Tag: Italian front

One year after the great victory in the twelfth battle of the Isonzo (the battle of Caporetto), the Austro-Hungarian forces suffered the definitive defeat on the Piave front. An authentic route that resembled the Italian defeat of the previous year and which gave the coup de grace to the Austro-Hungarian empire, a little more than 50 years after its birth.
"The war against Austria-Hungary which, under the high command of HM the King, supreme leader, the Italian Army, inferior in the number of men and vehicles, began on 24 May 1915 and with unwavering faith and tenacious valour conducted continuously and fiercely for 41 months, has been won. The gigantic battle which began on the 24th of October, and in which fifty-one Italian divisions, three British, two French, one Czechoslovak, and an American regiment took part, against seventy-three...
Armando Vittorio Diaz was born in Naples on 5 December 1861. Son of a navy officer, he was initiated very young to the military career by attending the Military Academy of Turin, from which he emerged with the rank of second lieutenant of artillery. In 1884 he entered in active duty in the 10th Artillery Regiment, and in 1890 joined the 1st Regiment with the rank of captain. In 1894 he specialized in the School of War, then started working in the secretariat of the General Alberto Pollio,...
The losses of the Italian army maintained a constant trend in time, with three exceptions: a steadily growing number of sick, due to the bad living conditions until the end of the war; a peak of prisoners taken by the Austro-Hungarian and German armies during the battle of Caporetto, and a significantly decrease of losses (in percentage) during the last war year, thanks to the prudential attitude by the new Supreme commander, general Diaz.
 
The young soldiers born in 1899 had their baptism of fire. Their behaviour was magnificent. (...) They went to the front line singing. I saw them return in small numbers. They were still singing.
(Daily report signed by General Armando Diaz on 18 November 1917)
The great battle in Veneto started by the Austro-Hungarian army with the last of its forces, but also with the firm will to achieve victory, had ended with a failure very similar to a real defeat.
(Concluding remarks...
Between the end of 1917 and the spring of 1918, the Piave was the scene of two great Austrian offensive that would have to force the surrender of the kingdom of Italy. During the first battle of the Piave the Italian troops, believed won and morally destroyed by both Autrian and Italian military leaders, offered a strong resistance on Monte Grappa and along th the Piave river, allowing the defensive line along this river to continue to resist the offensive Austrian. The battle of the Solstice...
Ljudevit Pivko was an irredentist Slovene lieutenant intent on striking from inside the Austro-Hungarian Empire; he became the unexpected alley of the Italians, helping them to attempt a surprise attack in order to overstep the enemy lines. Pivko handed over topographic sketches about the defense line in Valsugana; the Italian Major Cesare Pettorelli Lalatta considered reliable the sketches and the Italian Army Information Service decided to organize a surprise action in the Austro-Hungarian...
Loss of the element of surprise
The Austrians do not know the exact day that of the attack on the Plateau: but they certainly know that there will be an attack.
(Colonel Angelo Gatti, 4 June 1917.)
 
It cannot be ruled out that there may be a surprise attack in Trentino in three or four days' time. The generals who will be in charge have come to witness the recent action at the behest of the Commander. It was an excellent idea. In the event of an...
Mount Ortigara was the scene of the battle that, according to Cadorna, would mark the Italian comeback in Trentino after having checked the enemy at the Battle of Asiago (Strafexpedition). Despite the abundance of men and means at their disposal, the offensive on Ortigara turned into a bloody disappointment. The hardships suffered by the Italian Alpini gave rise to the legendary status of these mountain troops.
 



The battle of Mount Ortigara was the biggest clash at high altitude, fought during the First World War. Despite the failure of the operation, Ortigara has become a central episode in the Italian epic of the Great War and in the formation of the myth of the Alpini Corps.

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