Railways behind the front: Network transformations in the War years

Journal title STORIA URBANA
Author/s Stefano Maggi
Publishing Year 2019 Issue 2019/162 Language Italian
Pages 25 P. 13-37 File size 297 KB
DOI 10.3280/SU2019-162002
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This paper analyses the transformations carried out on the north-east Italian railway network due to war requirements, where stations and track upgrades were activated, and new trunk lines were built. When Italy entered the Great War, the transport sector was marked by the predominance of the railway for medium and long distances. As a result, the logistical effort was concentrated on trains and railway lines. During the period from May 1915 to November 1918, various trunk lines were activated in the area of the front, both on the Italian side and on the Austrian side, aimed at supplying the trenches with men, food supplies, and armaments, arriving by train as close as possible to the Front. State railways and also some private companies licenced to build railways, like the Società Veneta, and sometimes directly the army, built new sections, also of Decauville removable railways, the so-called "field railways". Some of the trunk lines constructed for the Great War were later converted for civil use, for example Cividale-Caporetto and Dobbiaco-Cortina-Calalzo. The sources to reconstruct these events, hitherto never analysed with respect to the Italian front, include official reports of the State railways, publications and documents in military archives, war diaries and Post-conflict memories.

Keywords: Railways, Great War, Territory and Infrastructure, Railway Network, Trains at War, Decauville Railways

Stefano Maggi, Le ferrovie dietro al fronte: trasformazioni della rete negli anni di guerra in "STORIA URBANA " 162/2019, pp 13-37, DOI: 10.3280/SU2019-162002