NATO MW COE hosted Mountain Warfare Battlefield Tour 2024

NATO MW COE hosted Mountain Warfare Battlefield Tour 2024

From 20 May to 22 May 2024, the NATO Mountain Warfare Centre of Excellence (MW COE) successfully conducted its annual Battlefield Tour in Kobarid and Škofja Loka, attracting 23 participants and 3 lecturers from 5 countries. This event is one of the Centre’s efforts to foster individual professional development and highlight the importance of mountain warfare within the Community of Interest, along with the historical events.

This year’s tour focused on the 12th Soška/Isonzo Battle, a significant World War I engagement known for its strategic complexity and intense mountain warfare. The battle, fought in October 1917, saw the Italian and Austro-Hungarian armies clash in the rugged terrain around Kobarid, Slovenia.

Main Objectives of the event were:

  • To study 12. Soška/Isonzo Battle Planning, Deployment, Offensive and Defensive Activities.
  • To identify what might be common parallels with modern (Mountain) Warfare.
  • To identify lessons to be learned especially regarding to: Deployment and logistics, Intelligence and reconnaissance, Communication, Combat support, Command and control.

During the three-day event, expert lectures provided participants with deep insights into the 12th Soška/Isonzo Battle. Historians Dr. Mario Christian Ortner from Austria and Dr. Blaž Torkar from Slovenia gave a strategic/operational overview from the AUT/GER and ITA perspectives. Additionally, LTC Miha Kuhar from NATO MW COE discussed the operational/tactical principles. Their presentations enriched the participants’ understanding of Mountain Warfare during World War I and its contemporary applications through NATO AJP 3 principles and the operational considerations of joint and multinational operations.

A notable aspect of the tour was how the weather cooperated to enhance the realism of the experience. Heavy rain and fog on the Kolovrat terrain matched the conditions of the 12th Soška/Isonzo Battle, giving participants a true sense of the tough circumstances soldiers faced during the actual battle.

If you are a part of our LL Community, you can read more observations and conclusions from this link.

If you are not a part of this marvelous Community you can join it here.

Share this post