The Isonzo valley was the front of intense Italian efforts to open a breach between the Austro-Hungarian defences. The line of combat stretched from Mount Tolmino as far as the sea.
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.
On 24 May 1915 Italy fielded on the Isonzo front with an army of nearly one million soldiers on 40 divisions. It was far superior to the number of men and weapons of the Austro-Hungarians. These, however, enjoyed better defensive conditions: the positions of the Austrians were usually higher than the Italian line.