Year when photo was taken:1916Country name at time of photo:ItalyCountry name today:Italy
This is my father, Miksa Domonkos, at the Italian front in 1916, at the memorial of the soldiers killed in action from his company with the army chaplain. In 1911 my father had to join the forces for the one-year volunteer service as an officer. He was assigned to a technical formation, to the 'Kraftfahrtruppe' [German for 'motorized unit'], even though there weren't any caterpillars, those were only introduced during World War I by the British. But he wasn't only a specialist in caterpillars, he was specialized in motor-cars, too, and he spoke fluent German, which counted very much in the army of the Monarchy, so they entrusted a formation to him. When World War I broke out they called him up immediately with the stock of cars and other means of transportation that he had been responsible for, i.e. with the unsold caterpillars and motor-cars he had. The authorities collected the available means of transportation and gave them to the body of troops he belonged to. The Caterpillar company couldn't do anything, it was wartime. It didn't matter that the USA wasn't at war yet. They entrusted to him a supplier mechanized troop. He joined the forces as an officer, but he soon became an ensign, and he demobilized as first lieutenant at the end of the war. He was at the Italian battlefront, too, and his troops mainly dealt with transportation on the battlefront. Since they had to work on a very difficult mountain ground and they were shot at, many got killed. My father was injured several times, and he demobilized at the end of the war with a lot of decorations.