Marshal Cadorna was Italian Chief of Staff until he was unseated in the aftermath of the debacle of the Battle of Caporetto in November 1917. He was notable for his extreme incompetence, which was only matched by his ineptitude. The early Isonzo battles displayed, unadulterated, his standard modus operandi, artillery bombardment followed by a wide ranging full frontal assault. Even on the plains of Flanders, with much greater firepower available, such tactics had proved ineffective, but Cadorna persisted at great cost to his troops. The Fifth Battle of Isonzo took place in March 1916, under pressure from the French, who needed a diversion operation from the massive German assault on Verdun. It was inconclusive, yet again, and further action was then pre-empted by an Austrian counteroffensive in the Trentino.
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