Italy - Kingdom of: First World War Fourth Battle of Isonzo November 1915 Attack on Monte Podgora Infantry Officer’s Al Valore Militare in Bronze awarded to Infantry Lieutenant Vittorio Spagnoli, Royal Italian Army. Spagnoli from Porto Recanati in the province of Macerata on the east coast of central Italy, was decorated for his leadership on Monte Podgora during the Fourth Battle of Isonzo in November 1915. He was calm, intrepid, and serene in the transmission of orders, and in several circumstances he met the soldiers and preceded to give them an example. His award was published in the Bollettino Ufficiale of the Ministry of War of 5th August 1916.
Italy - Kingdom of: Al Valore Militare in Bronze, obverse with F.G. initials, reverse officially engraved: ‘VITTORIO SPAGNOLI / PODGORA NOVEMBRE, 1915’.
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Vittorio Spagnoli came from Porto Recanati in the province of Macerata on the east coast of central Italy. He saw service during the First World War as a Lieutenant in an infantry regiment, and was awarded the Al Valore Militare in Bronze during the fighting for Monte Podgora in what became known as the Fourth Battle of the Isonzo in November 1915.
The citation for his award was published in the Bollettino Ufficiale of the Ministry of War of 5th August 1916 and the Italian language citation reads as follows: ‘Calmo, intrepido, sereno nella trasmissione degli ordini, in parecchie circostanze inei 3 i soldati e li precedette per dar loro l'sempio - Podgora, novembre 1915.’
This translates into English as: ‘Calm, intrepid, serene in the transmission of orders, in several circumstances he met the soldiers and preceded to give them an example. - Podgora, November 1915.’
Podgora, also known in Italian as Monte Calvario, is a hill on the Karst plateau west of Gorizia, on the right bank of the Isonzo, with an elevation of 241 meters above sea level. Due to its commanding position over the Isonzo valley and the Gorizia plain, it was the theatre of bitter fighting during the First World War, from June 1915 to August 1916.
Along with Sabotin and San Michele, Podgora was one of the main bulwarks of the Austro-Hungarian defense of Gorizia during the early battles of thed Isonzo, being heavily fortified with multiple orders of trenches, barbed wire and machine-gun posts. The Podgora was repeatedly attacked by Italian troops in June 1915, before and during the First Battle of Isonzo, without success, and in July, before and during the Second Battle of the Isonzo, when a regiment of Carabinieri managed to make some gains. Further advance occurred in October 1915, during the Third Battle of the Isonzp, and in November, during the Fourth Battle of the Insonzo.
In contrast to the previous three Battles of the Isonzo (June, July and October), this offensive lasted a short amount of time, and is sometimes considered a continuation of the previous offensive.
Most of the clash was concentrated in the direction of Gorizia and on the Karst Plateau, though the push was distributed on the whole Isonzo front. The Italian Second Army, aiming for the town of Gorizia, was able to capture the hilly area around Oslavia and San Floriano del Collio overlooking the Soča (Isonzo) and Gorizia itself. The Italian Third Army, covering the rest of the front up to the sea, launched a series of large and bloody attacks which brought no significant gain.
Mount Sei Busi, already the scene of bitter fighting, was attacked five times by the Italian forces, always in vain. The intensity of the fighting increased until the end of November, when the bridgehead of Tolmin (Italian: Tolmino) was heavily bombed by both sides and the casualty ratio per day reached its apex. In the first fifteen days of December, however, the fighting was reduced to small scale skirmishes as opposed to the massive frontal assaults that characterized the previous phases of the battle.
An unsigned truce arrived together with the first great cold in the mountains of the Karst Plateau, and operations were ceased due to lack of supplies.
The summit of Monte Padgora was finally captured by the "Casale" Infantry Brigade on 8 August 1916, during the Sixth Battle of the Isonzo; Gorizia fell shortly thereafter.
The Austro-Hungarian High Command, worried by the huge losses, requested assistance from the German Empire, which was not yet formally in the war against Italy. This would eventually lead to German intervention on the Italian front starting with the Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo.