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Italy's armed forces at the ready in a 1915 postcard. In the foreground the artillery, infantry, an Alpine soldier (in feathered hat), and a Bersaglieri (in plumed headgear). Behind them are a bugler and lancer; in the distance marines and colonial troops. The Italian navy is off shore, an airship and planes overhead. On the reverse are the lyrics of a patriotic Italian March by Angelo Balladori, lyrics by Enrico Mercatali. It ends with a call to the brothers of Trento and Trieste, Austro-Hungarian territory with large ethnic Italian populations.
Reverse:
Marcia Italica
D'Italia flammeggin le sante bandiere
Baciate dal sole, baciate dal vento,
Su l'aspro sentier di Bezzecca e di Trento
De l'alma Trieste, sul cerulo mar.
. . . 
Fratelli di Trento, Triestini fratelli,
La patria s'è desta alla grande riscossa!
Dell'aquila ingorda la barbara possa
Dai liberi petti domata sarà!


Parole di Enrico Mercatali
Musica di Angelo Balladori.
Casa Editrice Sonzogno - Milano. 1915.

Italy's armed forces at the ready in a 1915 postcard. In the foreground the artillery, infantry, an Alpine soldier (in feathered hat), and a Bersaglieri (in plumed headgear). Behind them are a bugler and lancer; in the distance marines and colonial troops. The Italian navy is off shore, an airship and planes overhead. On the reverse are the lyrics of a patriotic Italian March by Angelo Balladori, lyrics by Enrico Mercatali. It ends with a call to the brothers of Trento and Trieste, Austro-Hungarian territory with large ethnic Italian populations.

Image text

Reverse:

Marcia Italica

D'Italia flammeggin le sante bandiere

Baciate dal sole, baciate dal vento,

Su l'aspro sentier di Bezzecca e di Trento

De l'alma Trieste, sul cerulo mar.

. . .

Fratelli di Trento, Triestini fratelli,

La patria s'è desta alla grande riscossa!

Dell'aquila ingorda la barbara possa

Dai liberi petti domata sarà!





Parole di Enrico Mercatali

Musica di Angelo Balladori.



Casa Editrice Sonzogno - Milano. 1915.

Other views: Larger, Back

Saturday, August 14, 1915

"At 03:00 on 14 August, the artillery opens up. Under cover of the darkness and thundering guns, the Bersaglieri crawl up the trackless hillside. More than once, Bonamore slithers back 20 or 30 metres. They stop some 200 metres below the enemy line and huddle for warmth. Bonamore sleeps 'for an hour or so leaning on the knees of Sergeant Meda who in turn was leaning against a tree trunk so as not to fall'. The climbing sun reveals them to the Austrians, who rake the mountainside with shrapnel. The Italians press themselves against the rocks, and wait. The wire-cutting detail is highest up the slope."

Quotation Context

The Italian attack began 20 minutes after the artillery barrage stopped at 12:15. The artillery had not cut the Austro-Hungarian wire, and the wire-cutters were killed before they could complete their mission. The infantry were slaughtered by the defenders. Those who tried to retreat were cut down. Those who survived were hidden from the Austro-Hungarian defenders, yet too close to the enemy line to call for artillery attacks on it. Some 50 men made it back to their lines after nightfall. The account, in Thompson's The White War, is based on that of Italian infantryman Virgilio Bonamore, who fought the Austro-Hungarians in the Julian Alps. The Bersaglieri were light infantry regiments identifiable by the cockerel feathers that adorned their hats.

Source

The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front, 1915-1919 by Mark Thompson, page 110, copyright © 2008 Mark Thompson, publisher: Basic Books, publication date: 2009

Tags

1915-08-14, 1915, August, Italian Army, Austro-Hungarian Army