18/10/1915 Third time lucky for the Italians on the Isonzo?

Italian troops are carrying out local assaults on Austro-Hungarian positions in the Dolomites. The terrain here is extremely mountainous. Gains are minimal to non-existent, as the steep gradients make massed infantry assaults impossible. The troops like a life more like that of mountaineers than soldiers, climbing near vertical rock faces and hiding where they can on the sides of mountains from the enemy’s guns. It does not look like there is any real prospect of the Austro-Hungarians being dislodged from their positions.

The Dolomites fighting is just a sideshow. The Italians’ main focus remains the Isonzo sector. Here Italy’s General Cadorna is preparing a third major offensive. The failures of the first and second Isonzo battles have made his goals for this one more modest. Instead of attacking in the south in the hope of breaking through and seizing Trieste, his target this time is the town of Gorizia. And instead of a frontal assault on the town he is planning to send his men to the north and south of it, so that the Austro-Hungarian defenders will be obliged to withdraw rather than be outflanked or surrounded.

Today the pre-assault bombardment begins, one far more intense than anything the Italians have managed thus far. However, the Italians are short of heavy artillery and their lighter shells may not be sufficient to damage enemy fortifications or cut through barbed wire.

image source:

The Dolomites (Para mais tarde recordar)

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