16/3/1916 The Fifth Battle of the Isonzo begins to peter out

Italian troops are attacking along the Isonzo line, hoping to take Gorizia and do something to relieve the pressure on the French at Verdun. But the Austro-Hungarian lines are holding. As with previous Isonzo battles, the Italians are making little progress and paying for every metre gained with gallons of blood. As well as the terrain and the dogged resistance of the enemy, the Italians must also deal with the harsh weather conditions: spring has yet to reach the Isonzo.

Now the offensive begins to wind down, Italian commander General Cadorna accepting that his men will not be making any major gains. Local assaults on the Austro-Hungarians will continue but all hope of a breakthrough is abandoned.

On the Austro-Hungarian side, this latest Italian failure convinces Conrad that the time will soon be ripe for his great offensive, the one he hopes will knock Italy out of war.

image source:

Italian soldier in captured Austro-Hungarian position on the Carso plateau (Wikipedia)

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