On Warmer Tides

On Warmer Tides

The True Story of Italy's First World War Naval Commandos

Matthew C. Hall

This work seeks to reverse assessments of Italy's World War One contribution as slow and unprepared. Instead we seek to argue that Italy instead was a creative and innovative actor, whose navy's willingness to adapt to heartfelt objectives against greater foes, led to the development of the modern naval commando.
Date Published :
September 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Illustration :
3 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781915113719
Pages : 196
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
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$45.00

Overview
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In 1915 the young Italian state became embroiled in the great European conflagration of 1914 – 1918. The infant nation's youthful enthusiasm for the conflict stemmed from a bitter revanchism, which gripped her elites with the concept of a Greater Italy. An Italy which would be a suitable successor to the myriad of wondrous renaissance states which had immortalized the peninsula, as one of sophistication and thassalocratic potency. Yet of all the images of her past, the Italian political class's favorite lay in the ultramarine imperial portrait of the Venetian Republic. The city state's former glories across the Adriatic, the Istrian peninsula and out into the eastern Mediterranean, granted Italy's radically nationalist, educated strata, a picture of a past which existed a mere century ago and could thus, be feasibly restored in a not too distant future.

To undertake the reconquest of Venetian lands across the sea from the perfidious hands of the House of Habsburg though, would require an impossible opportunity to emerge. By the end of 1914, the hurricane of modern warfare had torn through Vienna and her defeats had shown her martial power to be a 19th century phantom. A year later, on a sweltering Rome day in May, Italy and the Habsburg Empire went to war. It is here where anglophone histories of the First World War typically pass a glance at an Italian campaign, commonly portrayed as an incompetent combat between two second tier militaries. But the bombastic ruination of massed infantry across the humid flatlands of north-western Italy, masks a hitherto much maligned maritime campaign – The Adriatic Campaign of 1915 – 1918. A campaign which gave birth to the first modern naval commandos: the MAS Flotillas, an organization whose operational prowess would serve as the proof-of-concept for undersea special forces throughout Europe.

On Warmer Tides: The True Story of Italy's Seaborne Commandos takes place inside this dynamic campaign, focusing specifically on this pioneering special forces group. In doing so the work seeks to take the reader on a journey out of World War One's traumatic land based narrative, and to the luscious littoral waters of Italy's white sand beaches, and the wind blasted rockfaces of the Dalmatian coastline. The biography of the MAS Flotillas is one of innovation, audacity, and determination. The unit's development saw the pioneering of new nautical technologies, pushing the boundaries of what is possible whilst undersea. Technological endeavors including man ridable torpedoes, jumping boats and underwater explosives to name a few. Leading to daring exploits such as the Raid on Buccari Bay, the nocturnal attack on the SMS Wien or the audacious infiltration of the Pula Naval Base. Behind this action driven façade, the work looks to build an excellent account of underwater warfare, and to push the boundaries within which Italy's First World War experience is recounted.

About The Author
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Matthew C. Hall is an English writer who specializes in military affairs and strategic studies. Mr. Hall has been involved in the discipline of military history since commencing both his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Aberystwyth University’s illustrious Department of International Politics. His particular interests focus on naval warfare, special forces and the histories of Spain, Italy, and Latin America. He currently divides his time between the picturesque English town of Saffron Walden and the Northern Italian city of Modena.

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