The Death Company by Cristoforo Baseggio – Book
Venetian front, 1915. The Austro-Hungarian army has taken control of key mountain locations facing the plains. The Fassa Alps are well guarded, and heavy casualties are expected. Mount Collo and Mount Saint Osvaldo are excellent launch points for an all-out offensive which is already in the works behind the grim vista of the Glockenturm. The Italian High Command is paralyzed by outdated methodology, wasting precious time with failed assaults and flanking maneuvers that end with red snow. Men watch from their trenches, hiding along the parapets with their guns pointing at no man’s land, and the tension in the Italian lines has taken the form of a grim silence, as if the men already know their doom is approaching and wish only for it to envelop them quickly.
Colonel Baseggio of the Italian Royal Army, a veteran of many mountain engagements in Africa, creates a new section, based not on doctrinal tactics, but on intrepid actions which he calls “Ardite.” Assembled with volunteers drawn from the entire Italian Royal Army, his hastily trained company strikes deep into Austro-Hungarian lines, shocking the world with their courage and daring, often carrying the day with little more than knives and grenades. In the mud and snow of the Carso mountains, the “Arditi Company Cristoforo Baseggio”—the first of the famed Arditi formations—grows to carry the name of The Death Company.
This first hand historical account details one of the most fascinating military phenomena of the Great War. Antelope Hill Publishing is proud to present Cristoforo Baseggio’s The Death Company, for the first time in English, to preserve and expand access to the story of these extraordinary men.