Soldiers on WWI’s Italian Front fought enemies, frostbite and avalanches

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1917

Soldiers hoist a field gun up a cliff face.

Image: Robert Hunt/Windmill Books/UIG via Getty Images

While the muddy and horrific trench warfare of the Western Front has become the most enduring image of World War I, some of the conflict’s bloodiest battles were fought high in the mountains of the Italian Front.

At the start of the war in 1914, the Kingdom of Italy was part of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, but refused to commit troops to their allies’ campaigns, arguing that their obligations were purely defensive.

The Italians also had their eyes on several territories controlled by Austria-Hungary along the Adriatic coast and the Alps Read more…

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During WWI, interned German sailors built a charming village in North Carolina

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German internees playfully stage an “alligator attack” on the shore of the French Broad River.

Image: North Carolina Museum of History

During World War I, the sleepy North Carolina resort town of Hot Springs more than doubled in population as it became host to one of the largest internment camps in the country.

When the United States abandoned neutrality and declared war on Germany in April 1917, thousands of German commercial sailors were unlucky enough to be docked at American ports, including the crew of the world’s largest passenger ship, the SS Vaterland, which had been stuck in Hoboken, New Jersey since the outbreak of hostilities three years earlier. Read more…

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