Axis and Allies 1914: Trieste,
is an extremely strategic territory and launching point into six bordering regions. If Vienna is the brain of the Austrian-Hungary empire, Trieste would be its heart. We discuss the many facts, strategy, and history behind Trieste of World War I.
Trieste, originally controlled by Austria-Hungary
IPC value of 4
Naval port with sea mines
Borders Tyrolia, Veinna, Budapest, Serbia, Albania, and Venice
Although mainly populated by Italian-speaking peoples, Austria-Hungarian empire claimed sovereignty and occupied Tyrol and Trieste. In a plot to thwart Italian unification in both regions, a Triple Alliance was signed between Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Italy. The two regions would stay into the Austrian sphere as long as the fragile alliance holds.
After the Austria-Hungary moves into Serbia, Italy felt unprepared to enter the first World War. However, prime minister Antonio Salandra and foreign minister Sidney Sonnino used their influence and campaigned for intervention as an opportunity for expansion. With the British making grand promises including handing Tyrol and Trieste to Italy, the Italians side with the Allied powers and enter WWI.
Axis and Allies 1914 strategy
Few territories other than capitals, including neutral powers, are as industrial production wealthy as Trieste. Bordering Vienna, new units quickly reinforce the border territory. Many of Austria-Hungary’s motives lies both southwest and southeast. Maneuvers into Trieste moves Austria one round closer without giving away their destination.
A nearby flashpoint is Venice. Bordering Tyrolia, it is the pinch-point to Rome. The fall of Venice opens the roads to both Rome and Paris prompting the Allies to quickly reassess their defenses. Meanwhile to the east, is a coastal supply line into a wealth of neutral aligned regions such as Albania and Greece. It is a supply line that ultimately feeds the weak ally of the Ottoman. It is fortuitous while making their supply they defend the coast.
A strong offensive effort is Trieste’s best defense. This is what makes the territory so valuable to the Austrians. A well disciplined, dedicated campaign rewards them with 4 IPC a round. With its naval mines protecting the coast and probable artillery manning the defenses, it would difficult for the Allied powers to launch a successful amphibious strike there.
For the Allied powers, striking Trieste is difficult. Italy is probably too weak to reach that far without leaving Venice vulnerable to counterattack. The most likely adversary would be the United States. This would require a massive amphibious fleet, an extra round of maneuvers, and the luck to survive the mines. The Austrians would have seen this coming and stacked artillery waiting for them at shore. The Allied would be left with two undesirable options; a bloodied amphibious assault most likely lost or letting the Austrian column of artillery stand unscathed and ready to move into nearby Venice. Trieste is influential on its own, more so when threatened!
A healthy Trieste is a healthy Austria. Its loss to the Allied powers means only one round away from them contesting the capital of Vienna. If this were to happen, most likely Italy is discovering a resurgence while they and France fight to contest Tyrolia. Only German intervention can save their ally from defeat.