Le battaglie dell’Isonzo e la scena politica internazionale

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] The battles of the Isonzo and the international political scene

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

[Autom. eng. transl.] Around the eleven battles of the Isonzo a complex diplomatic plot unfolds which takes on particular importance in the 1917 thing also because of the so-called 'February Revolution' which paves the way for Russia to leave the First World War. In fact, 1917 witnessed a shift in Allied attention to the Italian front. The formation of the Lloyd George cabinet, in December 1916, led to London's re-evaluation of an 'Orientalist' strategy seen by military leaders as the Prime Minister's attempt to downsize their role in the conduct of operations. After the failure of the Nivelle offensive (April 16-May 9, 1917), an action on the Italian front would also have helped to give breath to the Anglo-French forces and to support the Russian ones, shaken by the political events of the previous months and by the effects that these had had on their organization and their operation. In the wake of what would have been the 'Kerensky offensive' (1-19 July), Italian action had, finally, an important diversionary value, contributing to blocking substantial rates of the Austro-Hungarian army along the Isonzo. The collapse of the Russian front under the counteroffensive of the Austro-German Südarmee and the 3rd and 7th Austro-Hungarian armies (18 July), and its withdrawal to the line of the river Zbruč, on the border between the Austro-Hungarian Galicia and the territories of the former tsarist empire, he added a further sense of urgency to things. On a practical level, the collaboration between the belligerents remained, however, limited. In the wake of the eleventh Isonzo battle, the allied presence in Italy was reduced - in addition to the Red Cross departments - to ten batteries of howitzer of the Royal Garrison Artillery, to six 155 mm French batteries and ten heavy, always French batteries . However, since the supply of these units is tied to their use in an offensive function, the posture of defense to the bitter end assumed by the Italian forces after September 18 led to the request that they be transferred again to the western front. Behind this request was a basic misunderstanding. In the eyes of the allies, despite the wear and tear suffered, the Royal Army appeared, in fact, the least proven both in human and material terms. This conviction, combined with that (shared by the German High Command) that the decisive battle would have been fought on the Western front, helps to explain a choice whose consequences appear, in any case, marginal compared to subsequent evolutions. More generally, the coordination of the war effort is the real critical point of inter-allied relations. A critical point that will not be exceeded even with the establishment of the Supreme War Command commissioned by Lloyd George after Caporetto and which - on the contrary - will be made even more burning by the entry of US forces online, during the winter of 1917 and of the spring of 1918.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] The battles of the Isonzo and the international political scene
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationDoline di dolore. Le battaglie dell’Isonzo
EditorsA Papo, G Nemeth
Pages46-60
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Prima guerra mondiale

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