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Battle of Piave, 15-23 June 1918 (10 of 10)

Battle of Piave, 15-23 June 1918 (10 of 10)



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Battle of Piave, 15-23 June 1918 (10 of 10)

Picture provided by Josh Edin


Second Battle of the Piave River explained

The Second Battle of the Piave River, fought between 15 and 23 June 1918, was a decisive victory [3] [4] for the Italian Army against the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War I. Though the battle proved to be a decisive blow to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and by extension the Central Powers, its full significance was not initially appreciated in Italy. Yet Erich Ludendorff, on hearing the news, is reported to have said he 'had the sensation of defeat for the first time'. [5] It would later become clear that the battle was in fact the beginning of the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. [6]


Battle of Vittori Veneto - 1918

Summary:
Following the Battle of Caporetto, Italy had lost over 300,000 soldiers. General Armando Diaz took over as commander in chief.

General Diaz set out to salvage the front line of troops along the Piave River.

General Diaz also abstained from counterattacking the Austro-Hungarian troops following the offensive in June 1918. News of the Allied victory on the Western Front lifted the spirits of Italy, and General Diaz planned an offensive at Vittorio Veneto. The Italians planned to cross the Piave and thrust across the two units of the Austro-Hungarian Army on the opposite bank.

On October 24, 1918, while having engaged the Austro-Hungarian troops in battle at Monte Grappa, the Italian Third Army made a valiant attempt to cross the river. Initially occupying the Papadopoli Island, the army crossed over to the other side. Having won over Vittorio Veneto, the Italian army made a move to close the retreat path of the Central troops. On November 3, 1918, armistice was signed and war ended on November 4.

Outcome:
The Austro-Hungarian Army lost over 30,000 soldiers in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. Over 300,000 soldiers were taken captive by the Italians. The Italian losses numbered 38,000, the French lost 145 soldiers, and 374 British casualties were recorded. Apart from ending war on the Italian Front, the Battle of Vittorio Veneto marked the political disintegration of Austria-Hungary as an Empire.


9. Battle of Arras (278,000 total casualties)


By 1917, the Western Front had been at a stalemate for two years. Many bloody battles, including the slaughterhouses at Verdun and the Somme, had resulted on millions of casualties on both sides, and Europe was growing weary of the war. The Allied high command needed to break the German lines and advance. The German army was by now numerically inferior, and a solid victory breaking the German lines could easily end the war. As a result, a plan was formed to assault the German trenches at the town of Arras, which, combined with a French assault to the South, was hoped would finally break the deadlock on the Western Front and bring about an Allied victory. The Battle of Arras opened on 9 April, 1917, and initial efforts led to the capture of the strategically important Vimy Ridge by Canadian forces and to major gains by British forces in the center. However, when the battle closed on 16 May, 1917, the British advance had been halted. Although tactically a British victory, the battle did not result in the hoped for breakthrough, and was ultimately indecisive. The British lost 158,000 casualties in the assault, to a German loss of 120,000.


3. The Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC)

A largely fictional recounting of the Battle of Thermopylae has recently gained popular attention thanks to the 2006 Hollywood blockbuster 300.

The truth is that the real battle involved more than 300 Spartans &mdash estimates are closer to 2,000 soldiers, made up of Spartans, Helots, Thebans, and Thespians. These troops held the narrow coastal pass at Thermopylae against the armies of the Persian King Xerxes.

Though the Spartan forces were greatly outnumbered, they managed to buy time for Greek forces to arrive and push back the Persian army. It is known by historians as a great example of tactical use of terrain for a force's advantage, as well as the strength of a patriotic army defending its homeland.


