Cesare Battisti – Italian politician, Irredentist, journalist and soldier – was born in Trento on 4 February 1875. He came from a middle-class family and grew up in Trentino under Habsburg rule. He attended the classical high school in Trento and studied at university in Florence, where he graduated in Letters in 1897 with a thesis on the geography of Trentino. During his years at university he became acquainted with Irredentism and socialist ideals. Over the following years he continued to...
Because Italy had entered the war to free the 'Irredenta' territories - Trento and Trieste - it was a necessity to attack. On the Isonzo front the Italian supreme commander, General Luigi Cadorna, trusting in a victory in short time, unleashed between June 1915 and August 1917 eleven useless offensives.
“Hurray Trento and Trieste, Hurray for war”: these were the words pronounced by the crowd gathered in May, the 5th, 1915 at the end of the speech of Gabrile D'Annunzio (1863-1938).
At the outbreak of war, Italian intellectuals, politicians and citizens were divided on two fronts: on the one hand the interventionists and on the other the neutralis. The motives of the two opinions were different. Interventionists expected that through the participation in the war Italy could accomplish the “Risorgimento” and finally become a great power. Their positions, diffused through mass demonstrations and supported by the press, finally prevailed.
At the outbreak of the war in 1914, Italy found itself in a situation of uncertainty. Since 1882, the country had been linked to Germany and Austria-Hungary via the Triple Alliance. This purely defensive pact was renewed in 1912, but did not in any way bind Italy to go to war alongside the central empires. For this reason and because no evident advantages could be seen from entering into the war on the side of the allies, neutrality prevailed.