Vittorio Veneto

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Most wargamers will not be all to familiar with Vittorio Veneto. Its a small town located some 70 kilometers north of Venice between the rivers Piave to the west and Livenza to the east. It was created from two old towns, Ceneda and Serravalle, that historically reach far back at least into early Christian times. This happened shortly after the annexion of Veneto into the Kingdom of Italy in 1866.

You will find that Vittorio Veneto is quite significant for Italy’s national narrative. A Museum of the Battle of Vittorio Veneto is dedicated to the events that unfolded here and in the entire region of northern Veneto in 1917 and 1918.

veneto_museo_battaglia_ingresso  veneto_museo_battaglia1

During the Great War of 1915 to 1918 Italy was occupied right up to the river Piave by the Austro-Hungarians after the 1917’s Strafexpedition. The occupation lasted until the last Italian offensive 24 October to 3 November 1918. Here, after much frustration about the conduct of the war, in the Battle of Vittorio-Veneto at last the break through was achieved and  vicory over the Austro-Hungarians finally secured.

veneto_museo_battaglia2-676x1024The museum I find quite interesting for its exposition of equipment but even more so for its dedication to the Italian national narrative. The exposition makes it quite clear what a senseless massacre unfolded over the course of events. Italian units in 1915 were often send into the fighting with virtually no military training. The weapons and technology were modern, but the tactics were unsuited for this kind of warfare thus resulting in extreme casualty rates. No wonder the Italian army faced its first mass mutinies as early as 1915, only months after the entrance into the war.

In the end it would cost Italy 460.000 KIA / MIA and a total of 651.000 military deaths to add the region of Alto-Adige, the city of Triest to the Kingdom of Italy, and to get a free hand to persue its colonial adventures in Northern Africa.

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