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Armed Forces (Italy)

(3,527 words)

Author(s): Massignani, Alessandro
Armed Forces (Italy) The defense of the Italian Kingdom proclaimed on February 18, 1861, was the duty of the Royal Army and the Royal Navy. The King was nominally the supreme commander of the military in peacetime, but the chiefs of the General Staff and the Admiralty functioned as the de facto Supreme Command in time of war. Italy’s new national army evolved from the Piedmontese Army that had fought in the Wars of Independence. Though gradually restructured into the Royal Italian Army, it maintained its traditional character, especially the imprint of…

Adriatic

(463 words)

Author(s): Massignani, Alessandro
Encyclopedia Adriatic For most of the belligerents the Adriatic was of secondary importance, but for Italy and Austria-Hungary it was a major theater of naval warfare. Unlike the Italian coastline, that of Dalmatia is very rugged; the naval bases of the Austro-Hungarian navy located there were protected by numerous offshore islands. Their heavy units were stationed in Pola (modern Pula in Croatia); the lighter warships lay in Cattaro (modern Kotor in Montenegro). When the war opened the Habsburg n…

Caporetto

(993 words)

Author(s): Massignani, Alessandro
Caporetto Town on the Isonzo River (modern Kobarid, Slovenia). During the battle fought in the Julian Alps from October 24 to November 9, 1917, Austro-Hungarian and German forces brought about the collapse of the Italian Front on the upper Isonzo and forced the Italians to retreat behind the Piave River. The Battle of Caporetto is also known as the Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo. In August/September of 1917 the Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo and the capture of the Bainsizza Plateau by the Italian Second Army plunged the Austro-Hungarian forces into a profound c…

Doberdó

(1,268 words)

Author(s): Massignani, Alessandro
Doberdó A location in the Carso/Kras region, now in Italy near the border with the modern Slovenia. The Doberdó Plateau has an average height of 100 m, and rises to 275 m at Monte San Michele, which, to its west, dominates the Friuli plain. The plateau is bounded to the north by the town of Gorizia/Görz, and to the west by the Isonzo valley. The plateau of Doberdó constituted the first important obstacle in the plan of the Italian chief of the general staff Cadorna, whose strategic aim was to capture the towns of Laibach/Ljubljana and Trieste. To achieve thi…