Snow is truly a sign of mourning
January 14, 2014 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Melting glaciers in northern Italy reveal corpses of WW1 soldiers In the decades that followed the armistice, the world warmed up and the glaciers began to retreat, revealing the debris of the White War. The material that, beginning in the 1990s, began to flood out of the mountains was remarkably well preserved.
posted by MrVisible (12 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Anyone else thinking of this scene from Smoke?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:09 AM on January 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm having flashbacks of the Illuminatus Trilogy and the Crying of Lot 49 though both flashbacks are quite vague.
posted by I-baLL at 9:15 AM on January 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Jokes seem a bit incongrous here, amidst the pictures of mummified victims of the war.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:23 AM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Mine wasn't intended as a joke, actually. I find that scene from Smoke to be quite poignant. Apologies if it came across as a joke.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:31 AM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


At the age of 60, I think of the described dead as boys.
Will we ever learn?
posted by BlueHorse at 9:52 AM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Probably not, BlueHorse, which is very sad. I sometimes think of the couple of kids from the neighborhood of my youth who never made it back from Vietnam in a similar light.

This article reminds me of the excellent book by Mark Helprin: A Soldier of the Great War.
posted by CincyBlues at 10:27 AM on January 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

My grandfather served at Forte Corbin near Asiago (another link here) during that time. It is a fairly good distance from Peio to Asiago, but it was all part of the same fighting line.

These soldiers in the article apparently fought for Austria as it was part of that country at that time. The area was given to Italy after the war. My grandfather fought on the Italian side.

The fort at Asiago is much different than what is noted at Peio. I think the area around Peio was far more rugged.
posted by lampshade at 12:10 PM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure my great grandfather fought for the Austrian side. He lived near Trento, still have relatives there.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:29 PM on January 14, 2014

CincyBlues, that book is exactly what came to mind when I read this; the portion that dealt with the alpine fighting was one of the most vivid things I'd ever read. It's amazing what was asked of these men, what conditions they had to endure.
posted by MrVisible at 12:58 PM on January 14, 2014

My maternal grandfather fought for the Italians, my paternal grandfather was deported to Austria so he wouldn't aid the Italian war efforts. My cousins' grandfather was a kaiserschutzen. They all lived within a block of each other. After the war they all went back to being neighbors, no hard feelings.

Trentino remains a border country, we're not Austrian but we're not fully Italian either.
posted by lydhre at 1:03 PM on January 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

Thanks for this. I've forwarded the link to my father-in-law, a real history buff from Northern Italy who served in the Alpini.
posted by No Robots at 3:56 PM on January 14, 2014

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