In 1914, the situation in Europe was very tense. The assassination of Archduke Francis-Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife in Sarajevo was the spark that exploded. For Austro-Hungary it was an opportunity to settle accounts with Serbia. While Germany supported the Austro-Hungarian position, Russia intended to defend Serbia. The covenant gear was set in motion. The war that had been brewing for many years broke out.
Everywhere was the Union consecrated to protect the Fatherland in danger. Everyone believed they were defending a just cause.
The motto of the Austro-Hungarian soldiers and Ampezzani was: “For God, Emperor and Fatherland”
War in Galicia (Polonia)
28 June: The Archduke of Austria Francis Ferdinand and his wife are killed in Sarajevo.
28 July: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.
31 July: the general conscription is decreed for all men fit for military service aged between 20 and 42. After 4 centuries of union with Tirol, the Ampezzani were faithful Austrian subjects.
They thought of a short war which would not be fought against Italy.
1 August: Germany declares war on Russia. The Ampezzani recruited in the “Edelweiss Korp”, XIV Austro-Hungarian army corps, leave for the Russian front after a short training in San Candido-Innichen.
They make the journey of about 1000 kilometers journey in stock cars and after a week they get to a place very different from the Dolomiti and among Polish peoples who speak an incomprehensible language; the Tiroleans feel disorientated.
2 August: Italy is a member of the Triple Alliance and for that reason when the conflict breaks out, General Cadorna and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Sonnino are inclined to an intervention on Austria’s side; the king, married to a Princess from Montenegro and proslav opposes to that. The government declares its neutrality “for sacred egoism”, giving rise to a wave of indignation in the military circles of Vienna and Berlin which regard the Italians as traitors to the Alliance.
3 August: Germany declares war on France and invades neutral Belgium
4 August: Great britain declares war on Germany
6 August: Austria declares war on Russia
11 August: Austria invades Serbia.
Europe is on fire.
19-25 August:The Kaiserjäger from Ampezzo leave from Dobbiaco station heading Lubien Welchi, close to Leopoli, Galicia.
27 August: The baptism of fire takes place by L’vov (Lemberg-Lviv-Leopoli) and soon afterwards the losses are huge.
29-31 August: Battle in Leopoli. The Austrian retreat heading Grodek.
The Austrians adopted the 19th century tactics of advancing in close order with gaudy uniforms while the Russians were camouflaged and advanced in open order. The campaign of Galicia was a disaster; two Austrian advances were followed by two retreats and the second one was worse than the first one. The two REGIONS were almost totally lost.
5 September: The III Battalion of the Kaiserjäger from Ampezzo fights in the Leopoli battle. The town is occupied by the Russians.
7 September: Battle in Grodek
12 Septembre: The Austrians retreat heading Gorlice.
3 October: Battle near Przemysl in Galicia; the siege begins and the Austro-Hungarians resist 5 months. The Russians reach Cracovia in December.
31 October: Turkey, the Ottoman Empire, comes into the war on Germany’s and Austria’s side: they arte the Central Powers.
During the first months of 1914, 15 Ampezzani fall and several are wounded.
2020 Ⓒ Museo della Grande Guerra "Tre Sassi" Cortina d'Ampezzo