11 13 21 stelvio passStelvio Pass area and in the background the glaciers of the Ortles-Cevedale group, Italy.

Historians found a WWI bunker ‘frozen in time’ in the Alps

By Adela Suliman
via the Stars and Stripes newspaper web site 

Tucked within an icy mountain lies a meticulously preserved World War I bunker.

Climate change means we can now see it.

The intact cavern/barracks contains munitions, books, cigarette holders and animal bones and was once teeming with Austro-Hungarian troops. They staked out on Mount Scorluzzo, almost 3,000 meters above sea level, on the Italian-Swiss border, now part of Italy’s Stelvio National Park territory.

“These places were literally frozen in time,” Giovanni Cadioli, historian and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Padua told The Washington Post.

Now, he added, climate change was playing a “pivotal role” in their discovery, as warming temperatures have led to the melting of glaciers and permafrost revealing a “time capsule.”

Amid the backdrop of the global climate change summit COP26 taking place in Europe, Cadioli underscored that the impressive findings were bittersweet: “We’d really rather not have retreating glaciers.”

The artificial caves were made back in 1915 by blowing up parts of the mountain and transforming them into makeshift barracks and shelters to house hundreds of European troops.

The barracks, along with the machine gun emplacements, sheltered walkways and tunnels, were held by Austro-Hungarians who were fighting Italian troops. They vacated their position on Nov. 3 1918, in line with retreat orders, just days ahead of the Armistice agreement on Nov. 11, which ended the First World War.

Read the entire article on the Stars and Stripes web site here:

 

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