Indice

Le origini della divisione si fanno risalire alla Brigata "Abruzzi", costituita il 16 ottobre 1861 con alle dipendenze il 57º ed il 58º Reggimento fanteria e sciolta nel 1871 insieme a tutte le brigate permanenti. Ricostituita nel 1881, partecipò alla guerra italo-turca ed alla prima guerra mondiale. Il 31 dicembre 1926, in esecuzione del nuovo ordinamento dello stesso anno che istituiva le brigate su tre reggimenti di arma base, la Brigata "Abruzzi" viene nuovamente sciolta il 57º Reggimento fanteria "Abruzzi" viene assegnato alla IX Brigata di fanteria, il 58º alla X. Quest'ultima è da considerarsi erede delle tradizioni della "Abruzzi" in quanto in seguitò le sarà restituito il 57º ed, insieme al 20º Reggimento artiglieria per Divisione di fanteria, entrerà a far parte, prima della Divisione Militare Territoriale di Bologna e poi della Divisione Militare Territoriale di Padova. Nel 1934 tale unità viene trasformata in reparto operativo ed assume la denominazione di Divisione di fanteria del Piave (10ª), con la brigata che quindi diventa Brigata di fanteria del Piave (X) articolata sui reggimenti 58° "Abruzzi", 56° "Marche" e 71° "Puglie". [1]

Nel 1939, un nuovo riordino porta allo scioglimento delle brigate indivisionate, cosicché si costituisce a Padova la 10ª Divisione fanteria autotrasportabile "Piave" con alle dirette dipendenze il 57º ed il 58º Reggimento fanteria "Abruzzi" ed il 20º Reggimento artiglieria da campagna.

Il 10 giugno 1940, giorno della dichiarazione di guerra a Francia ed Inghilterra, la "Piave" è dislocata in Veneto tra Padova, Vicenza e Treviso, dove rimarrà per tutto l'anno. Nella prima metà del febbraio 1941 la grande unità viene trasferita in Sicilia, tra Casteltermini, Canicattì, Aragona e Mussomeli ed assegnata alla difesa delle coste meridionali dell'isola, come riserva del XII Corpo d'armata. Qui viene riorganizzata in divisione motorizzata, [2] assumendo il denominativo di Divisione fanteria motorizzata "Piave" (10ª).

Con l'inizio dell'invasione della Jugoslavia, la divisione viene spostata al confine giuliano, attestandosi sulla linea di confine tra Abbazia-Villa del Nevoso-San Pietro del Carso. Nel mese di maggio 1941 viene nuovamente trasferita, questa volta in Liguria tra Savona e Genova, dove rimane di presidio fino ad ottobre 1942. A novembre si sposta nel territorio d'occupazione in Francia, schierandosi tra Saint-Tropez-Grimaud-Le Lue.

Lo stesso argomento in dettaglio: Mancata difesa di Roma.

Ai primi di gennaio del 1943, la Divisione "Piave" torna in patria e viene dislocata nelle zone di Velletri-Sezze-Priverno. In agosto viene inserita nel Corpo d'Armata Motocorazzato, costituito nell'estate del 1943 al comando del generale Giacomo Carboni per la difesa della capitale. Alla "Piave" viene assegnato un settore ad arco immediatamente a nord della città, tra la località di Ottavia sulla via Trionfale, la Giustiniana sulla via Cassia e le due sponde del fiume Tevere, tra via Flaminia e via Salaria nei pressi di Castel Giubileo. Il dispositivo viene immediatamente coinvolto dagli eventi conseguenti all'armistizio di Cassibile: le unità della divisione in trasferimento verso Palombara Sabina vengono attaccate da forze tedesche nella zona di Due Ponti presso Monterotondo. La reazione è immediata e violenta, tanto da costringere i tedeschi a ritirarsi nell'abitato di Monterotondo ed a trattare con il Comando della Divisione. Quando l'eroica resistenza delle forze italiane della capitale viene piegata dalla Wehrmacht, la "Piave" è l'unica grande unità a non dover consegnare le armi: infatti, rimaneggiata nell'ordine di battaglia, la grande unità viene posta agli ordini del Comando della Città aperta di Roma per servizi di ordine pubblico, per essere infine sciolta il 23 settembre 1943.


De italienske styrkene [ rediger | rediger kilde ]

De italienske styrkene var sterkt medtatte etter nederlaget etter Caporetto-offensiven, så de ble forsterket med franske og britiske styrker slik at fronten kunne stabiliseres. Fram til dette hadde de italienske styrkene kjempet alene. De aller fleste av de britiske og franske styrkene ble imidlertid sendt tilbake til vestfronten da tyskerne igangsatte sin overraskende våroffensiv i mars.

