Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Alpine Field Kitchens

The Troops Must Be Fed!

The Italian Army photograph above tells quite a story. It shows a field kitchen at 6,000-foot altitude in the Dolomite Alps. It is built cantilever-style on the side of a cliff. The latest meal has been placed in pails to be carried, suspended on each end of a pole, by the members of the ration party that's preparing to depart for mountaintop trenches, such as those shown below. 

Now consider this: both of these photos were taken in the summer. Using your imagination, superimpose snow, ice, wind, and shivering temperatures on these scenes. Even in that extreme environment, the food had to be cooked and delivered to the troops.


  1. Does anyone know if the French will hold a ceremony in October or November commemorating the 100th anniversary of the breaking of the Hindenburg Line? Please provide info to WILBUR JONES = Thank you

  2. As well as visualising the winter snow and ice, let's recall that some of the troops up there on the mountain tops would have been Neapolitans from the balmy south who likely had never seen snow in their lives. And no hi-tech alpine clothing on offer either. Sentry duty standing in barrels of straw to keep from dying overnight. Thousands swept away in avalanches. Italy's WWI soldiers deserve more respect than is sometimes accorded them.

    1. and couldn't speak the same language of the soldiers of the northern regions!