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Fortress Monte Baldo: A Military Landscape Between Nature and War

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Part of the Advances in Military Geosciences book series (AMG)

Abstract

Monte Baldo, a mountain ridge located in Northeastern Italy between Lake Garda and the Adige River, is a unique geohistorical location linking the Germanic world and the Mediterranean area. It exhibits the typical characteristics of a military landscape and has done so since the beginning of the eighteenth century continuing through the Second World War. The aim of this paper is twofold: (1) to unfold the natural landscape of Monte Baldo into a new perspective and (2) to reconfigure Monte Baldo as a military landscape where signs of its military history are clearly marked.

Keywords

  • Monte Baldo
  • Military landscape
  • Modern Age
  • Italian unification
  • World wars

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-79260-2_4
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Notes

  1. 1.

    The first investigations and publications on the natural features of Monte Baldo were by botanists Francesco Calzolari (1522–1609) and Giovanni Pona (1565–1630). They provide a large amount of useful information on both the progressive evolution of the natural landscape of Monte Baldo, called by later Italian and foreign naturalists hortus Italiae (the Garden of Italy) and even hortus Europae (the Garden of Europe), and its territorial organisation in past times.

  2. 2.

    The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) was caused by conflicting claims to the Spanish throne after the death of childless King Charles II of Habsburg Spain. The accession to the Spanish throne of Philip V Bourbon, grandson of King Louis XIV of France, antagonized England, Holland and the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, who had claimed the succession on behalf of his son. War in Europe broke out with the Grande Alliance (Holland, England, the Holy Roman Empire and most of the German states) against France, Spain and Bavaria. Portugal and Savoy, initially allied to France, joined the Alliance in 1703; Hungary joined the opposite front in 1703. From a military point of view, the most pre-eminent commanders were the Duke of Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy for the Alliance and the Duke of Vendôme, Maximilian II Emanuel and Ferenc Rákóczi on the French-Bavarian side.

  3. 3.

    Risorgimento (the Italian word for ‘resurgence’) designates the process (approx. 1848–formally 1866) that unified the different states on the Italian peninsula into a single state, the Kingdom of Italy. During this process, at least three military milestones can be identified in the First, the Second and the Third so-called ‘Wars of Independence’ (1848–1849, 1859, 1866), fought by the Kingdom of Sardinia (later, Kingdom of Italy) primarily against Austria, which ruled major parts of northeast Italy.

  4. 4.

    The Italian irredentist political and cultural movement (late nineteenth–early twentieth century) supported the incorporation of the territories of Trentino, Trieste and other areas along the Adriatic coast with an Italian ethnic presence within the boundaries of the Kingdom of Italy.

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Premi, F. (2022). Fortress Monte Baldo: A Military Landscape Between Nature and War. In: Bondesan, A., Ehlen, J. (eds) Military Geoscience: A Multifaceted Approach to the Study of Warfare. Advances in Military Geosciences. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-79260-2_4

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