FIRST BATTLE OF THE ISONZO | ITALY IN WW1

The First Battle of the Isonzo was fought between the Armies of Italy and Austria-Hungary on the Italian Front in World War I, between 23 June and 7 July 1915. The aim of the Italian Army was to drive the Austrians away from its defensive positions along the Soča (Isonzo) and on the nearby mountains. Although the Italians enjoyed a 2:1 numeric superiority, their offensive failed because the Italian commander, Luigi Cadorna, employed frontal assaults after impressive (but short) artillery barrages. The Austrians had the advantage of fighting from uphill positions barricaded with barbed wire which were able to easily resist the Italian assault. The heaviest fighting occurred around Gorizia where Italian troops were able to advance as far as the suburbs, only to be later repelled. Early in July the Austrian commander, Svetozar Boroević, received two reinforcement divisions, which put an end to the Italian efforts at breaking through the Austrian lines. The final Italian gains were minimal: in the northern sector, they conquered the heights over Bovec (Mount Kanin); in the southern sector, they conquered the westernmost ridges of the Kras plateau near Fogliano Redipuglia and Monfalcone.

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