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Pevnost Riva 

Fortress Riva

Festung Riva

Pevnost Riva 
Originální název:
Original Name:
Festung Riva
Další názvy:
Other Names:
Riva del Garda
GPS souřadnice:
GPS Coordinates:
45°53'15.20"N 10°50'39.45"E
Fotografie nebo nákres:
Photo or Sketch:
Typ pevnostního komplexu:
Type of Fortress Complex:
fortový komplex
Vyšší pevnostní celek:
Upper Fortress Complex:
Části pevnostního komplexu:
Components of the Fortress Complex:
Werk Garda
Werk Tombio
Nordbatterie Monte Brione
Mittelbatterie Monte Brione
Südbatterie Monte Brione
Strandbatterie San Nicolo
Verteidigungsmaür Ponalestrasse
Strandbatterie Bella Vista
Straßensperre Nago
Straßensperre Ponale
Straßensperre Ampola
Zahájení stavby:
Start of Construction:
Dokončení stavby:
Completion of Construction:
Bojové využití:
Combat Use:
DD.MM.1915-DD.MM.1918 1. světová válka
Současný stav:
Current Condition:
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An overview of the construction of the fortress of Riva

A port and resort city Riva del Garda (70 m asl) is located in the former austro-Hungarian province of South Tyrol (today the homonymous autonomous province of italy), in the lowlands on the northern shore of lake Garda. From the east city is bounded by elongated mountain of Monte Brione (376 m asl), from the west mountain of Monte Rocchetta (1540 m asl).

Due to its location was Riva an important communication hub, through which passed the road leading from the southern and western part of the province towards the Trient. When after 1866 (due to the loss of Veneto) happened to South Tyrol the austrian border provinces, it was decided to transform Riva into a military fortress, which should protect the nearby state line and the western approaches to strength of Trient.

At that time they were all fortification buildings in the city of the old medieval castle, Rocca di Riva (today city museum), the tower Bastione from the beginning of the 16th. century (only the rest of the French ruined venetian fortress), and the austrian coastal batteries San Nicola, built in the 1860s to protect the harbour.

In the framework of the construction of the fortress of Riva were 1881 on the Monte Brione built two artillery forty (Batterie Monte Brione Nord and Süd) and less than two kilometers to the east of them, in the mountain saddle, which was going through the road to Trientu, was, after twenty years of construction completed uzávěrový fort Straßensperre Nago. The year 1897 was the Ponálské the road leading to Riva after the steep western shore of the lake, established a fortified guard post. Until 1913 then followed: armored artillery fort Batterie Monte Brione Mitte (1900), the iron-clad fort Werk Garda (1907), Batterie Bella Vistand (1909), the armored fort Werk Tombio (1912) north-west from Riva and complex kavernových defensive position on the Ponálské road (1913).

The year 1914 was the commander of the fortress of Riva appointed major general Ing. Anton Schiesser free lord von Reifegg (1863-1926), who previously served in the same capacity in Trientu. Like most of contemporary military experts was based also on the assumption that due to the introduction of steel grooved main and smokeless gunpowder increased the effectiveness of artillery enough, that the forts built before the year 1900 are in the conditions of modern war, usable at most as týlová command posts, barracks or warehouses of the material. He therefore decided to transfer the defense conferred by the fortress and the whole of the adjacent section directly on the peaks and ridges of the border mountains, into the concrete reinforced rock caverns and trenches.

As a result of a new concept of defense was to not only build a system kavernových position on the Monte Rocco (Stützpunkt Rocco) to strengthen the defense system Ponálské the road, but in particular the establishment of a similar position on the Monte Rocchetta (Stützpunkt Rocchetta), Monte dOro (including cableways from Campi) and in the saddle of Bocca Saval, into which was moved the artillery armament of the fortu Tombio. Improvised border fortifications then continued through the similarly "upgraded" strength fastenings Lardaro and Tonale to cap Stilfserjoch at the swiss borders. After the Italian denunciation of the war in may 1915 withstand this line basically unchanged until November 1918 (then, of course, instead of the Italians for the sure defence of the two French divisions), when Austria-Hungary surrendered...

On the eastern shore of lake Garda, in the section between roughly 13 miles distant the city of Rovereto and gardským the small town of Nago-Torbole, vacated the austro-Hungarian army after the Italian declaration of war, the border territory from the borders around the edge of both cities. After the austro-Hungarian offensive in may 1916, the Italian army in this stretch took a strong foothold on the line of Monte Pasubio-Monte Baldo-Monte Altissimo. From positions on Monte Altissimo then unsuccessfully (even with the contribution after the war, a highly prized čs. legions in Italy) tried to conquer Riva del Garda until 1918, when with her - thanks to the austro-Hungarian surrender - finally managed to...

