The Italian Front in the First World War at Asiago: Granezza and Barenthal Road

Photographs of the battlefields and cemeteries in the British sector of the Asiago plateau, Italy.

British bunkers, Barenthal Road 2

British bunkers, Barenthal Road 3

British bunkers, Barenthal Road.

British bunkers, Barenthal Road.

Memorial to Italian underground hospital, Barenthal Road.

Memorial to Italian underground hospital, Barenthal Road.

Barenthal Military Cemetery graves

Barenthal Military Cemetery.

Barenthal Military Cemetery.

Barenthal Road, April 2015.

Barenthal Road, April 2015.

Granezza British Cemetery.

Granezza British Cemetery.

Edward's grave at the end of the row buried with men from his Company.  In September 1921 Vera visited the cemetery and planted rosebuds and a small asparagus fern beside her brother's grave.

Edward Brittain’s grave at the end of the row buried with men from his Company, Granezza British Cemetery. Follow this link for more about his death in 1918.

Grave of Lt Col J M Knox, Granezza British Cemetery.

Grave of Lt Col J M Knox, Granezza British Cemetery.

Memorial to Lt Col J M Knox, 1/8th Royal Warwicks and 143rd (Warwickshire) Infantry Brigade, near Granezza British Cemetery and Tattenham Corner.

Memorial to Lt Col J M Knox, 1/8th Royal Warwicks and 143rd (Warwickshire) Infantry Brigade, near Granezza British Cemetery and Tattenham Corner.

Site of Tattenham Corner.

Site of Tattenham Corner.


EB-Literary Executors for the Vera Brittain Estate, 1970 and The Vera Brittain Fonds, McMaster University Library-CropBWenh

Where and how did Edward Brittain die?


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Monte San Michele Schönburg Tunnel

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


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7 thoughts on “The Italian Front in the First World War at Asiago: Granezza and Barenthal Road

  1. very interesting article, thanks for taking the time to write it. My G Grandfather was with the 23rd division and was the officer in charge of the defences on the San Sisto ridge for which he was mentioned in despatches and awarded the MC.

  2. Didn’t know this was here. My wife of 26 years (inc courting) is from the area and so we visit all the battlefields along Monte Grappa, Monte Tomba, then down towards Venice and on the other side of the Brenta Valley, north to Forte Lione and visited the British war cemeteries along the Piave. We did visit Asiago when we first met, but at that time had little knowledge of the British involvement or the war in Italy. My passion has always been WW2 and the planes, esp the Mosquito, but since my awakening, the war in Italy has become of great interest. Because of my ignorance and others and looking on the CWG website in the 1990s I became very aware of the lack of interest in the UK. All the graves were incorrectly marked and recorded and no one attended any of the memorial services. I attended some on Monte Tomba and was disappointed that all the states involved attended the services but the British, so I wrote to and met various MPs who took my case up to the Ministry of Defence. The BWG website was fixed eventually, but the MoD said that the weather was not very good that time of the year to send anyone… I paraphrase, but that was the sum of it. A disgrace. I still have their letter somewhere.

    I have a friend in Castello Tesino, TN who is authorised to visit battlefields, recover and defuse weapons and bury any dead. He has supplied most of the museums and has an amazing collection in his huge villa, so much that the floors (all 4 of them) bend under the weight. When we last spoke they were trying to retrieve a cannon from a lake deep in the mountains. Wouldn’t tell me where. He gave me a couple of keepsakes and I found some Austrian and some French bullets and bits of shells, etc on Monte Tomba and in our garden. Fun.

    Of course, Rommel cut his teeth in the Valdobbiadene area. Hemmingway was a medical cyclist and fell in love there and wrote most of his works. That was along the river Piave, at the lower end where the US was based in the last few months of the war. The success of the 24th October 1918 was in no short measure due to the great success of the British on the island of Papadopoli in the Piave, supported by the Italian boat handlers who supplied them. They drove straight through the Austrian lines far beyond their expected point of advance, thus allowing the Italian 10th to march through the centre of the pincer (though the French who were on the left flank failed with heavy casualties at Pedrobba) and on to Vittorio Veneto as it is now called.

    I am just back from 4 weeks in Cavaso and Tesino and visited Forte Lione, as I often do and this time went back to Asiago. Managed to find 2 of the 4 British cemeteries but didn’t have time for the other two. They truly are remote!
    Photos:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/WNTJRVxgi4uG3s1H6
    Others….
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Eyc8zDYuBAfx39L99

    If interested, good books to read are:
    “With British Guns in Italy” by Hugh Dalton Lieutenant R.G.A – the first book published and a first-hand account. A truly lovely as well as a wonderful and informative book. Can not be underrated.
    “The British Army in Italy 1917-1918” John Wiles & Eileen Wilkes – this is also an excellent book.
    “The Forgotten Front. The British Campaign in Italy 1917-1918″ George H. Cassar

    And of course, if you love planes then it has to be:”
    “Sopwith Camels over Italy 1917-1918” Norman Franks
    and of course one can not mention Italy, Camels and planes without mentioning Billy Barker VC and his B6313 the highest-scoring plane/fighter of all time….
    “Barker VC” by Wayne Ralph.

    I built a tribute to Billy Barker VC, his Sopwith Camel F1 B6313
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZDiye9LtaHY9e5iL7

    Thank you for the site, wonderful….

    PS: Your picture identification above of the “bunker” is, I believe a British Filed Hospital, on the front line built by the Royal Engineers.

    • Thanks Simon.
      There is a really good FB group that focuses on WW1 aero in Italy. Many locals.
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/160579797971499

      In my pics, that Italian memorial, erected by Mussolini has a staggering 30,000 buried there. Each panel represents 800 lost souls. It’s quite an eye opening when seen and looked at like that. They also have a couple of books of remembrance for the Austrians. Interesting photos of the opening show Nazi salutes, and the building is adorned with fascist symbols of the time, as are many buildings in North Italy. And of course no allies of the time – Britain and France. My strong belief that that is why some there do not recognise the efforts and impact the allies had – the rewriting of history by Mussolini and appeasement of his new allies, Austria and Germany.

      Best
      Jonathan

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