The Trentino Offensive May–June 1916


Map Code: Ax00253

The Trentino offensive was a major action, the Austro-Hungarian High Command assembling 18 divisions for the task, aiming to strike directly at the Italian heartland via the Asiago plateau, thereby isolating the Italian armies around Isonzo. Although pre-warned of the military build-up, the local Italian commander, General Brusati, was insufficiently prepared, and their opponents advanced rapidly, forcing the Italians to evacuate Asiago on 29 May. The Italian Chief of Staff, Marshal Cardona, then came to the rescue, ferrying 500,000 troops to the battle zone from Isonzo by rail. By early June the advance had been halted, and then the Russians launched their greatest advance, the Brusilov Offensive, to the north, forcing the abandonment of the Trentino Offensive. One positive consequence for the Italian military would be that the fear provoked by the invasion quelled a growing anti-war sentiment in the Italian public, although it would re-awaken with renewed vigour following events in 1917.

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