Caporetto and the Isonzo Campaign: The Italian Front 1915-1918

Caporetto and the Isonzo Campaign: The Italian Front 1915-1918

by Zeljko Cimpric, John Macdonald


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From May 1915 to October 1917 the armies of Italy and the Austro-Hungarian empire were locked into a series of twelve battles along the River Isonzo, a sixty-mile front from the Alps to the Adriatic. The campaign was fought in the most appalling terrain for combat, with horrendous casualties on both sides, often exceeding those of the more famous battles of the Great War. Yet this massive struggle is too often neglected in histories of the war which focus on the fighting on the Western and Eastern Fronts. John Macdonald, in this accessible and highly illustrated account, aims to set the record straight. His description of the Isonzo battles, of the battlefields and of the atrocious conditions in which the soldiers lived and fought is supported by a graphic selection of original photographs that record the terrible reality of the conflict.

‘Certainly this is one to add to the bookshelf for anyone who wants to add to their knowledge of the Italian Front and for all those generally interested in the Great War. Highly Recommended 10/10.’ Great War Magazine

‘With its 130 or so excellent and previously unseen photographs gives a good description of the campaign based partly on the experience of individuals.’
The Military History Society

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473845725
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 08/19/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

John Macdonald was a distinguished management theorist, consultant and lecturer who wrote many influential books on management, business and politics. His special interest in the Great War and the fighting on the Italian Front in particular was inspired by a visit to the battlefields in Slovenia and Italy, and he made an in-depth study of the Isonzo battles and the entire campaign. He completed this book shortly before he died in 2011.

Table of Contents

A Note on Place Names vii

Preface ix

The Kobarid Museum xi

Introduction 1

1 Background to the Campaign 3

2 The Appalling Terrain 9

3 Opposing Objectives 21

4 The Belligerents 23

5 The Commanders 39

6 The Campaign: An Overview 49

7 The First Jump 51

8 The First Battle of the Isonzo 58

9 The Second Battle 62

10 The Third Battle 68

11 The Fourth Battle 75

12 The Fifth Battle 78

13 The Sixth Battle 81

14 The Seventh Battle 96

15 The Eighth Battle 102

16 The Ninth Battle 110

17 The Long Winter, 1916/1917 119

18 The Tenth Battle 124

19 The Eleventh Battle 133

20 Caporetto - The Twelfth Battle 149

21 Aftermath - Recovery from Caporetto 173

22 The Destruction of the Habsburg Army 180

23 The Battlefield Today 184

Bibliography 188

Index 190

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