Italian forces have launched so many failed offensives along the Isonzo that it is easy to lose count of which battle we are in now. It is the Fourth, raging for nearly two weeks. As before, the Italian assaults have made minimal gains, paid for in copious amounts of blood. Now the offensive is beginning to run out of steam, as the worsening weather and the sufferings of the men make it harder to sustain the attacks.
Back at army headquarters in Udine, 40 kilometres from the front, General Cadorna thinks that this is no time for the assault troops to start slacking off. He orders one last push against Austro-Hungarian positions defending Tolmein and Mount Mrzil. A breakthrough or even a minor gain here would allow him to claim the battle as some kind of success. Unfortunately, the Austro-Hungarian defences, the elements and the terrain are all too much for Cadorna’s bedraggled troops. Once again, despite great loss of life, there is no breakthrough.
Mt Mrzli, with the Isonzo in the foreground (Today in World War I)