This winter there is very little snow in the Dolomites, but it is not always so. Just a few years ago there was a Super Winter Season (65 feet of snow), as you can read here.
Today everyone wants the snow, but during the Great War, the snow was a great and feared enemy.snow during the war
On the road from “Torniché” (Sant ‘Ubertus) leads to Malga Ra Stua, if we pay attention we can see a red marble plaque, set in the rock.
In this place, which the local people known as “Luò de Vilagranda”, the Place of the large village, on 27 February 1916, seven Austro-Hungarian soldiers died under an avalanche.
The tablet of red marble, set in the rock, and which measures 52 x 43 cm, recalls the unhappy event.
The tablet carries the following inscription: “In memory of the heroes who fell on 27 February 1916 killed by an avalanche – Infantrymen of the Landsturm (the reserve army to which the elderly soldiers belonged) battalion 168…”, followed by the names of the unlucky soldiers, many of whom of Slav origin.snow during the war
The winter of 1916, already preceded by heavy September snowfalls, was in fact a particularly severe one. The snow few slowly end thickly for days on end and the condition of the soldiers, literally buried underneath several metres of snow, were, to say the least, dramatic. Extensive mountain stretches remained isolated far months.
The fury of the avalanches did not stop until late spring end affected the entire Dolomite front; the military huts were razed to the ground, the lines thrown into confusion end those who managed to save themselves continued to move down lower and lower.
Shocking tales of that period have been narrated by officers and men on both sides, Italians and Austrians:
“Friday 13 April 1916: Hate and war ceased along the alpine front, because on the one side end the other, the men were oppressed by fear and anxiety stiff end humbled by the fury of the elements. This fury, this misfortune is so widespread and general that no one thinks any more of weapons. In this one day alone, the White Death killed 10,000 soldiers. 10,000 brave youngsters, on the one side and the other, crushed by unimaginable masses of snow.” (Weber)
“During the night a hellish storm began end just after midnight it began to snow heavily. The snow crept into the huts through every little crevice… Shaken by the wind, the hut trembled awfully… all telephone communications were soon interrupted.” (Sala)