Den italienske øverstkommanderende Luigi Cadorna fikk sparken etter Caporetto, og ble erstattet av Armando Diaz. Diaz fokuserte på å styrke hæren og forsterke forsvarslinjen langs Piave. Hans analyse av nederlaget ved Caporetto fortalte at dette kom som følge av manglende mobilitet, for stramt defensivt opplegg og et for sentralisert kommando- og kontrollsystem. Videre manglet forsvaret dybde.

Diaz forkastet derfor skyttergravskrigen og utviklet i stedet et svært mobilt defensivt system, med mindre enheter som selv kunne bestemme fram- eller tilbaketrekning, bevege seg friere i frontområdet og kunne selv anmode om artilleristøtte. I tillegg organiserte Diaz 13 motoriserte divisjoner med 6𧄀 lastebiler som en sentral reserve som kunne settes inn der hvor behovene var størst.

Diaz gjennomførte store reformer og bedret forholdene for soldatene med bedre rasjoner, lønn og permisjonsordninger, samt gratis livsforsikringer. Videre fikk Diaz produsert mer artilleri, herunder 3𧋴 nye kanoner og sørget for å få etablert 25 nye divisjoner.


The Western Front

The western front in Europe opened with a German invasion and continued through four years of bloody combat in World War I.

Learning Objectives

Discuss the importance of the Battles of Verdun, Somme, and Passchendaele on the western front

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • The German invasion of Belgium, which resulted in mass civilian casualties, prompted the British to enter the war and mobilized Allied publics around the world.
  • The western front saw the use of new attack methods, including poison gas, aircraft, and tanks, as well as the introduction of airplanes built for combat, which was responsible for mass casualties on both sides.
  • The Battle of Verdun, the Battle of the Somme, and the Battle of Passchendaele resulted in more than a million casualties on the western front.
  • After the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which closed the eastern front, Germans were able to make significant advances during the German Spring Offensive of 1918. Yet the massive casualties sustained along the western front led Germany to sue for peace in 1918.

Key Terms

  • Battle of Verdun: One of the longest and most devastating battles of World War I. Fought on the western front in northeastern France between the German and French armies from February 21 to December 18, 1916, Verdun resulted in a total of 698,000 battlefield deaths: 362,000 French and 336,000 German.
  • German Spring Offensive: A series of attacks beginning on March 21, 1918, in which Germany made its final major advance on the western front as a last ditch attempt at victory before the overwhelming human and material resources of the United States could be deployed. The effort was fueled by the nearly 50 divisions freed by the Russian surrender under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
  • Schlieffen Plan: The German Army strategy, designed by Chief of Staff Alfred von Schlieffen, for quickly overwhelming French forces in the course of an invasion by attacking the French along their shared border and then falling back in the south so that the French would counterattack with reinforcements from the north, allowing the Germans to sweep down and encircle the French Army. The gambit failed when Schlieffen’s replacement as army chief of staff, Helmuth von Moltke, failed to follow its directives, resulting in prolonged trench warfare.

Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the German Army opened the western front by invading Luxembourg and Belgium, and then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The invasion of Belgium brought in its protector, Great Britain, who fought with the French against Germany and its ally Austria-Hungary along a long line of fortified positions that began a deadly new form of confrontation known as “trench warfare.”

The Western Front Opens

The opening of the western front occurred at the beginning of the conflict in the summer of 1914 when, rather than attack France directly on its smaller shared border, Germany swept to the west through Luxembourg and Belgium and then turned south in order to enter France across its northern border. This was a modified version of a German invasion blueprint known as the ” Schlieffen Plan,” named for Germany Army Chief of Staff Alfred von Schlieffen, who designed the strategy to quickly overwhelm the French Army.

In its original form, the Schlieffen Plan called for German forces along the French border to attack to the south in areas such as Strasbourg and then pull back in a feigned defeat, causing the French Army to surge south with reinforcement troops and leaving the north weakened. This allowed Germany to push down from the north and make a move to encircle the French forces. This was countered, however, when the new chief of staff, Helmuth von Moltke, diverted from the original plan and attacked in the south rather than fall back. Many historians assert this was due to Moltke’s indecision at the time of the French invasion: He feared a Russian attack in the east but also was enticed by an unplanned chance of victory at Lorraine where he was meant to withdraw.

