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Italy's Splendid Stand: On the Piave and the Brenta Fronts

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le , E ) I:__ 1-_1 1·. … { IE Ii ON THE LOWER PIAVE: FROM THE ITALIAN SIDE LOOKING OVER THE “ISLAND OF THE DEAD,” WHERE AN AUSTRIAN DETACHMENT WAS ANNIHILATED.


ON THE LOWER PlAVE, NEAR IHE ‘ISLAND OF THE DEAD IN PARr OF ONE OF THE ITALIAN FRONT-LINE TRENCHES ALONG TIHE RIVER BANK.


ii i !i ! i, ,! ~ s l~l ON THE BRENTLA ;AN ITALIAN BARRICADE WITH, ON THE BANK, A BRUSHWOOD – C 1.1I¢)il.’IGL.U.: BARBED – WIRE BARRIER ] 3″‘AND A DAM SLANTWISE ACROSS THE RIVER. .


i LOOKING UP-STREAM TOWARDS THE AUSTRIAN TYROL AN ITALIAN OBSERVATION- POST ABOVE THE BRENTA VALLEY IN THE VICINITY OF THE ASIAGO PLATEAU.


INVADERS WHO HAVE ONLY REACHED ITALY TO BE MADE PRISONERS: A GROUP OF AUSTRIAN OFFICERS IN AN ITALIAN VILLAGE AWAITING REMOVAL.


The ” Island of the Dead,” as the place has been named by the Italians, is a flat islet patch of sand and gravel in the Lower Piave. It has shelving banks, and just shows above the surface of the stream, as the first photograph here represents. The Piave there is wide and s’al:ow, and the locality appeared to offer an easy place for crossing to the Austrians, on the enemy reaching that part of the country during their November onslaught ; using the island as a stepping-stone, so to speak. They seized the islet, but their efforts to get a permanent footing on the other side of the river failed. A few parties did get over, but were attacked at close quarters, and were either killed or taken prisoners. Then, fresh Italian troops arriving


with artillery and machine-guns, the entire Austrian force crowded on the islet were literally ann hilated. The River Brenta, which is shown in the third and fourth illustrations, flows through the sector of the Italian defence line facing north. It is a rapid-flowing Alpine river, coming down through the mountains by the Asiago plateau from the Austrian Tyrol. For part of its course, the Brenta threads the main pass leading from the Austrian Tyrol to the plains of Italy. The ” Brenta Gap,” as it is called, where the river debouches on to the Italian plain, to flow past Bassano and near Padua, to the Adriatic south of Venice, by Chioggia, is one of the important places on the Italian northern front ; alike to the Italians and to the enemy.



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