4/11/1915 Third Isonzo ends in Italian defeat

Italy’s third offensive along the Isonzo has failed. The unyielding terrain and the steadfast resistance of the Austro-Hungarians have proved too much for the Italians. Cadorna’s plan to seize the town of Gorizia has proved as hopelessly unrealistic as his earlier plans to seize Trieste and sweep on into the Austrian heartland.

Italian gains this time have been minimal. They are perhaps a hundred metres closer to Gorizia in some areas. Elite Bersaglieri troops have also captured and held the Austro-Hungarian frontline on the Monte Sei Busi sector of the uplands leading to the Carso plateau. But these are gains so small they barely register on the map.

If the gains are minimal the losses are anything but. The Italians have suffered some 67,000 casualties in this doomed offensive. Some units have suffered more than 50% casualties and many are reported to be close to disintegration. The one consolation for the Italians is that the Austro-Hungarians are also suffering. Their casualties amount to some 40,000, thanks to Italian artillery fire and the determination of Boroevic, their commander, that bloody counter-attacks must be made to recapture any positions lost.

Cadorna is not shaken by the failure of his third Isonzo offensive. In fact he orders his men to prepare for a fourth, to be launched in the very near future.

image sources:

Bersaglieri attacking (Storia e Memoria Bologna)

map (Mental Floss)

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