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Caporetto, Battle of

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


Major defeat for italy in world war i . Its forces fought 11 gruelling engagements along the line of the Isonzo between 1915 and 1917, with scarcely any territorial gain. On October 24, 1917 Austro-Hungarian troops, supported by six German divisions, moved against their exhausted and poorly-positioned enemy. After an artillery and gas attack, they broke through and advanced some seventy miles to the river Piave before being halted by lack of supplies, communication difficulties, and hastily-deployed British and French intervention. By early November the Italians had lost some 700,000 men, of whom at least 40,000 were killed or injured, 300,000 were prisoners, and 350,000 were deserters. The defeat led to the replacement of the prime minister, Boselli, by the energetic orlando , who embarked upon a major reform of the Italian war effort. In the early 1920s mussolini's militaristic propaganda would exploit the need to erase “the stain of Caporetto.” ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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