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Battles

Defense of Hermada during Summer 1917

The regiments of the 35th Division served on the Russian front in the first half of the Great War. In 1917, they were transferred to the Isonzo Front. In the summer of that year, they protected the coastal area of the Karst. Later they fought on the Bainsizza plateau at the time of the great breakthrough in the fall. The inscriptions Hermada and Dol-Kal on the insignia of the 63rd Infantry Regiment immortalized these two episodes. Now I will write a few lines about the defense of Hermada.

One of the main lines of attack in the 10th Battle of the Isonzo was aimed at capturing Trieste. The Karst Plateau thus once again withstood a serious siege. This time, the Italians also tried along the routes near the sea. The prominent point of the southern side of the plateau was the Hermada hill. The attack against it was fended off by the 35th division, freshly transferred from the Russian front.

Between May 23-28, the attacking Italians managed to advance to the settlement of Medeazza. The not very significant territorial gains achieved were eliminated by the counterattack of the 35th Division (including the 63rd Infantry Regiment). On June 4, the front returned to the Jamiano-Flondar line. On the 5th and 6th, new Italian attacks were launched, but they could no longer shake the strengthened Austro-Hungarian defense. The Italian losses on this front were many times higher than those of the defenders.

The 63rd Infantry Regiment arrived at StDaniel by rail on 26 May. On June 3, two of his battalions moved to the Medeazza area. Both battalions took part in the counterattack the next day and distinguished themselves. After that, the fighting on this section of the front subsided, but the strengthening of the established front line was mutually hindered by the opponents’ enterprises. The attached map shows the location of the hill as well as the villages that were mentioned in the text.

In the 11th Isonzo Battle, after August 18, the Hermada district was again exposed to strong Italian attacks. The 63rd fought next to the settlement of Flondar at that time, the most serious battles were fought for the possession of the Trieste railway tunnel. Next to Jamiano, the 63/17 company successfully blocked an Italian invasion. Two non-commissioned officers of the company received a gold medal of valor for the successful management of the defense. By the 21st, the regiment’s fighting force was extremely reduced due to losses. But on this day too, an Italian attack was fended off near Flondar. The hero of that day was First Lieutenant Frigyes Franek, who later received the Knight’s Cross of the Military Order of Mary-Theresia for his performance.

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