The year of blood.
January: Winter battle in the Carpathians.
22 March: The Russians occupy the fortified town of Przemysl; among the 120.000 prisoners there are some Ampezzani. 40.000 Austro-Hungarians die during the siege .
6 February: The Austro-Hungarian offensive begins by the river San; the PASQUA battle.
The soldiers who die in the battle are to be added to those who freeze to death, of hunger, typhus, cholera and diseases caused by lack of hygiene, slime, dirtiness, lice and deafening noises.
The human losses are huge on that very long front: about one death per linear meter on each side!
More than 40 Tiroleans from Ampezzo fall on that front, included some missing soldiers.
In Ampezzo there is great sorrow and sadness for the victims. Since the best working force is absent, the economy and the people’s morale feel deeply affected too. Both the town council and the citizens subscribe such an amount of war loans which was defined "fabulous".
After a year of neutrality, the number of Italians who supported a war on the Habsburg Empire’s side was diminishing. Italy took advantage of the situation and began to double cross; on the one side it claimed the assignment of Trento and Trieste from Austria, in return for a possible cobelligerency; on the other it made contact with France and Great Britain in order to obtain
even more than that in exchange for the opening of a third front.
It was dangerous for Austria to yield to the Italian claims because it would have started a chainreaction in other nationalities of the Empire, thus ? causing its downfall as actually happened in 1918.
The Irredentists from Trento were 5%; those from Ampezzo fewer than those.
In order not to open another front against Italy, Vienna declared for greater concessions up to offering the entire Trentino, excluding the Ladin Valleys and Ampezzo. However the new Allies offered even more to Italy: the entire South Tirol up to Brennero, Istria , Dalmatia, the protectorate over Albania and other minor territories (not theirs); they made also a secret agreement according to which they bound themselves to come into the war on the Entente’s side within one month. The decision was taken without consulting the will of the nation.
In Italy the majority was in favour of peace. The Catholics, many socialists and Giolitti, Prime Minister up until 1914, declared their neutrality. The interventionists against Austria, headed by Cesare Battisti, Gabriele d’Annunzio, Ettore Tolomei and Benito Mussolini, were a minority.
They were supported by the industry and by the king himself who on 16 May confirmed the interventionist Salandra as Prime Minister. Groups of armed people threatened the members of Parliament and of the Senate who did not want to vote for the war.
How much suffering and how many deaths could be avoided and how many profits lost for the industry.
18 April: Sunday: in Cortina general medical examination for call-up for men aged from 37 to 42.
26 April: Italy, France, Great Britain and Russia sign the Treaty of London thus binding Italy to come into the war on the Entente’s side within a month from then.
2 May: Austro-German victory against the Russians in Gorlice. Poland is given back to the Habsburg Empire.
3 May: Italy advises Vienna and Berlin that it re-treats and abandons the Triple Alliance.
Austria, as the declaration of war was a matter of days, increased the offer of cessions, but to no use. The very long border with Italy was all dismantled and undefended. A restless activity started in order to make up the resistence. It was decided to abandon the Valley of Ampezzo in order to gather the available troops in strategic points where some trenches were quickly prepared. The military Commands, aware of the inadequacy of the defences, resigned to losing South Tirol.
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