28/5/1915 Austria-Hungary prepares for the Italian onslaught

Austro-Italian border area, 1914
The Italians have finally crosses the Austro-Hungarian frontier in strength. However, they do not advance very far, fearing to attack the enemy until their own forces are fully mobilised (which is not expected to be the case for some time). They take the town of Karfeit (known to the Italians as Caporetto) but do not press forward against the high ground beyond the Isonzo river.

Meanwhile the Austro-Hungarians are desperately trying to prepare their defensive lines, knowing that it is only a matter of time before the Italians launch a major offensive. Austro-Hungarian chief of staff Conrad appoints General Svetozar Boroevic to command on the Italian front. Like many of the men he leads, Boroevic is a Slav, from territory coveted by the Italians. They have no desire to be ruled by Italy and are determined to defend their homeland from invasion.

The Austro-Hungarians are heavily outnumbered; there is no question of their launching an offensive. Instead they will have to fight a defensive war. Boroevic orders that every position be fortified and held to the last man, with reserves behind the line always ready to launch counterattacks. His resolve and that of his men will be tested soon.

image sources:

Italian border region (Flickr; original source unknown)

General Boroevic (Europeana 1914-1918)

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