Two days after the cessation of the Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo, the Italians launched an attack on the Austro-Hungarian positions in Trentino, captured in the offensive of the previous summer. Cadorna, the Italian Chief of Staff, was aware they might be used to attack his Isonzo forces from the rear, and wanted to neutralize the threat. Unfortunately, deserters revealed their plans to the defenders and, as was customary in this theatre, the Italians had to take on well-fortified positions high above their lines. Nevertheless, enjoying a 3:1 numerical advantage, a determined assault captured Mt Ortigaro on the Asiago Plateau on the second day of fighting. Two weeks later an equally determined Austro-Hungarian counterattack recaptured the mountain, and soon afterwards, the offensive was called off with virtually no change to the front line.
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