Yesterday a mutiny broke out among Italian troops of the Catanzaro brigade. After suffering in heavy fighting during the recent Tenth Battle of the Isonzo, these men from the far south of Italy had been taken out of the line and based temporarily at the village of Santa Maria la Longa. Expecting to be posted to a quiet sector, the men were shocked to then receive orders to return to the Isonzo frontline. Anger leads to mutiny, which is suppressed by the cavalry and armoured cars. 11 men die in the disturbance, including two officers. The rebels had apparently planned to kill D’Annunzio, stationed in a nearby village, but the warrior poet had been away visiting a nearby airfield.
More men die today. 28 men are executed for their part in the mutiny, 12 chosen at random from the most mutinous company, in accordance with Cadorna‘s directions on how to deal with units that fail in their duty. D’Annunzio watches the executions of the men who would have killed him.
Benediction for the condemned (from the film Uomini Contro) (La Grande Guerra: Fucilazioni della brigata Catanzaro a Santa Maria la Longa)