Today in History - October 18th
October 18, 1915 - Italians begin 3rd Isonzo Offensive (10/18 - 11/4)
After the Italian entrance into World War I in late May 1915, Chief of Staff Luigi Cadorna determined that his troops could most effectively strike in the eastern section of the Isonzo region, aiming to capture points on the line from Gorizia to Trieste. For this reason, he poured an immense amount of resources into this area, launching no fewer than 11 offensive operations against the Austrians from June 1915 to September 1917. Like the two attacks that preceded it, the Third Battle of the Isonzo, begun on October 18, 1915, proved disappointing for the Italians. Despite their numerical superiority—19 divisions of troops versus 11 Austrian divisions—Cadorna’s forces failed over two weeks of fighting to capture the two objectives of the attack, Mount Sabotino and Mount San Michele, suffering heavy casualties along the way. All the same, Cadorna waited just one week to begin his next offensive, the Fourth Battle of the Isonzo, effectively an extension of the third.