Hundred years of military mountaineering in Slovenia

The former Austro-Hungarian Empire, including the territory of the present-day Slovenia, mostly consisted of mountainous terrain. However, mountain units were introduced into its army relatively late, only in 1906. On 11 March 1911, the 2nd mountain rifle regiment of the Austro-Hungarian army was formed in Ljubljana, recruiting Slovenian soldiers. The regiment was composed of two battalions. One of them was headquartered in Laibach (Ljubljana), and the other one in Görz (Gorizia) (in present-day Italy). With 88 per cent of its soldiers being Slovenian, it was the unit in of the Austro-Hungarian army with the largest number of Slovenian service members. During World War I, in the winter of 1914, the regiment fought in Galizien (Galicia), and later at the Isonzo river. In 1916, the regiment was redeployed to Tirol (Tyrol), and in 1917 it was engaged in the »Miracle of Karfreit« (Battle of Caporetto). In 1918, the unit was temporarily stationed at the Piave river. In October 1918, due to revolt of the regiment, the unit and returned to Laibach. The central part of the 2nd mountain rifle regiment later formed the 1st mountain regiment of the Royal Yugoslav Army, the army of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The establishment of the 2nd mountain rifle regiment is considered to be the beginning of military mountaineering in Slovenia.

On 19 March 2011, the establishment of the first military mountain unit in Slovenia was commemorated with the unveiling of a memorial plaque at the Ljubljana Military Post, where the 2nd mountain rifle regiment had been headquartered. On 20 March 2011, a banner of the 2nd mountain rifle regiment of the Austro-Hungarian Army (GSR2 group) was unfurled at the ceremony at Cerje on the Slovenian Karst at the monument devoted to the defenders of Slovenia, thus preserving the traditions of the 2nd mountain rifle regiment.

The ceremony commemorating hundred years of military mountaineering in Slovenia was attended by the IFMS Secretary General Brigadier Bojan Pograjc.