Mountain warfare refers to warfare in the mountains or rough terrain. This type of warfare is called Alpine warfare, after the Alps mountains. Mountain warfare is one of the most dangerous types of combat as it involves surviving not only combat with the enemy but the extreme weather and dangerous terrain. Mountain ranges are of strategic importance since they act as a natural border, may be the origin of a water source. Attacking a prepared enemy position in mountain terrain requires a greater ratio of attacking soldiers to defending soldiers than a war conducted on level ground. Mountains at any time of year are dangerous – lightning, strong gusts of wind, rock falls, snow pack, extreme cold, glaciers with their crevasses and the general uneven terrain and the slow pace of troop and material movement are all additional threats to combatants. Movement and medical evacuation up and down steep slopes and areas where pack animals cannot reach involves an enormous exertion of energy; the term mountain warfare is said to have come about in the Middle Ages after the monarchies of Europe found it difficult to fight the Swiss armies in the Alps because the Swiss were able to fight in smaller units and took vantage points against a huge unmaneuverable army.
Similar styles of attack and defence were employed by guerrillas and irregulars who hid in the mountains after an attack, making it challenging for an army of regulars to fight back. In Bonaparte's Italian campaign, the 1809 rebellion in Tyrol, mountain warfare played a large role. Another example of mountain warfare was the Crossing of the Andes carried out by the Argentinean Army of the Andes commanded by Gen José de San Martín in 1817. One of the divisions surpassed 5000 m in height. Mountain warfare came to the fore once again during World War I, when some of the nations involved in the war had mountain divisions that had hitherto not been tested; the Austro-Hungarian defence repelled Italian attacks as they took advantage of the mountainous terrain in the Julian Alps and the Dolomites, where frostbite and avalanches proved deadlier than bullets. During the summer of 1918, the Battle of San Matteo took place on the Italian front. In December 1914, another offensive was launched by the Turkish supreme commander Enver Pasha with 95,000–190,000 troops against the Russians in the Caucasus.
Insisting on a frontal attack against Russian positions in the mountains in the heart of winter, the end result was devastating and Enver lost 86% of his forces. The Italian Campaign in World War II, Siachen conflict were large-scale mountain warfare examples. Battles of Narvik Kokoda Track campaign Operation Rentier Operation Gauntlet Since the Partition of India in 1947, India and Pakistan have been in conflict over the Kashmir region, they have fought numerous additional skirmishes / border conflicts in the region. Kashmir is located in the highest mountain range in the world; the first hostilities between the two nations, in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, showed that both were ill-equipped to fight in biting cold, let alone at the highest altitudes in the world. During the Sino-Indian War of 1962, hostilities broke out between China in the same area; the subsequent Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 between India and Pakistan was fought in Kashmir's valleys rather than the mountains themselves, although several mountain battles took place.
In the Kargil War Indian forces sought to flush out opponents. The proxy warfare in 1999 was the only modern war, fought on mountains. Following the Kargil War, the Indian Army implemented specialist training on artillery use in the mountains, where ballistic projectiles have different characteristics than at sea level. Most of the Falklands War took place on hills in semi-Arctic conditions on the Falkland Islands. However, during the opening stage of the war, there was military action on the bleak mountainous island of South Georgia, when a British expedition sought to eject occupying Argentine forces. South Georgia is a periantarctic island, the conflict took place during the southern winter, so Alpine conditions prevailed down to sea level; the operation was unusual, in that it combined aspects of long-range amphibious warfare, arctic warfare and mountain warfare. It involved special forces troops and helicopters. Throughout history but since 1979, many mountain warfare operations have taken place throughout Afghanistan.
