Tag: mutinies

At the end of the war the Austro-Hungarian army was shaken by numerous internal revolts due of the continuing conflict, lack of food and nationalist tensions that crossed the multiethnic empire. Episodes of mutiny spread in the rear and in the internal front, while the desertions increased exponentially starting from 1917, especially among Slavic and Hungarian ethnic groups.
Between the end of May and the beginning of June 1917, the French Army on the Western Front was rocked by a wave of rebellion and unprecedented acts of disobedience. A spirit of protest inflamed numerous units, fuelled by the general circumstances in the spring of 1917 - marked by the failure of the great Nivelle Offensive -, the echoes of the Russian Revolution and civilian demonstrations. Units on leave did not want to return to the front line, and those who were already there refused to...
In Italy, torn by inner tensions, military justice  was still regulated by the Military Penal Code of 1869, which envisaged extremely severe penalties. And so dozens of cases of mutiny were punished summarily with decimation. Desertion was also punished in the worst way for the soldiers, in processes without guarantees. A hundred years later we are still discussing on the rehabilitation of soldiers sentenced to death during the Great War.
"What was going on in my head when the war broke out in 1915? We were complete innocents, we did not know why we were going to that war, we knew nothing at all. We only talked about it among ourselves, all of us people without any schooling, that did not read the newspapers (...) at school I had learned the alphabet and how to grow radishes and parsley, I still have the book that six of us children, brothers and sisters, studied."
Pietro Balsamo (Margarita - Cuneo, born in 1894,...
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