30/5/1916 Italy’s Cadorna fights for survival

The Austro-Hungarians’ Trentino Offensive has shaken the Italians. Conrad’s men are increasingly exhausted by the fighting and are outrunning their supply lines, but he still hopes that they will be able to break through to the plains and reach the coast, cutting off the main Italian army along the Isonzo.

On the Italian side, Cadorna is desperately trying to stop the onslaught. He has formed a new army to block the enemy’s route to the sea. Half-trained conscripts are being handed guns and sent to the front. Cadorna has also secured the recall of the troops that were sent to Albania in pursuit of Italy’s ambitions there.

The Austro-Hungarians are not Cadorna’s only enemies. The success of the Austro-Hungarian assault, combined with the Italian army’s clear lack of preparation for it and the series of failed assaults along the Isonzo, has led to Prime Minister Salandra thinking that it might be time to get rid of Cadorna. The King accepts that Cadorna will have to go, if Salandra has full cabinet support for his ouster.

However, when Salandra meets the general, he finds him assured and confident, predicting that the Austro-Hungarian offensive will be contained. Salandra is gripped by indecision, worrying as to who will replace Cadorna and whether the current time of crisis is the right one to change military commanders. Cadorna keeps his job, for now at least.

image sources:

Luigi Cadorna (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Antonio Salandra (Spartacus Educational)

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