The Isonzo Battles: March 1916–September 1917


Map Code: Ax00254

Diverted from the Fifth Battle of the Isonzo to repel the Trentino invasion, the Italians returned to the scene for the Sixth Battle, the most successful battle of the series, which included the capture of the Gorizia bridgehead east of the river. The remaining engagements of 1916 sought to expand the bridgehead but were largely ineffective. Returning to the offensive in spring 1917, the Italian commander sought a break-through near the Adriatic. Numerically superior in the sector, the Italians pierced the Austro-Hungarian lines and got within reach of Trieste, before being driven back. At the end of the autumn, the Eleventh Battle saw the capture of Mt Santo. However, after 30 months of fighting, the Italians were depleted by consistently higher casualties than their opponents, and their forces were split on either side of the River Isonzo, while the key strongholds, Mt Hermada and Mt San Gabriele remained in enemy hands.

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