This is a story about connections between von Trapp in the Musical and Trieste, China, and the author James Joyce.
A friend alerted me to the role played by Georg von Trapp in World War I. With that in mind, Wife and I set out looking for the exhibition, The Navy of Hapsburg 1382 – 1918. The directions for Centrale Idrodinamica showed the location next to the train station in the old port section. We found the center putting on the exhibition, but the site itself was another mile walk into the abandoned port. Thoughts of Armageddon came to mind.
Clearly, these buildings have tales to tell. There is talk of using the area for congresses and exhibition halls. These have been mired in problems of financing and politics.
Finally, in the yellow building at the very end, we found the exhibition. Except for a few models, it was basically pages printed from a research paper. All in Italian. It was more detailed than Wikipedia, but gave the impression of being copied from the Internet.
There are connections. Georg von Trapp is the father in the musical, Sound of Music. He was an officer in the navy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was in China and was commended for bravery during a battle in the Boxer Rebellion. It is conceivable that he was stationed in Pola, down the coast from Trieste, in 1904 or 1905. If so, he could have met James Joyce, possibly, even being taught English by the author.
It turns out he was competent as a commander. Here are some of the panels from the exhibition showing the exploits of the submarine division and their personnel. I have highlighted some of the references to C.te Von Trapp.