I want to share some photos I took last October during my trip to the Dolomites in Italy, specifically images I took when I visited the town of Vittorio Veneto.
For those that don’t know, the Dolomites saw heavy fighting during WWI between the Italians and their Allies (including British and French troops) and the Austro-Hungarians. This theatre of operations saw some extraordinary battles and witnessed some of the most courageous actions of the war carried out in some of the most challenging terrain imaginable.
Those interested in this intriguing corner of WWI could do worse than seek out “The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front 1915-1919” by Mark Thompson.
I have included a few shots of the war memorial in the main square, which includes an unusual set of troughs containing soil from all the major battlefields, which I found surprisingly moving. The sculptural pieces speak for themselves in a very powerful way.
It just so happened that on the fencing opposite the square, surrounding a large villa, there was a series of posters telling the story of the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, marking the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice. These were in the form of reproductions of a rare, special publication produced by Edizioni del Risorgimento in 1923.
The publication is certainly rather nationalistic in tone, glorifying the role of the Italians (and ignoring the role of their Allies) and can be seen to be the precursor of that mood that in due course led to the rise of Mussolini, but it certainly has historical value as a record of an oft-overlooked aspect of the First World War. Even if you can’t read Italian (though Google Translate makes us all linguists nowadays), you can still enjoy the photographs. If there is enough interest, I could obtain a translation of the text (I could do it myself if I had a parallel life) and make it available.
Wikipedia has a decent page about the battle at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vittorio_Veneto
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the images and I recommend a visit to this fascinating and beautiful part of Italy.
P.S. The images are all very high resolution, so you can click on them and zoom in to read the text and maps.