Since the coalition invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 these have been in the eastern provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. Kunar and eastern Nuristan are strategic terrain; the area constitutes a major infiltration route into Afghanistan, insurgents can enter these provinces from any number of places along the Pakistani border to gain access to a vast network of river valleys. In this part of Afghanistan, the US military has adopted a hybrid style of mountain warfare incorporating counterinsurgency theory, in which the population is paramount as the center of gravity in the fight. In counterinsurgency and holding territory is less important than avoiding civilian casualties; the primary goal of counterinsurgency is to secure the backing of the populace and thereby legitimize the government rather than focus on militarily defeating the insurgents. Counterinsurgency doctrine has proved difficult to implement in Nuristan. In the sparsely populated mountain regions of Eastern Afghanistan, strategists have argued for holding the high ground—a
5th Alpini Regiment
The 5th Alpini Regiment is a light infantry regiment of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. The Alpini are a mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II; the 5th Alpini Regiment was formed on November 1, 1882. It consisted of three Battalions: Val Dora and Valtellina, named after the valleys and localities from which their soldiers were recruited. In 1886 the Battalions were renamed, taking their new names from the location of their main logistic depot: Morbegno, Tirano and the newly formed Vestone. During World War I the regiment consisted of 16 battalions and saw heavy fighting in the Alps against Austria's Kaiserjäger and Germany's Alpenkorps; the battalions of the regiment in these days were: Morbegno, Val d'Intelvi, Monte Spluga, Monte Mandrone Tirano, Stelvio, Tonale Edolo, Val Camonica, Monte Adamello, Monte Ortler Vestone, Val Chiese, Monte Suello, Monte Cavento On September 10, 1935, the 2nd Alpine Division “Tridentina” was formed and composed of the 5th Alpini and 6th Alpini Regiments and the 2nd Mountain Artillery Regiment.
In September 1942 the “Tridentina” division under the command of General Luigi Reverberi was sent together with the Alpini divisions Julia and Cuneense and other Italian units to the Soviet Union to form the ARMIR and fight alongside the Germans against the Red Army. Taking up positions along the Don River the Italian units covered part of the left flank of the German Sixth Army, which spearheaded the German summer offensive of 1942 into the city of Stalingrad. After encircling the German Sixth army in Stalingrad the Red Army's attention turned to the Italian units along the Don. On January 14, 1943, the Soviet offensive Operation Little Saturn began and the three Alpini division found themselves encircled by the advancing armoured Soviet Forces. After 12 days of heavy fighting the Julia and Cuneense divisions were annihilated; the remnants of the Tridentina were able to break the Soviet encirclement in the epic and desperate Battle of Nikolayevka on January 26, 1943, allowing the 4,250 survivors to reach German lines.
The few survivors of the 5th regiment were repatriated and after the signing of the Italian armistice with the Allies on September 8, 1943, the regiment dissolved in the vicinity of the Italian city of Brixen. After World War II the 5th Alpini regiment was reformed on January 1, 1953, in the city of Meran with the battalions Tirano, Edolo and became the sole Alpini regiment in the newly formed Alpine Brigade Orobica. In 1956 the Morbegno was raised again; when Italy dissolved the regimental level in 1975 the 5th Alpini was disbanded on 30 November and its battalions came under the direct command of the Orobica Brigade. The traditions and regimental colours of the 5th Alpini were given to the Morbegno battalion, which carried them until the 5th Alpini regiment was reformed on August 8, 1992. Before being disbanded in 1975 the structure of the 5th Alpini Regiment was as follows: 5th Alpini Regiment, in Meran Command and Services Company, in Meran Alpini Battalion Morbegno, in Sterzing 44th Alpini Company 45th Alpini Company 47th Alpini Company 107th Mortar Company Alpini Battalion Tirano, in Mals 46th Alpini Company, in Glurns 48th Alpini Company 49th Alpini Company, in Glurns 109th Mortar Company Alpini Battalion Edolo, in Meran 50th Alpini Company 51st Alpini Company 52nd Alpini Company 110th Mortar Company Today the 5th Regiment consists of the “Morbegno” battalion, the regimental command and a logistic support company.
