"May any cowardice die here. Let all the classes and all parties that sincerely love the homeland merge in a single outburst of pride and faith, to repeat as during the memorable days of May 1915 to the enemy who listened in ambush: Italy knows only the way of honour."
(Gen. Luigi Cadorna)
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.