Not long ago it must have seemed to Austria-Hungary’s Conrad that he was on the brink of a great military triumph. His Trentino Offensive was pushing back the Italians and threatening to surge down from the mountains to the coast, cutting off the Italian army. But now his army is the one in crisis. Brusilov’s offensive in Galicia has smashed his forces there, netting the Russians a huge bag of prisoners and leaving the Eastern Front close to collapse.
Conrad has no option but to divert men from the Trentino Offensive, sending them east in a desperate attempt to plug the gaps in his line. But the Italians sense his weakness and begin to counter-attack in earnest, recapturing lost ground. And Conrad knows that the collapse in Galicia is so total that the men he is sending there will not be able to hold back the Russian onslaught. He accepts the inevitable, travelling to Berlin to beg Falkenhayn for German reinforcements. Falkenhayn had always seen the Trentino Offensive as a waste of time; now he insists that Conrad bring it to a halt as the price for German assistance.
Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf (World War One – 100 Years Ago)
Erich von Falkenhayn (The Great War Blog)