“No army goes into the mountains voluntarily,” states Christian Ortner, director of the Museum of Military History in this highly exciting history special. “You really don’t want to fight there,” explains the expert, and yet some spectacular battles have taken place on this difficult terrain, which also offers some advantages.
For example, it is “defensively favorable”. Here you can outmaneuver the opponent. But legendary surprise wars have also taken place over the mountains. A “logistical feat” was once accomplished by Hannibal in 218 BC when he brought elephants and cavalry across the Alps and thus stabbed the completely surprised Romans in the back.
Prince Eugene, who liked to look for unconventional solutions and attacked the French army in the rear during the War of the Spanish Succession around 1701 and caught him flat-footed, was also guided by this later.
Adventurous mountain wars also took place in the 20th century, from about 1915 to 1918 in the Dolomites, where Italy fought the Imperial and Royal Army. The massive logistical challenges of such operations, but also the enormous burden on the soldiers are analyzed in detail and based on many examples.
Be there at 8:15 p.m. in our “History Special” – only here on eXXpressTV, on eXXpress.at!