The regiment is based in Sterzing in the province of South Tyrol, making it the north most based regiment of the Italian Army and is part of the Alpine Brigade Julia. Regimental Command Command and Logistic Support Company Alpini Battalion Morbegno 44th Alpini Company "L’Ardita" 45th Alpini Company "L’Fer" 47th Alpini Company "L’Audace" 107th Maneuver Support Company "Là Dove Voglio" The Alpini companies are equipped with Bv 206S tracked all-terrain carriers, Puma 6x6 wheeled armored personnel carriers and Lince light multirole vehicles; the maneuver support company is equipped with 120mm mortars and Spike MR anti-tank guided missiles. 7th Alpini Regiment 8th Alpini Regiment Alpine Brigade Julia Italian Army Official Homepage 5th Alpini Regiment on vecio.it Franco dell'Uomo, Rodolfo Puletti: L'Esercito Italiano verso il 2000 - Volume Primo - Tomo I, Rome 1998, Stato Maggiore dell'Esercito - Ufficio Storico, page: 473
2nd Alpine Artillery Regiment
The 2nd alpine Artillery Regiment Italian: 2° Reggimento Artiglieria Alpina) was a field artillery regiment of the Italian Army, specializing in mountain combat. Since their formation the Mountain Artillery Regiments have served alongside the Alpini, a mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, which distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II. Besides their close history, the Alpini and Mountain Artillery regiments share the distinctive Cappello Alpino; the regiment was disbanded in 2013 and its FH-70 towed howitzers were transferred to the re-raised 185th Parachute Artillery Regiment Folgore of the Folgore Parachute Brigade in Bracciano. The unit was raised as 3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment in the city of Bergamo on 15 February 1915. On the same date it received the Mountain Artillery Group Oneglia from the 1st Mountain Artillery Regiment and the Mountain Artillery Group Bergamo from the 2nd Mountain Artillery Regiment. To bring the regiment to full strength on the same date the mountain artillery groups Genova and Como were raised.
The regiment was tasked to provide artillery support to the 1st and 5th Alpini regiments and recruited in Liguria and Lombardy. During the war the regiment's depots raised and trained the commands of one mountain artillery grouping, the commands of 17 mountain artillery groups, 44 mountain artillery batteries, which were each equipped with four 65/17 mod. 13 cannons. Furthermore, two commands of siege groups, 19 siege batteries were raised and trained by the regiment; the regiment raised the following mountain artillery grouping: 7°. The regiment raised the following mountain artillery groups: XVII, XVIII, XXIV, XXVII, XXXI, XXXII, XL, XLV, XLVI, XLVII, XLVIII, LV, LVI, LVII, LIX, LX, LXVI. Note 3: The Genova group's 60th Mountain Artillery Battery and the Como group's 62nd Mountain Artillery Battery were not raised until November 1916 for lack of available 65/17 mod. 13 cannons. Traditionally Alpini units had been numbered from West to East with the 1st Alpini Regiment being the most westward and the 8th Alpini Regiment being the most eastward.
However as the 3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment had been raised last it found itself now in the middle between the 1st Mountain Artillery Regiment in the West and the 2nd Mountain Artillery Regiment in the East. To rectify this on 11 March 1926 the 2nd and 3rd mountain artillery regiments swapped numbers; the regiment was equipped with FH-70 towed howitzers. Regimental Command Command and Logistic Support Battery 21st Target Acquisition and Surveillance Battery Artillery Group Vicenza 19th Howitzer Battery 20th Howitzer Battery 41st Technical Support Battery Official website
6th Alpini Regiment
The 6th Alpini Regiment is a light infantry training regiment of the Italian Army, specializing in mountain warfare. The Alpini are a mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II; the 6th Alpini Regiment was formed on November 1, 1882. It consisted of the Val d'Orco, Val d'Aosta, Val Tagliamento battalions, named after the valleys from which their soldiers were recruited. On 1 April 1885 the regiment ceded the Val d'Orco and Val d'Aosta battalions to the 4th Alpini Regiment and received the Val Schio battalion from the 2nd Alpini Regiment, the Monte Lessini battalion from the 3rd Alpini Regiment and the Val Brenta battalion from the 4th Alpini Regiment. In 1886 battalions were renamed, taking as new names the location of their main logistic depot: Verona, Bassano, Pieve di Cadore and Gemona; the same year the Feltre battalion was raised. By now the regiment had become to complex and so it was split on 1 August 1887: the regimental command and the battalions Feltre and Pieve di Cadore formed in Conegliano the 7th Alpini Regiment.
