6/8/1916 The Sixth Battle of the Isonzo: unexpected Italian success

Austria-Hungary’s Trentino Offensive left the Italians reeling. They were only just able to see off that threat, thanks largely to the timely efforts of their Russian allies in Galicia. Now Italy’s Cadorna is ready to strike back against the enemy. His men launch another assault in the Isonzo sector. Previous Isonzo offensives have seen the over-ambitious Italians taken enormous casualties for minimal gains. This time Cadorna’s goals are more more modest: he wants to push the line a bit forward so that in a future battle his men will be able to threaten Gorizia.

Today everything seems to go the Italians’ way. Their preparations for the assault have escaped the enemy’s notice, who assumed that the Italians were too weak after the Trentino Offensive. Italian artillery is unusually devastating and far better coordinated with the infantry than has previously been the case. The Italians also find that they are attacking weakly defended positions, as the Austro-Hungarians have had to send men away to fight the Russians in Galicia.

As a result, the Italian gains are much greater than expected. Italian troops seize the summit of Mount Sabotino and overrun many Austro-Hungarian positions. Suddenly it looks like Gorizia, long the target of Italian ambitions, might fall now rather than in some future battle.

image source:

Italian troops advance (My States History)

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