The Italian Front in the First World War at Monte San Michele

The heights of Monte San Michele dominated the Carso battlefield on the north-eastern frontier between Italy and Austria-Hungary.  The Italians attempted to take the hills five times between June 1915 and August 1916 until they were finally successful in the 6th Battle of the Isonzo. They were forced to give them up in November 1917 during the retreat following the Battle of Caporetto.

Entrance to the Austro-Hungarian Schönberg Tunnel, named after Gen. Alois von Schönburg-Hartenstein, Commander of the 6th Infantry Division which held Monte San Michele during the 4th Battle of the Isonzo.

Entrance to the Austro-Hungarian Schönberg Tunnel, named after Gen. Alois von Schönburg-Hartenstein, Commander of the 6th Infantry Division which held Monte San Michele during the 4th Battle of the Isonzo.

Memorial to the Austrian 6th Carinthian Infantry Regiment in the 4th Battle of the Isonzo, November 1915.

Memorial to the Austrian 6th Carinthian Infantry Regiment in the 4th Battle of the Isonzo, November 1915.

Battle debris on Monte San Michele.

Battle debris on Monte San Michele.

Recently excavated trenches.

Recently re-excavated trenches.

The heights dominated the front line and became the tactical headquarters of the Italian IIIrd Army, 1916-17. This is the view from Cima (Summit) 3 looking east across the Carso plain towards the line of Sept 1917 of the 6th -11th Battles of the Isonzo, before the Italian retreat.

The heights dominated the front line and became the tactical headquarters of the Italian IIIrd Army, 1916-17. This is the view from Cima (Summit) 3 looking east across the Carso plain towards the line of Sept 1917 of the 6th -11th Battles of the Isonzo, before the Italian retreat.

Tunnelled artillery positions were constructed by the Italians beneath Cima 3 between September 1916 and June 1917 to house 149mm guns.

Tunnelled artillery positions were constructed by the Italians beneath Cima 3 between September 1916 and June 1917 to house 149mm guns.

Underground casemate for an Italian 149mm gun.

Underground casemate for an Italian 149mm gun beneath Cima 3.


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