General Armando Diaz
December 5, 1861|
|Died||February 28, 1928
|Allegiance||Kingdom of Italy|
|Service/branch||Royal Italian Army|
|Years of service||1884 - 1924|
|Rank||Marshal of Italy|
Born in Naples to a father of distant Spanish heritage, and an Italian mother (Irene Cecconi), Diaz began his military career as a student at the Military Academy of Turin, where he became an artillery officer. He was a colonel commanding the 93rd infantry during the Italo-Turkish War, and major general in 1914. On the outbreak of World War I, he was assigned to the high command as head of the unit's operations under General Luigi Cadorna. He was promoted to 2-star general in June, 1916, and assumed the command of the 49th division and then the 23rd army corps.
The Battle of Caporetto, in October 1917, was disastrous to the army, and on November 8, 1917, he was called to succeed Cadorna as chief of general staff. Having recovered what remained of the army, he organized the resistance in 1917 on the Monte Grappa massif and along the Piave River, which successfully halted the Austrian offensive. In summer of 1918 he oversaw the victory in the Battle of the Piave River and later that year led the Italian troops in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, which ended the war on the Italian front. With his famous Bollettino della Vittoria (Victory Address) he communicated the rout of the Austrian army and victory of the Italians in the war.
On November 1, 1921 Diaz was in Kansas City to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Liberty Memorial that was being constructed there. Also present that day were Lieutenant General Baron Jacques of Belgium, Admiral David Beatty of Great Britain, Marshal Ferdinand Foch of France, and General John J. Pershing of the United States. One of the main speakers was Vice President Calvin Coolidge of the United States. In 1935 bas-reliefs of Jacques, Foch, Diaz, and Pershing by sculptor Walker Hancock were added to the memorial.
After the war Armando Diaz was appointed as a senator. In 1921 he was ennobled by King Victor Emmanuel III and given the victory title of 1st Duca della Vittoria ("Duke of Victory"). Benito Mussolini named him Minister of War, and he was promoted to Field Marshal. Upon retirement, in 1924, he was given the honor of Marshal of Italy (Maresciallo d'Italia). Diaz died in Rome in 1928; he was buried in the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, next to Admiral Paolo Thaon di Revel.
Honours and awards
- Supreme Knight of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation (1919)
- Knight Grand Cross with Grand Cordon of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
- Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of Savoy ("Who, having assumed the office of chief of the army in a very difficult war situation, with shrewd work of organization and shrewd effective control line, always highly inspired by the interests of the country, was able to obtain this level of preparation moral and military troops to successfully overcome the ordeal of a great battle engaged by enemy forces and means imposing."; June 26, 1918)
- Silver Medal of Military Valor
- War Merit Cross, twice
- Commemorative Medal for the Italo-Turkish war
- Commemorative Medal for the Italo-Austrian war 1915-18 (4 years of campaign)
- Commemorative Medal for the Unification of Italy
- Commemorative Medal for the Italian victory
- Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
- Médaille militaire (France)
- Distinguished Service Medal (United States)
- Croix de Guerre 1914-1918 (France)
- Croix de Guerre 1914-1918 (Belgium)
- Commanders Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari (Poland)
- Honorary Degree from Providence College (1921)
- "Providence College Alembic". Providence College. p. 83. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
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|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- This article uses material from the equivalent Italian-language article, retrieved November 16, 2005.
- Who's Who: Armando Diaz