Oberstleutnant Karl Widy, Festungsartillerie-Regiment Nr. 5
Karl was born in 1887, and he was the son of Emperor Franz Joseph I. He ascended to the throne after his brother, Emperor Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated in 1914. As Emperor, Karl faced a number of challenges, including the ongoing conflict of World War I and the rising tensions within the empire between the various ethnic and national groups. Karl I was the last Emperor of Austria and the last King of Hungary. He ruled the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1916 until the empire's collapse at the end of World War I in 1918. Despite his efforts to address these issues, Karl was unable to prevent the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of the war. He abdicated in 1918 and died in 1922.
The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. During the First World War, the front line between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces ran through the Dolomites and there was fierce mine warfare. There are now open-air war museums at Cinque Torri (Five Towers) and Mount Lagazuoi. Many people visit the Dolomites to climb the vie ferrate, protected paths created during the First World War. ”The Dolomite mountains have become a legend and will be remembered not only for the blood that was shed there, but for the kind of warfare that was engaged: it did not set anonymous armies against each other as it did on the Russian Front – it was a war of man-against-man that valued heroic individual actions. In addition, the idle moments that soldiers were forced to undergo because of the extreme conditions and severe winters in the high mountains provided time to study the adversary who – during the pauses between one battle and another – sometimes assumed a human face: conversations between “enemies” – the exchange of cigarettes, letters, Christmas wishes – are now the stuff of legends.” (L. Palla)