The 6th regiment saw its first action in the Italo-Turkish War 1911, fighting Ottoman forces in the Libyan desert. During World War I the regiment consisted of 10 battalions and saw heavy fighting in the Alps against Austria’s Kaiserjäger and Germany’s Alpenkorps; the battalions of the regiment in these days were: Verona, Val d'Adige, Monte Baldo Vicenza, Val Leogra, Monte Berico, Monte Pasubio Bassano, Val Brenta, Sette Comuni On September 10, 1935, the 2nd Alpine Division “Tridentina” was formed and composed of the 5th Alpini and 6th Alpini Regiments and the 2nd Mountain Artillery Regiment. In 1937 the battalions are reorganized and renamed: Vestone and Trento; the "Trento" battalion was placed under command of the newly formed 11th Alpini Regiment and participated in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. On June 21, 1940 the “Tridentina” division began to advance with other Italian units into Southern France; the division was sent to Albania, where it sustained heavy losses in the Italian attack on Greece.
As the German Wehrmacht came to the aid of the beaten Italian armies in Albania in April 1941 through the invasion of Yugoslavia the “Tridentina” was sent repatriated for rest and refit. In September 1942 the “Tridentina” under the command of General Luigi Reverberi was sent together with the Alpini divisions Julia and Cuneense and other Italian units to the Soviet Union to form the ARMIR and fight alongside the Germans against the Red Army; the 6th regiment was augmented by the Val Chiese battalion before leaving Italy. Taking up positions along the Don River the Italian units covered part of the left flank of the German Sixth Army, which spearheaded the German summer offensive of 1942 into the city of Stalingrad. After encircling the German Sixth army in Stalingrad the Red Army’s attention turned to the Italian units along the Don. On January 14, 1943, the Soviet offensive Operation Little Saturn began and the three Alpini division found themselves encircled by the advancing armoured Soviet Forces.
After 12 days of heavy fighting the Julia and Cuneense divisions were annihilated. The remnants of the Tridentina were able to break the Soviet encirclement in the epic and desperate Battle of Nikolayevka on January 26, 1943, allowing the 4250 survivors to reach German lines; the few survivors of the 6th Regiment were repatriated and after the signing of the Italian armistice with the Allies on September 8, 1943, the regiment was dissolved on September 10, 1943, in the Italian village of Fortezza. After World War II the 6th Alpini regiment was reformed on April 16, 1946, in the city of Meran with the battalions "Edolo", "Bolzano" and "Trento" and became the sole Alpini regiment of the reformed Alpine Brigade Tridentina. In 1951 the reformed "Bassano" battalion returned to the 6th Alpini and on January 1, 1953, it ceded the "Edolo" battalion to the reformed 5th Alpini Regiment. On September 30, 1975, the regiment was disbanded and its battalions came under direct command of the Tridentina Brigade.
The regimental colours and traditions were given to the care of the "Bassano" battalion. Before being disbanded in 1975 the structure of the 6th Alpini Regiment was as follows: 6th Alpini Regiment, in Bruneck Command and Services Company, in Bruneck Alpini Battalion Bolzano, in Brixen 92nd Alpini Company 141st Alpini Company 142nd Alpini Company 127th Mortar Company Alpini Battalion Trento, in Welsberg 94th Alpini Company 144th Alpini Company 145th Alpini Company 128th Mortar Company Alpini Battalion Bassano, in Innichen 62nd Alpini Company 63rd Alpini Company 74th Alpini Company 129th Mortar Company On January 15, 1993, the 6th Alpini Regiment was reformed and the "Bassano" became its single battalion. Today the 6th Regiment consists of the “Bassano” battalion, the regimental command and a logistic support company; the regiment is based in Innichen in South Tyrol and directly subordinated to the Alpine Troops Command. It functions as a NATO-wide high altitude warfare training centre and administers the military training areas in the Puster Valley.
