The Western Front dominates our memories of the First World War. Yet, a million and half men died in North East Italy in a war that need never have ...Show synopsisThe Western Front dominates our memories of the First World War. Yet, a million and half men died in North East Italy in a war that need never have happened, when Italy declared war on the Habsburg Empire in May 1915. Led by General Luigi Cadorna, the most ruthless of all the Great War commanders, waves of Italian conscripts were sent charging up the limestone hills north of Trieste to be massacred by troops fighting to save their homelands. This is a great, tragic military history of a war that gave birth to fascism. Mussolini fought in these trenches, but so did many of the greatest modernist writers in Italian and German - Ungaretti, Gadda, Musil, Hemingway. It is through these accounts that Mark Thompson, with great skill and empathy, brings to life this forgotten conflict.Hide synopsis
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Description:New. In May 1915, Italy declared war on the Habsburg Empire....New. In May 1915, Italy declared war on the Habsburg Empire. The result was one of the most hopeless and senseless wars of modern times. Nearly 750, 000 Italians and half as many Austro-Hungarian troops were killed. To maintain discipline in the face of de...
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Mark Thompson's history of the fighting on the Italian Front during World War I skillfully combines military maneuvers, political machinations, and cultural background. A balanced, incisive, and readable history. Among the book's strongest sections are those dealing with the writers, including Svevo, D'Annunzio, and Gadda, who were involved in the fighting. Thompson's assessment of the average Italian soldier's motivations and experiences on the front are persuasive and balanced, and help foster a deeper understanding of the interplay between regional and national identities in the still-young unified Italy, and the tragedy of war. This is a superb work of history that enriches the vast literature of the Great War.
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