War Geology

The First World War was initiated with a fighting spirit inspired by the classic battles man against man, but soon the soldiers realized that the warfare of the 20th century had reached a potential of destruction never seen in the past.
In the year 1915 the Great War reached the Austrian Dolomites as the neutral Italy declared war to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The military high commando feared that bypassing the Alps the Italian army could reach the city of Vienna in just one week, so it was decided to secure the most important routes and mountain passes at the national borders.

There was no experience with war in such an extreme and alpine environment, it was nearly impossible to attack directly the enemy when he hid behind inaccessible rocks or in steep cliffs and soon a position warfare between the Austrian and Italian troops developed.
The strategists and especially the geologists of the military tried to resolve this problem with a war technology successfully adopted in the soft shale, cretaceous sediments and quaternary deposits of the low plains of France, Netherlands or Russia: the mine war.

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