Regimental Command in Bruneck Command and Logistic Support Company Alpini Battalion Bassano 62nd Alpini Company "La valanga" in Bruneck 74th Instructors Company "La travolgente" in Innichen Italian Army COMALP Official Homepage 6th Alpini Regiment on vecio.it Franco dell'Uomo, Rodolfo Puletti: L'Esercito Italiano verso il 2000 - Volume Primo - Tomo I, Rome 1998, Stato Maggiore dell'Esercito - Ufficio Storico, pag
A regiment is a military unit. Their role and size varies markedly, depending on the arm of service. In Medieval Europe, the term "regiment" denoted any large body of front-line soldiers, recruited or conscripted in one geographical area, by a leader, also the feudal lord of the soldiers. By the end of the 17th century, regiments in most European armies were permanent units, numbering about 1,000 men and under the command of a colonel. During the modern era, the word "regiment" – much like "corps" – may have two somewhat divergent meanings, which refer to two distinct roles: a front-line military formation. In many armies, the first role has been assumed by independent battalions, task forces and other, similarly-sized operational units. However, these non-regimental units tend to be short-lived. A regiment may be a variety of sizes: smaller than a standard battalion, e.g. Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. S. Infantry Regiment and Royal Regiment of Scotland; the French term régiment is considered to have entered military usage in Europe at the end of the 16th century, when armies evolved from collections of retinues who followed knights, to formally organised, permanent military forces.
At that time, regiments were named after their commanding colonels, disbanded at the end of the campaign or war. It was customary to name the regiment by its precedence in the line of battle, to recruit from specific places, called cantons; the oldest regiments which still exist, their dates of establishment, include the Spanish 9th Infantry Regiment “Soria”, Swedish Life Guards, the British Honourable Artillery Company and the King's Own Immemorial Regiment of Spain, first established in 1248 during the conquest of Seville by King Ferdinand the Saint. In the 17th century, brigades were formed as units combining infantry and artillery that were more effective than the older, single-arms regiments. By the beginning of the 18th century, regiments in most European continental armies had evolved into permanent units with distinctive titles and uniforms, each under the command of a colonel; when at full strength, an infantry regiment comprised two field battalions of about 800 men each or 8–10 companies.
In some armies, an independent regiment with fewer companies was labelled a demi-regiment. A cavalry regiment numbered 600 to 900 troopers. On campaign, these numbers were soon reduced by casualties and detachments and it was sometimes necessary to amalgamate regiments or to withdraw them to a depot while recruits were obtained and trained. With the widespread adoption of conscription in European armies during the nineteenth century, the regimental system underwent modification. Prior to World War I, an infantry regiment in the French, German and other smaller armies would comprise four battalions, each with a full strength on mobilization of about 1,000 men; as far as possible, the separate battalions would be garrisoned in the same military district, so that the regiment could be mobilized and campaign as a 4,000 strong linked group of sub-units. A cavalry regiment by contrast made up a single entity of up to 1,000 troopers. A notable exception to this practice was the British line infantry system where the two regular battalions constituting a regiment alternated between "home" and "foreign" service and came together as a single unit.