The initial invasion into France saw the Germans fight the Allies in the Battle of the Frontiers, a series of engagements in eastern France and southern Belgium, until they were nearing the outskirts of Paris. In a counterattack along the Marne River from September 5–12, 1917, which came to be known as the “First Battle of the Marne,” or the “Miracle of the Marne,” six French combat groups with the help of the British Expeditionary Force pushed the Germans northwest back toward their own border.

This began the so-called “Race to the Sea,” a series of battles in which the sides tried to outflank each other in the direction of France’s Atlantic coast. The race resulted in no clear advantage for either the Central Powers or the Allies, who faced off and dug in along a meandering series of fortified trenches that ran up through eastern and northern France into Belgium, a line of “trench warfare” that remained essentially unchanged for most of the war.

Critical and Crippling Battles

Between 1916 and 1917, there were several major offensives in the west. Yet a combination of entrenchments, machine gun nests, barbed wire, and artillery repeatedly inflicted severe casualties on both sides and prevented any significant advances. Among the most costly of these offensives were the Battle of Verdun, the Battle of the Somme, and the Battle of Passchendaele.

The Battle of Verdun began in February 1916. Over the summer and fall, the French slowly advanced and pushed the Germans back in one of the biggest battles of the war that became a symbol of French determination and sacrifice. Yet the price was high, both in numbers and morale. By the end of the Battle of Verdun in December, French casualties are estimated to have reached more than 337,000, including approximately 162,000 dead and missing total German casualties have been estimated around 337,000, with 100,000 of those dead or missing. The conditions were appalling, with the forests torn apart and the ground churned into a wasteland by artillery fire. Many troops suffered shell shock while others deserted. A French lieutenant, who was later killed, wrote in his diary on May 23, 1916: “Humanity is mad. It must be mad to do what it is doing. What a massacre! What scenes of horror and carnage. I cannot find words to translate my impressions. Hell cannot be so terrible. Men are mad!”

In July 1916, the British launched an attack around the Somme River in France. Despite massive troop losses, the British fought on through November in the face of German reinforcements, but even in the final phase, produced limited gains with heavy loss of life. The Allies suffered about 620,000 casualties in the Battle of the Somme without realizing their goals.

In August 1916, new German leaders along the western front recognized that the battles of Verdun and the Somme had depleted the offensive capabilities of the German Army. They decided to take a defensive posture in the west and created a protective position called the “Hindenburg Line.”

In April 1917, French leaders ordered an offensive against the German trenches, promising it would be one to win the war. Dubbed the “Nivelle Offensive,” the attacked proceeded poorly and 100,000 French troops fell within a week. The attack continued, and in May, 20,000 French soldiers deserted as morale decreased. Appeals to patriotism and duty, as well as mass arrests and trials resulting in firing squads, eventually convinced troops to return to defend their trenches, although the soldiers refused to participate in further offensive action.

Beginning on July 31 and continuing to November 10, 1917, an ongoing struggle around Ypres was renewed with the Battle of Passchendaele, officially known as the “Third Battle of Ypres” the First Ypres took place from October to November 1914 and the Second Ypres from April to May 1915. The final result of the third offensive, marked by British and Canadian forces taking the village of Passchendaele, was approximately five miles of territory gained with the loss of more than a half million men on both sides.

The tide of the German advance into France was finally, dramatically turned with the Second Battle of the Marne from July 15 to August 6, 1918. This would be the last German offensive of the war.

“At Close Grips”: Two U.S. soldiers run past the remains of two German soldiers toward a bunker. Trench warfare characterized the western front of World War I.

Arms Race

As troops strove to break the deadlock, the western front saw the introduction of new military technology, such as chemical weapons. Airplanes had already been used in the war for scouting, and in 1915, a French pilot shot down an enemy plane. This started a back-and-forth arms race, as both sides developed improved aircraft capabilities. Tanks also were used extensively for the first time following the Somme, which led directly to new developments in infantry organization including small tactical units.

Final Phases and Armistice

On March 3, 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed with Russia, allowing German and Austro Hungarian troops to move from the eastern front to the fighting in the west. Yet a rapidly increasing American presence, eventually totaling 2.1 million U.S. soldiers on the western front, effectively countered the redeployed Germans. With its economy and society under great strain, Germany finally broke under the Allied series of attacks known as “The Hundred Days Offensive” beginning in August 1918. The combatants signed a ceasefire, and all fighting on the western front ended on November 11, 1918, which became known as “Armistice Day.”


