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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Untouched battlefield


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The Melette battlefield on the Italian front, scene of a ferocious encounter between the two most highly decorated units in this theatre. At the end of the war the hills were cleared of wire and ammunition, but no one filled in the trenches or shell-holes, and here they remain. And it seems no one ever comes here.


The elite Sassari brigade (Sardinians) was rushed here from the Isonzo in June 1916 to try and halt the Austrian strafexpedition offensive. They occupied deep defences on the ridge-top, and the fearsome 2nd Bosniak Infantry Regiment attacked uphill against them. The summits of Melette, Spil and Fior changed hands several times, but the Italians eventually prevailed. 208 Bosnians were buried in this cemetery nearby.




Unusually on this front, the Italians for once occupied the high ground and got a rare experience of defending good defensive positions




Front lines on the left, reserve lines on the reverse slope, communication trenches and tunnels linked the two.


For anyone visiting the British sector at Asiago, this is not far up the road.


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6 minutes ago, Interested said:

That's incredible.  Those trenches must have taken some excavating, looks like sold rock to me.

Thanks for posting.

Yes, solid rock (although relatively "soft" limestone).



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Excellent as ever Tom, thanks


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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...
On 29/03/2022 at 15:36, Tom Kilkenny said:

Definitely worth your time.


I popped onto the WFA today and saw this. I`m not sure how I missed it, but it is a superb lecture.

How and why people fought in this sort of environment remains a mystery to me, different times, different people I suppose....

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