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Altipiani Medal. Commemorative Medal for the 6th (Plateau) Army, silver (Medaglia Commemorativa della 6ª Armata (Armata degli Altipiani), argento) for Italian, British and French officers, 1918, by Stefano Johnson of Milan
[IT535]
Quantity Available: 0

Circular silver medal with eyelet and original loop for ribbon suspension; the face with, left to right, the head and shoulders portraits of Britannia, a trident in her right hand, Marianne and Italia Turrita representing Great Britain, France and Italy, the upper part of a circular shield below dated ‘1918’ between sprigs of oak and laurel, signed with monogram; the reverse with the arms of Italy centrally, Britain to the left and France to the right imposed on standards, inscribed below ‘NELLA FEDE FRATELLI / E NELLA VITTORIA’ (Brothers in faith and in victory), inscribed ‘ARMATA ALTIPIANI (Plateau Army) at the base below a line, signed ‘SJ’ for Stefano Johnson of Milan; on original ribbon in the colours of the three allies. The medal is not official but was created by the Italian authorities on the initiative of General Montuori, commander of the Italian 6th Army, and awarded early in 1919 to Italian, British and French officers of the forces that had fought in the Battle of the Piave, 15 to 24 June 1918. The Battle of the Piave was the final throw of the Austro-Hungarian forces occupying part of northeastern Italy when fifty-seven divisions attempted to take Allied positions and cross the River Piave. They were faced by fifty-eight Italian Divisions buttressed by three British and two French Divisions. The Italians had advance intelligence and bombarded the massed Austro-Hungarian troops in their start trenches before they could advance. It then rained heavily making the river treacherous. The British 23rd (Northern) and 48th (South Midland) Division defended the Asiago Plateau, suffering over three thousand casualties and gaining two Victoria Crosses. In all, Allied casualties exceeded eighty thousand men but Austro-Hungarian losses were larger still and they were never again able to mount a major offensive. The medal, attributed only to officers, is not often found. A very good example.

 
     
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