10th Isonzo battle “the largest”

According to the badge, the May 1917 Isonzo battle was the largest until then. In many ways this is true. In the spring and early summer of 1917, the opposing allied coalitions tried to launch coordinated attacks after serious negotiations. At that time, the Monarchy was already supported by German troops on the Italian front. The Entente planned large-scale attacks on the Western Front and in Italy. French and English reinforcements were also promised for the Italian attack. However, this was not possible, as the Aisne offensive launched in France required all men. Nevertheless, the Allies managed to get Italy to launch an attack at the same time.

The Italian attack began on May 12, with the usual artillery strikes, which continued for two days. Despite the lack of support, the Italians outnumbered by almost three times the Austro-Hungarian defenders. The main attack direction was on the much-suffered Karst plateau, with the strategic objective of Trieste. An additional attack was also launched north of Görz, on the Plava and Kuk terrain sections, against the east bank of the Isonzo. This front sevtion is depicted on the badge. On May 14, the Italian II. corps occupied the heights above the river (Kuk, Zagora) and Medeazza on the Karst. Reinforced by incoming reserves on June 3, the Austro-Hungarian troops recaptured the territorial gains of the Italians. They only managed to keep the bridgehead between Monte Santo and Zagora north of Görz. I was unable to find out more about the day depicted on the badge.

Regarding the magnitude of the battle, it can be said that it was indeed the operation with the greatest losses on this front. The total Italian loss was 160,000 (36,000 dead), the Austro-Hungarian 125,000 (17,000 dead). Over 20,000 prisoners of war were taken on both sides, which showed the deteriorating morale of the warring parties. The attached map shows the Plava-Kuk section mentioned in the post.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x