DIAZ, Armando Vittorio. He was born in Naples on 5th December 1861 to Ludovico and Irene Cecconi, in a family (of Spanish origins) of militaries and magistrates: his grandfather Antonio was "war commissioner" during the reign of Ferdinand II; his father Ludovico was an Engineer Officer of the Bourbon and later Italian Navy; his mother came from a family of magistrates and professionals. His father died in 1871 after having worked in the depots of Genova and Venice (he was the director of the depot in Venice, with the rank of Colonel); the widow, with her four sons, moved to Naples to her brother's house that was a lawyer.
Armando studied in several private elementary schools and then he attended a public technical school where he got a scientific culture and he learnt to wright in a correct Italian language; he also spent a great time at the gym. On 15th September 1879 Armando began his military career as a student at the Military Academy in Turin; in 1882 he became an artillery Lieutenant and in 1884 he was allocated in the 10th artillery regiment of Caserta until 1890, interchanging study and work. In March 1890 he became Captain and was moved to the 1st artillery regiment of Foligno. He passed the exams to enter the War School where he studied from 1893 to 1895; he was the first in the final rankings of his course. On 23rd April 1895 he married Sarah De Rosa, to a Neapolitan family of lawyers and magistrates.
From 1895 to 1916 Diaz worked in the offices of the General Staff Command, leaving Rome only for 18 years to head a battalion of the 26th infantry regiment after the promotion to Major in September 1899. In Rome he was in the secretariat of the Chief of General Staff, TancrediSaletta and A. Pollio later. Diaz was of medium-short height, with mustaches,elegant, and taciturn; he could speak French but when possible he spoke in his Neapolitan dialect; he was authoritative but not authoritarian, demanding but understanding. In 1905 he became Lieutenant Colonel and in October 1909 he left Rome because he was appointed Chief of General Staff in the Department of Florence.
On 1st July 1910, with the rank of Colonel, he became Commander of the 21st infantry regiment in La Spezia where he gained the soldiers' affection thanks to his generous attitude and interest of their life conditions. In May 1912 we substituted the Commander of the 93rd infantry Regiment in Libya where he showed his affection and trust towards the soldiers.
On 20th September 1911, during the conflict of Sidi Bilal near Zanzur, he was injured while he was heading the troops to the attack; before leaving the battlefield he wanted to make sure of the victory of his regiment and kiss the flag, lauding and thanking his soldiers. Diaz was repatriated with the Officer Cross of the Military Order of Savoy. In January 1913, when he got better, he resumed service in the General Staff Command as Secretariat Chief with Pollio and then with Cadorna; in October 1914 he was promoted to Major General and designated to the "Siena" Brigade as Commander, but soon recalled to the General Staff Command as General. In May 1915 the Supreme Command of the Army was created and Diaz, the most senior Officer in rank behind Cadorna and Pollio, he was responsible of the operations department; actually he managed all the offices and services of the Supreme Command with efficiency and the satisfaction of Cadorna but, after one year, he asked to go to the front…
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