Towering over the village of Kobarid (formerly Caporetto) is the Krn Massif, shown above, dominated by two peaks. The shark fin-shaped formation is 2224-meter Mte Krn. To its right is the near-plateau-shape of Mte Batognica, which today is 2164 meters, blunted by mines dug and detonated by Austro-Hungarian forces during the war. Krn was fully captured from its Hungarian defenders by Italian Alpini troops in June 1915. However, Batognica was only partially secured, and for the next 28 months was the site of the sector's front line. Austro-Hungarian troops occupied the eastern part of the mountain while Italian troops were located in the western part. The advance trenches were only 10 meters apart. The attrition of trench warfare and the aforementioned mining operations resulted in enormous casualties. When the combined German-Austrian assault came on 24 October 1917, the entire 43rd Italian Division was surrounded and captured en masse on the Krn-Batognica Ridge, and the entire front was pushed south, eventually to the Piave River line.
|Closer View of the Massif|
Today, the position is very difficult to access—one needs to be at least a moderately experienced climber—but the war remains to be seen on the site, including bunkers, chiseled staircases, and tunnels, are dramatic, and the views of the Soca River valley and surrounding Julian Alps are spectacular. Luckily, the Kobarid war museum and various hiking organizations have made many images available online.