Hello to all
; not on the British front but in the Austro-Hungarian / Italian front.......................
DIE SPRENGUNG DES CIMONE-KOPFES DURCH DIE ÖSTERR-UNGARISCHEN TRUPPEN. [The blowing up of the summit of Mount Cimone by Austro-Hungarian troops.] Kaldor.
The Austro-Hungarian offensive from the Tyrol in May 1916, broke through the Italian position between Mt. Pasubio and Asiago as far as the edge of the Tonezza Plateau, overlooking Arsiero. Here it was held by the Italians gallantly recapturing Mount Cimone, which rises 230 yards above the rest of the plateau and is its farthest point. The Italians thus saved the Venetian plain, and the rear of their Isonzo armies, but it was touch and go. The summit of the mountain was quickly fortified, and defended by over 20 machine guns.
The Austrian line settled within 100 yards of the top with its sentries only 30 to 40 yards from the Italian wire. Their position was very uncomfortable, as the plateau was so narrow as to constitute a defile, and the prospect of capturing the summit was negligibly small. Here technique intervened, Lieutenant Makler of the sapper battalion proposing to mine the mountain top. Starting his galleries so close that working was interfered with even by hand grenades, he drove three shafts, spoil being removed at night. The Italians at once got busy counter-mining. Fortunately for the miners' nerves both sides used pneumatic borers, so that as long as the noise of the enemy's boring continued the miners felt safe. The work lasted weeks. At length, when the Austrians were ready to blow, a patrol brought in an Italian prisoner who had on him the date and time of the next battalion relief. Ten tons of ecrasite were built into the mine chambers (while the automatic borers were kept studiously working elsewhere), and fired at 5:45 AM, on 23 September, while the battalion relief was in progress. The whole position was wrecked. An Austrian officer and 100 selected men went forward and occupied the crater.
At 8:00 AM the Italians opened barrage fire on the position, and 28-cm. air torpedoes could be watched coming up from the valley. The author, a captain in a mountain battery, noted that the barrage, which had at first been deadly accurate, diminished in efficiency as the sun got higher and the air hotter. The Italian shells then started passing over the position and bursting in the valleys on either side of the narrow spur. An Italian searchlight directed on Mount Cimone all night served the Austrian working parties for putting the crater in a state of defense. The Austrians had two men killed; they took 600 prisoners, whom they had first to release from their blocked dugouts, and calculated that they had killed 900 more. Their successful enterprise against this mountain-top was an appropriate answer to a similar Italian success on the Col di Lana the winter before.
Source: REVIEW OF MILITARY LlTERATURE. Dec 1935.
Cheers. Raúl M
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.