Battle of Piave, 15-23 June 1918 (10 of 10) - History

A day-by-day recounting of the events of World War I as they happened, one hundred years later.

June 17 1918, Montello&ndashTwo days into the Austrian offensive, Conrad&rsquos efforts on the Asiago had entirely stalled, and the Austrians committed everything they had left to Boroević&rsquos forces on the Piave. The Austrians attacked from their bridgeheads on the morning of the 17th in some places they advanced nearly two miles, but there was no breakthrough to be had in the Italian lines. That evening, Boroević committed the last fresh divisions he had to the battle any more reserves would trickle in piecemeal, at best. Boroević hoped that an upside of Conrad&rsquos defeat on the Asiago was that troops could be transferred from that sector however, fighting remained heavy there, and travel through the mountains and across the pre-war frontier took far too long.

Exacerbating the Austrians&rsquo woes was their supply situation. Shell supply was extremely short, and the batteries were rationing their use from the second day. Getting supplies across the Piave was difficult on the limited number of bridges. On the night of the 17th, the Piave&rsquos waters rose even higher, breaking many of the pontoons the Austrians had managed to erect.

Sources include: Randal Gray, Chronicle of the First World War John R. Schindler, Isonzo.


Battle clasps (Schlachtenspangen)

Various battle clasps commemorating combat experience of frontline soldiers (Schlachtenspangen) were instituted according to advise of the Saxon Union of war veterans’ associations (Sächsischen-Militär-Vereins-Bundes). Those distinctions were privately purchased for 40 Pfennigs each upon presentation of a corresponding award document, the price of the latter being included to the amount mentioned above. A document (Besitz-Zeugnis) allowing veteran to purchase clasp(s) was signed by a head of a territorial association (Landes-Kriegerverband).

Claimants had to provide proof of their participation in particular battle, otherwise they had to take an oath in presence of members of the governing body justifying their combat experience.

The maximum allowed number of battle clasps worn simultaneously was five.

Rectangular battle clasps were made of brass and measured 35x6 mm. 76 official clasps were instituted totally, 38 for the actions at the Western Front, 26 – at the Eastern Front, 6 – at the Southern Front and six for former aviators, marines and “overseas”, i.e. colonial troops.

Western Front battle clasps (Schlachtenspangen für den Westen):

Aisne-Champagne / Avcre / Antwerpen-Ostende / Argonnen / Armentieres / Arras-Albert / Avre / Chambrai / Campagne / Dinant / Fere-Champenoise / Flandern und Artois / Juvinecourt / Kemmelberg / La Bassoe-Arras / Lille / Lorettohöhe / Lothringen / Maas-Aisne / Marne und Besle / Marne-Schlacht / Montdidier-Noyon / Mühlhausen / Nancy-Epinal / Oise / Perthes / Reims / Scarpe / Soissons-Reims / Soldau-Neidenberg / Somme-Schlacht / St.Quentin / Verdun / Vogesen / Vormarsch 1914 / Wytschaete / Ypern / Yser

Eastern Front battle clasps (Schlachtenspangen für den Osten):

Brest-Litowsk / Düna / Finnland / Kurland / Litauen / Liveland / Lodz / Masurische Seen / Narew / Narotschsee / Njemenschlacht / Nowo-Georiewsk / Ost-Galizien / Prjasnytz / Rawka / Sehreth / Smorgon / Stochod / Südpolen / Tannenberg / Tarnopol / Ukraine / Warschau / Wilna

Southern Front battle clasps (Schlachtenspangen für den Süden):

Isonzo / Mazedonien / Palästna / Piave / Rumänien / Serbien

Battle clasps for veterans of aviation, marine units and colonial troops (Schlachtenspangen für Luft-, Marine- und Überseetruppen):

Doggerbank / Luftkampf / Oesel / Skagerrak / Uebersee / U-Boot-Krieg / Kreuzer u. Minenkrieg

Summing up above mentioned clasps with 23 “unofficial” Schlachtenspangen makes us saying that nearly 100 battle clasps altogether could have been worn on a ribbon of Kriegsdenkmünze 1914/18 des Kyffhäuserbundes.


Watch the video: Carnage of the Western Front. World War I. August 4th, 1914 November 11th, 1918 re-edited (August 2022).