World War I
During World War I the Soča Valley was the scene of the greatest battles on the Slovenian grounds, which were also described in Ernest Hemingway’s novel A Farewell to Arms.
The famous Isonzo Front (1915–1917), the battlefield between the Italian and the Austro-Hungarian military, was 93 km long and was situated from the mighty Rombon (2,208 m) to the mouth of the River Soča in the Gulf of Trieste. The greatest battles in the mountain area in the history of humankind were marked by 11 bloody offensives by the Italian army and the last, 12th battle of the Isonzo, also known as the Miracle of Kobarid, in which the Austro-Hungarian soldiers received help by the German army and pushed the front line to the Piava River.
Those who like to research the military history, can visit the corners and the areas of the Soča Valley, where the mighty battles used to rage. The wrathful battles in the areas of Rombon, Bovška kotlina, Ravelnik, Krnsko pogorje and the mountain ridge above the Tolminska kotlina and Kobarid left many forts, caverns, trenches, the remains and cemeteries behind, which are now connected by The Walk of Peace.
Soča, A Clear Arch Will Stretch above You, around You A Hail of Lead
In one of the most beautiful Slovenian poems Soči (To the Soča), Simon Gregorčič prophetically foretold the bloody battles next to the River Soča more than a decade before the beginning of World War I, even though he was unable to anticipate such events. When Italy entered war, it was the towns of the Soča Valley that turned into a deadly battlefield.
... "A clear arch will stretch above you,
Around you a hail of lead,
Rain of blood and streams of tears,
Lightning and thunder – oh, stifling battle!
Bitter steel will strike upon these lands,
And you will flow full of blood:
Our blood will nourish you,
The enemy’s will muddy you!" ...
(an excerpt from the poem Soči, S. Gregorčič).