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Tuesday 14 January 2014

Italian War Memorial Tribute to Typewriters

My Italian isn't up to much, but my understanding is that this postcard shows an Italian War Memorial tribute to typewriters and/or those who used them during World War I.
The back of the card reads:
 Cimitero Militare degli
“Invitti Della 3a Armata”
Macchina de scrivere.
Io ti chiedo perdono, ignoto Fante,
se qualche volta t’ho recato noia.
Quante scartoffie, mentre tu Gigante
balzavi fiero al grido di Savoia !
Ma se ci pensi, anch’lo ho un po’ di gloria:
tu battevi il nemico, io … la Vittoria.
Ediz. FOTO RAPID – Via Ore, 14 – Milano -
My understanding is that this is headed by the name of an organisation entrusted with the care of graves and the honouring of the war fallen. It shows the Military Cemetery of the "Undefeated 3rd Army" in Redipuglia. (Fogliano Redipuglia is located in Friuli-Venezia Giulia in the province of Gorizia. It is famous for its First World War military memorial. It is the largest of its kind in Italy, with more than a 100,000 victims buried there.)
I gather the text under "Typewriter" seeks forgiveness from an "unknown Fante", who may sometimes have been bored from "much paperwork" while [others?] "leap proud to cries of Savoy! (the royal house of Italy)". "But if you think about it" he may have had a "little glory", battering the enemy ...?
Can someone provide a better translation, please?


Richard P said...


I think the end is ... "You were battling the enemy, I was battling the Victory." Vittoria (Victory) is an Italian typewriter make.

Something gets lost in translation, for sure.

shordzi said...

Hi, Robert. What a funny postcard. Reference I think is to the "Bollettino della Vittoria", issued by General Diaz at the end of the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, which for Italy marked the end of World War I. So while "you (the unknown Soldier (Fante)) beat the enemy, I "beat out" (both "battere" in Italian) the (bollettino della) Vittoria". A humorous piece, but the photo could very well depict the typewriter used for typing the Bollettino. These machines usually are preserved or marked in a way to commemorate the historical event.

Anonymous said...

Please forgive me, unknown soldier, if sometimes I was annoying to you. How many paperwork (I produced), while you giant were leaping proud (toward the enemy), crying "Savoy!". But if you think about it, I had some glory too: while you were defeating the enemy, I...was typing Victory.