White Friday 1916

Discussions on all aspects of the First World War not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
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Peter H
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White Friday 1916

Post by Peter H » 24 Dec 2009 11:48

December 13th 1916 on the Italian Front:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/14/1634/8049

Just a few months later, on just one day (December 13th, a day which became known as "White Friday") 10,000 soldiers are said to have died in avalanches; the problem being so serious that both sides had detachments of soldiers assigned specifically to the avalanche rescue mission.


Has anyone any further details on this?Both Italian and Austro-Hungarians died in the avalanches on that day?

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Glenn2438
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Re: White Friday 1916

Post by Glenn2438 » 27 Dec 2009 15:12

Peter,

something of an exaggeration I think. According to the Austrian Official history "Österreich-Ungarns letzter Krieg 1914 -1918", Volume 5, Page 700, the following information is given regarding the casualties of Heeresgruppe Erzherzog Eugen due to avalanches in November/December 1916:

Heavy snowfall on 8 November brought hostilities in the mountains to a close and by 11 November the army group had suffered casualties of 123 dead, 194 injured and 51 missing. In two days between 17 and 22 November the army group lost another 84 dead and 186 and injured to avalanches and 7 dead and 8 injured to lightening strikes.

Heavy snow throughout early December caused further casualties especially in the Pasubio sector on the 6th and on the Marmolata on the 10th. The Kaiserschützen battalion holding the Marmolata alone suffered 80 dead, 140 missing and 160 injured.

The total losses in the period from 5 to 14 December in Heeresgruppe Erzherzog Eugen were 795 dead, 505 missing and 625 injured.

ÖULK does not give figures for the Italian casualties but these were presumably somewhat similar?

Regards
Glenn

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Peter H
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Re: White Friday 1916

Post by Peter H » 28 Dec 2009 09:32

Thanks Glenn

The myth is also repeated in Mark Thompson's The White War.I read somewhere else that dead was suppose to be 6,000 Italian,4,000 Austro-Hungarian.

The winter of 1916/17 was said to have been the worst in 50 years but the fable that 10,000 died in one day because of avalanches has now been put to rest.

Peter

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