friaul, Da hätten wir allesamt voll Maul!”
Translation: We came to Friuli, there we all got a mouthful!

(Song from 1540 by Georg Foster, a Landsknecht poet, the title of which - 'Wir zogen in das Feld' - was revisited as 'Wir zogen nach Friaul' in the title of a 1929 bestseller by Helmut Schittenhelm, which gives an eyewitness account of the Battle of Caporetto.)

Lyrics of O Gorizia tu sei maledetta (In english “Oh Gorizia you are cursed), folk song of anonymous author, referring to the battle that led to the Italian conquest of the city, between 7 and 10 August 1916. The song is characterized by strongly anti-military tones. The last verse, often, is not mentioned, because of allegations of insulting the state institutions.
Gorizia in popular song
O Gorizia, you are cursed / for every heart that feels consciousness;...
Averted the danger brought Austrian offensive in Trentino in May, between 9 and 10 August 1916 the Italian Supreme Command unleashed the Sixth Battle of the Isonzo, in which there were losses of 50,000 Italians and 40,000 Austrians. To support the main offensive effort there were the troops of General Luigi Capello (1859 - 1941), who had managed to get a strong artillery mass capable of destroying the Austrian defenses, allowing them to take the city of Gorizia after the bloody battle....
“While death is strolling around Gorizia, meadows and trees bloom everywhere with overwhelming exuberance. It’s like being in the dressing room of a prima donna. However, the women, who are back in the kitchen and help to clean, smile embarrassed, “We are just doing our duty”.  Sure, they forgot to add “For heaven's sake! Don’t mention the war!” ”
(Alice Schalek, Viennese journalist and writer, war correspondent)

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.
The Isonzo valley was the front of intense Italian efforts to open a breach between the Austro-Hungarian defences. The line of combat stretched from Mount Tolmino as far as the sea. 
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.
Because Italy had entered the war to free the 'Irredenta' territories - Trento and Trieste - it was a necessity to attack. On the Isonzo front the Italian supreme commander, General Luigi Cadorna, trusting in a victory in short time, unleashed between June 1915 and August 1917 eleven useless offensives.
On 24 May 1915 Italy fielded on the Isonzo front with an army of nearly one million soldiers on 40 divisions. It was far superior to the number of men and weapons of the Austro-Hungarians. These, however, enjoyed better defensive conditions: the positions of the Austrians were usually higher than the Italian line.
On May 24, Italy entered the war. The initial enthusiasm of the interventionist minority and confidence in a quick and victorious advance on Gorizia, Trieste and then Vienna were soon disproved.
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