Pevnost Riva  - Festung Riva 1915-1918

Festung Riva 1915-1918
Pevnost Riva  - Fronta v úseku Lago di Garda v únoru 1916

Fronta v úseku Lago di Garda v únoru 1916
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From the memories of Jan Václav Rosůlka, artillery separate battalion of the fortress artillery no 4:

... Slowly forgetting to exercise at the howitzers. Hardly was one job done, ten other waiting for the hands of soldiers. And what was the work! What with today being dug up in a week, with haste again zaházelo... Hardly the work was done, it came down to it, that worked unnecessarily... Some bugs I couldn't fix...

Someone thought that the chestnut forest on the Tombiu interferes with vision. Sbubnovali hundred hands, and every day fell dozens of gorgeous trees. And when the corpses lay on the ground, the body next to the body, magnificent, irreplaceable, cursed the officers on this idea and proving the strategic importance of the fortress, hidden in the woods.

"Crap..." make things easy on you Hanousek. Goldfinch secretly yearned to war with Italy it's already broke. He thought that then will be better. It wasn't.

On the eve of the army began to build roads. One of them had in the fortress, constantly on the eyes. Thousands of people swarmed on the flanks of the mountains, that paved the way to the guns. Someone actually thought that the fortress won't last an hour of the siege. It occurred to him to pull out all the guns on the tops of the mountains, high up to the very sky.

Soldiers are similar to the idea of loud laughing. "Who would have the syringes delivered?"

You, soldier, ductile cattle, creature cheaper than an animal — as a beast to be afraid to come to the cliffs to get hurt.

Others said: "Who would have endured to live?! No one!" Lived there for many long years in constant fear before the death of iron, and avalanches. Man, what you can do if you in his favour, he whipped his hidden powers, as you did in a foreign benefit to these mountains!


With the transport of the works to the tops of the mountains were counting on until the fall. Yet they built a funny wooden cannons on Sával, Rocchettu and Cima ďOro to deceive the airmen. Waited for them in vain...

Moving is started to when the Presanello the first snow. Back then they cost a howitzer ready in front of the fortress and across the dozens of arms were holding the ropes, to them they have placed cannons in the movement. An entire regiment of infantry waiting in the Campi. To the village arrived easily, with screaming and noise. Those grunts are a little surprised, but later, they haven't been in the middle of Cima ďOro, regretted that there are not three times as much. The wheels are floundering under the weight of huge pipes deep into the ground and soldiers of the proper exercise all the powers, that is extricated from the mud. Sometimes they dragged the cannons on the brink of a deep precipice. The road to drolila and all with horror expected, when the cannon tumbles and pulls them into the abyss.

Went out early in the morning, almost in the dark. They believed that playfully catch up with places intended for cannons, soon after noon... Soon, however, recognize that the top of the mountain is very remote. Also the cannon is carefully taking care to discourage their rush. The Cima ďOro arrived, when it started getting late. Before they ate a piece of bread, which for the rum. The Cima ďOro got stew, lousy soup, watered-down sauce and three pieces of tough meat. There are also learned that their work is not finished. Places for dělobitny was on the way to Savalu.

"It's not far..." assured is the non-commissioned officers, but they, knowing well that phrase, silently cursing the fate that made them tow the cattle. So, a war imagined.

With reluctance, took the rope. The darkness thickened, the road was continually getting worse and constantly on the precipice. The third cannon is suddenly dangerously tilted. Dug his fingers into the ropes, deny the distance between your feet in the sticky clay, and returned the gun balance... Then the sighs of satisfaction that the danger is at the moment been averted.

A long time ago stopped talking. Also, those who is it was telling, fell silent... a Few non-commissioned officers couldn't watch the nejsedřenější workhorses, seized the rope and dragged them instead.

The movements were all slow motion, a snail... Even those who like to křičívali: hey-now, hey-presto, they were silent.

Noncommissioned officers lied when on the Cima ďOro comfort themselves that it is not far to the place where they are to be the guns built. It wasn't - but those who dragged the terrible burden, the path neubývala.

When he finally arrived to the place, which was the goal, dropped, sat down on the snow, on rocks and silence sued the fatigue of draught animals.

Above them, at your fingertips shone the cold stars.

Jan Václav Rosůlek: black and yellow masquerade (Prague, 1925).
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From the memories of brother Augustine Havlík, a member of the 33. regiment czechoslovak. the Italian legion:

Our whole divise, left over Verona to Monte Baldo, Monte Balda held an exercise (practised 120 brethren), to which they came to see even the commanders of the allied armies; they were excited as the civilian population, that anything similar has never seen before. It was just 6. July, 1918, on the feast day of Master Jan Some; the evening after the exercise was set alight border, which wasn't handy to the priests ( it was on a hill by the church ).

At the Monte Baldo we dwelt in a tent in August 1918, then we went into the trenches at Doss - Alto with lake Garda, where the Austrians 20. September launched an attack. After the repulse of the Austrians us 35. the regiment was replaced in the trenches and we went to rest.

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