Fifth Battle of the Isonzo

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Fifth Battle of the Isonzo
partof=the Italian Front
(World War I)


caption=Eleven Battles of the Isonzo
June 1915 — September 1917
date=March 9March 15, 1916
place=Isonzo River, northeast Italy
result=Austro-Hungarian Victory
combatant1=flagicon|Italy|1861|size=25px Italy
combatant2=flag|Austria-Hungary|naval|size=25px
commander1=Luigi Cadorna,
Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Aosta
commander2=Conrad von Hötzendorf,
Svetozar Boroević, Archduke Eugen of Austria
strength1=286 battalions(plus 90 in reserve),
1,360 guns
strength2=100 battalions(plus 30 in reserve).
470 guns
casualties1=1,882 killed, wounded and missing
casualties2=1,985 killed and wounded
The Fifth Battle of the Isonzo was fought from March 9-15, 1916 between the armies of the Kingdom of Italy and those of Austria-Hungary. The Italians, under immense pressure from the French commanders, had decided to launch another offensive on the Isonzo River.

Background

After four attempts to cross the Isonzo river and invade Austro-Hungarian territory, Luigi Cadorna, the Italian commander-in-chief, organized a strong new offensive following the winter lull in fighting which had allowed the Italian High Command to regroup and organize 8 new divisions for the front.

However, it was an offensive launched not after detailed strategic planning, but rather as a distraction to shift the Central Powers away from the Eastern Front and from Verdun, where the greatest bloodshed of the war was occurring. The attack was a result of the allied Chantilly Conference of December 1915.

The Battle

The attacks ordered by Cadorna for the 2nd and 3rd Italian armies as "demonstrations" against the enemy, proved to be less bloody than those previously. The battles were fought on the Kars plateau, with the objective of taking Gorizia and the Tolmino bridgehead.

After a week of fighting that cost the lives of 4,000 men between both sides, the clashes ceased because of the terrible weather conditions that worsened the trench conditions and because of the Austro-Hungarian "punitive" offensive in the Trentino.

Along certain parts of the front, especially around Gorizia, skirmishes continued between enemy platoons until March 30 and beyond, in a protracted struggle that produced no clear victor.

Cadorna had called upon his Russian allies to keep the Austria-Hungarian units at bay on the Eastern front given Cadorna the chance to redeploy his forces at Trentino all the while abandoning the Fifth Battle of the Isonzo.

Aftermath

With the Fifth Battle of the Isonzo over the Italians now had to plan another assault. Cadorna put his sixth offensive on the drawing board after hearing promises of resupply from Italy's Allies.

ee also

*First Battle of the Isonzo - 23 June–7 July, 1915
*Second Battle of the Isonzo - 18 July–3 August, 1915
*Third Battle of the Isonzo - 18 October–3 November, 1915
*Fourth Battle of the Isonzo - 10 November–2 December, 1915
*Sixth Battle of the Isonzo - 6–17 August, 1916
*Seventh Battle of the Isonzo - 14–17 September, 1916
*Eighth Battle of the Isonzo - 10–12 October, 1916
*Ninth Battle of the Isonzo - 1–4 November, 1916
*Tenth Battle of the Isonzo - 12 May–8 June, 1917
*Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo - 19 August–12 September, 1917
*Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo - 24 October–7 November, 1917 also known as the Battle of Caporetto

External links

* [http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/isonzo.htm FirstWorldWar.Com: The Battles of the Isonzo, 1915-17]
* [http://www.firstworldwar.com/maps/italianfront.htm Battlefield Maps: Italian Front]
* [http://www.worldwar1.com/itafront/isonzo11.htm 11 battles at the Isonzo]
* [http://www.potimiruvposocju.si/ The Walks of Peace in the Soča Region Foundation] . The Foundation preserves, restores and presents the historical and cultural heritage of the First World War in the area of the Isonzo Front for the study, tourist and educational purposes.
* [http://www.kobariski-muzej.si/ang/razstave.html The Kobarid Museum (in English)]
* [http://drustvo-soskafronta.si/ Društvo Soška Fronta (in Slovenian)]
* [http://prohereditate.com/en/ Pro Hereditate - extensive site (in En/It/Sl)]


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