Third battle of the Isonzo, 18 October-3 November 1915

The third battle of the Isonzo (18 October-3 November 1915) was perhaps the least successful of the series of twelve Italian offensives on the Isonzo. The Italians outnumbered the Austrians by two to one in both divisions (19 vs 11) and guns (1,250 vs 604). The Italians had a stockpile of one million artillery shells, which they used up during a three day bombardment.

Both Italian armies involved made some limited progress before being forced back. The Second Army briefly captured Mt. Sabotino, but was then forced back by an Austrian counter-attack. The Third Army came close to the summit of Mt. San Michele, but was held off by Austrian machine gun fire.

When the fighting ended on 4 November the Italians had suffered 67,000 casualties, amongst them 10,733 dead and 11,985 missing. Austrian losses were lower, at 42,000, although this does represent a similar proportion of the troops involved. The Italian command-in-chief, General Cadorna, would launch one more attack on the Isonzo during 1915 (fourth battle of Isonzo), with only slightly more success.

Caporetto and the Isonzo Campaign, The Italian Front 1915-1918, John Macdonald with Zeljko Cimprié. An excellent study of the First World War on the Italian front, focusing on the twelve battles of the Isonzo, one of the most costly campaigns of the entire war. A good background to the campaign is followed by useful accounts of each of the battles, something quite difficult to find. [read full review]
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Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (31 August 2007), Third battle of the Isonzo, 18 October-3 November 1915 ,

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