Today 4 November is the day Italy celebrates the end of the Great War. Therefore today’s topic is dedicated to the Bollettino della Vittoria, the final address to the Army and the Nation issued by the Chief of Staff, General Armando Diaz, at the conclusion of the Battle of Vittorio Veneto ending World War I in Italy. The 4 pictures are scans of the original telegram received by the postal office of Tremosine, a small village on the Garda Lake. This telegram is kept in the municipal archive (the 306-word message was sent to all cities of Italy) .
The war against Austria-Hungary, which the Italian Army, inferior in number and equipment, began on 24 May 1915 under the leadership of His Majesty and supreme leader the King and conducted with unwavering faith and tenacious bravery without rest for 41 months, is won.
The gigantic battle, which opened on the 24th of last October and in which fifty-one Italian divisions, three British, two French, one Czechoslovak and a US regiment joined against seventy-three Austrian divisions, is over.
The lightning-fast and most audacious advance of the XXIX Army Corps on Trento, blocking the retreat of the enemy armies from Trentino, as they were overwhelmed from the west by the troops of the VII army and from the east by those of the I, VI, and the IV armies, led to the utter collapse of the enemy’s front. From the Brenta to the Torre, the fleeing enemy is pushed ever further back by the irresistible onslaught of the XII, VIII, X Armies and of the cavalry divisions.
The Austro-Hungarian Army is vanquished: it suffered terrible losses in the dogged resistance of the early days, and during the pursuit it lost an enormous quantity of materiel of every kind as well as the nigh-entirety of its stockpiles and supply depots. The Austro-Hungarian Army has so far left about 300,000 prisoners of war in our hands, along with multiple entire officer corps and at least 5,000 pieces of artillery.
The remnants of what was one of the world’s most powerful armies are climbing back in hopelessness and chaos up the valleys from which they had descended with boastful confidence.
Army Chief of Staff, General Diaz