Pinzano and the two world wars

Pinzano and the two world wars

In 1914, at the outbreak of the First World War, Pinzano became a  center for troops, and military posts and artillery were installed on the hills. On October 26, 1917, following the Battle of Caporetto, at Pinzano arrived the first Italian troops in retreat, and in the following days the country lived a real exodus of both military and civilians.

During the Second World War, an ossuary on the Pion hill began: the Germanic military shrine was conceived as a mausoleum, which would have to guard the remains of some thirty thousand German and Austrian soldiers who fell into the First World War. The German government chose to build a hill, not far from Pinzano Bridge, from where you could enjoy a spectacular view of Tagliamento. In 1938 construction works began, but they were interrupted after the armistice of September 8, 1943, and they were never taken again.

Following the armistice, the area became a garrison of German troops, which were successfully attacked by a partisan team in September 1944. Pinzano was in fact a controversial area bordering the Republic of Carnia, set up by the same Partisans and surviving for a few days between September and October 1944.

Set up in Pinzano, the novel “And I’m Your Wife’s Tale” by Fabio Garzitto tells the tragic story of Gianni Missana, a sixteen-year-old boy hanged by the Nazis who occupied the village of Pinzano al Tagliamento in 1944. Gianni had been accused of assisting partisans as a relay, in exchange for a packet of cigarettes. He was arrested and tortured along with other three peers who were sentenced to death and executed in the squares of their respective countries.

The book also inspired the film “The Sun sets at midnight”, directed by Christian Canderan and realized with the support of the Autonomous Region Friuli-Venezia Giulia and the Montana Community of Friuli Occidentale, as well as numerous local associations.

To explore the area and learn more about the wars that have been fought here, we recommend that you contact the Museum of the Great War of Ragogna: