The Battles of the Isonzo

The Battles of
the Isonzo
By: Jack Humble, Golda Ferraz, Emi Nakatsu, and
Kai Kang
The twelve battles fought mainly between Italy
and Austria-Hungary along the Isonzo river
were initially well defended, which proves that
direct infantry and artillery attacks would be
ineffective in combat with the technology of the
early 20th century.
Overview of Isonzo Battles
● Indecisive three year stretch of fighting in Isonzo Valley
along the Isonzo River at the end of World War I
between Italy, Austro-Hungary, and Germany.
● Isonzo Valley offered prospects for a major offensive
against Austro-Hungary.
● Started when General Luigi Cadorna ordered a series of
attacks on Austro-Hungarian fortifications in June, 1915.
-Italy: about 200,000 men. Austro-Hungary: fortifications of 100,000 men
Overview of Isonzo Battles cont.
● Series of minor advances and major losses. Trench
stalemates and long battles.
● First nine battles, Italy was repelled. Twelfth battle,
Italian disaster.
● Ended on November 7th, 1917.
The 1st Battle of the Isonzo
-General Luigi Cadorna
-June 23, 1915
-Between Italy and Austria-Hungary
-To make Italian land gains
Problems for Italy
-4/5 mountainous border
-Austro-Hungarian fortification of Alps
-Austria fought defensively
-Bigger army but less artillery protection
The Battle
-Lasted 14 days
-Italy crossed the Isonzo river
-Both sides fought
-Italy (Offensive) - Austria-Hungary (Defensive)
-Italy forced back from the Alps
Sixth Battle of Isonzo
● August 6, 1916 – August 17, 1916
● Italians attacked, took advantage of of the reduction of
Austrian strength.
● Italians captured Mt. Sabatino along with 8,000
prisoners of war, Oslavia, Grafenberg, Mt. Calvario and
Mt. Mkhele (on the Carso).
● New Austrian line formed, Italians advanced.
● Italians: 51,232 casualties, 12,128 missing
● Austrian: lost 49,035 and 20,000 prisoners of war.
General Luigi Cadorna
The Battle of Caporetto (12th Battle of the
-Italy succeeded in weakening A-H forces
-A-H and Germany launch a combined attack on Italy
-German forces led by Paul von Hindenburg and Erich
-Launched an attack in front of Caporetto at 2am on
October 24, 1917
-Artillery: high explosives, gas, and smoke
The Battle of Caporetto
-Rapid success of Germany and A-H begins to work against
-Cadorna sees and opportunity and calls a withdrawal to the
River Piave
-Cadorna is dismissed and replaced
-Allied governments agreed to increase military support for Italy
-Scattered fighting occured into December
-Conflict at Caporetto brought the people and the government,
under Vittorio Orlando, closer together.
Works Cited

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