In the regimental system, each regiment is responsible for recruiting and administration. The regiment is responsible for recruiting and administering all of a soldier's military career. Depending upon the country, regiments can be administrative units or both; this is contrasted to the "continental system" adopted by many armies. In the continental system, the division is the functional army unit, its commander is the administrator of every aspect of the formation: his staff train and administer the soldiers and commanders of the division's subordinate units. Divisions are garrisoned together and share the same installations: thus, in divisional administration, a battalion commanding officer is just another officer in a chain of command. Soldiers and officers are transferred out of divisions as required; some regiments recruited from specific geographical areas, incorporated the place name into the regimental name. In other cases, regiments would recruit from a given age group within a nation, an ethnic group, or foreigners.
In other cases, new regiments were raised for new functions within an army.
Conegliano is a town and comune of the Veneto region, Italy, in the province of Treviso, about 30 kilometres north by rail from the town of Treviso. The population of the city is of 35,023 people; the remains of a 10th-century castle are situated on a hill. Belonging to the Bishop of Vittorio Veneto, what remains is a bell tower, which now houses a small museum, outer walls. Conegliano is noted for its wine, chiefly the dry white Prosecco which comes in three varieties: tranquillo and spumante, it is home to Italy's oldest and most prestigious wine school called Scuola Enologica. It is home to the Istituto Sperimentale per la Viticoltura where several Italian grape varieties have been bred, including Albarossa and Valentino nero. Additionally, viticulturalists at the institute have helped saved many native Italian grape varieties from extinction, such as the Valpolicella grape Bigolona. There is a great industrial tradition specialized in home appliances; the hills around Conegliano are home to the Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita zone of Colli di Conegliano.
Here both red and white Italian wines are produced at a variety of sweetness levels from dry to sweet passito dessert wines. Grapes destined for DOC wine production must be harvested to a yield no greater than 12 tonnes/hectare; the finished wine must attain a minimum alcohol level of 12% for the red wines and 10.5% for the whites in order to be labelled with the Colli di Conegliano DOC designation. The red DOC wines are made Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Marzemino and up 10% of Incrocio Manzoni 2.15. The wine is required to be aged at least two years in barrel prior to being released. A sweet red passito labeled as Refrontolo is made from at least 95% Marzemino with up 5% of other local non-aromatic varieties permitted to round out the blend; the dry white of the DOC is made from at least 30% Manzoni bianco with between 30-70% collectively of Pinot blanc and Chardonnay and up to 10% total of Sauvignon blanc and Riesling Renano. The passito style Torchiato di Fregona can be made in both a dry and sweet style from at least 30% each of Glera and Verdiso, a minimum 25% of Boschera and up to 15% of non-aromatic varieties like Marzemina bianca and Bianchetta Trevigiana.
This wine is required to age at least 13 months prior to being release. Every June, a special chess or'dama' game where the pieces are represented by actual real people—known as the Dama Castellana—is performed in the historical center; this event is not the continuation of a secular tradition, but has been introduced only a few years ago, still managed to become a traditional event calendar coneglianese. Conegliano was the birthplace of the painter Cima da Conegliano, a fine altar-piece by whom is in the cathedral and the composer and conductor at the Cincinnati Conservatory, Pier Adolfo Tirindelli; the town has one association football team called Conegliano who play in the Promozione, the sixth tier of Italian football. Ferruccio Benini, actor. Ugo Cerletti, a neurologist who discovered the method of electroconvulsive therapy in psychiatry. Giambattista Cima, Renaissance painter. Paolo De Coppi, scientist. Alessandro Del Piero, World Cup-winning footballer. Marco Donadel, football midfielder.
Maurizio Zanetti, scientist immunologist Gino Girolamo Fanno, engineer. Marco Fanno, economist. Pier Paolo Pasolini, poet. Maurizio Sacconi, politician. Alberto Rapisarda, illustrator. Tullio De Rosa and novelist. Stefano Curtarolo, materials scientist. Bruna Pegoraro Brylawski, molecular biologist. Conegliano railway stationTaxis are located at the railway station to transport train riders to their final destination in Conegliano. Conegliano is twinned with: Garibaldi in Brazil Lismore in New South Wales, Australia Conegliano Official Website Exhibition Official WebsiteNotes
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It