Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo
Part of the Italian Front of World War I
WWI - Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo - Italian 75mm anti-aircraft gun.jpg
Italian 75mm anti-aircraft gun during the Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo
Date18 August – 12 September 1917
Isonzo (Soča), near Monfalcone, Italy; Banjšice Plateau (Altopiano della Bainsizza), Slovenia
Result Italian tactical victory
 Kingdom of Italy  Austria-Hungary
 German Empire
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Italy Luigi Cadorna
Kingdom of Italy Luigi Capello
Kingdom of Italy Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia
Austria-Hungary Arthur Arz von Straußenburg
Austria-Hungary Svetozar Boroević von Bojna
Units involved
Second Army
Third Army
Army Group Boroević
600 battalions
5,200 guns
250 battalions
2,200 guns
Casualties and losses
158,000 casualties:
30,000 dead
108,000 wounded
20,000 missing or taken prisoner
115,000 casualties:
20,000 dead
45,000 wounded
30,000 missing
20,000 taken prisoner

The Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo was a World War I battle fought by the Italian and Austro-Hungarian Armies on the Italian Front between 18 August and 12 September 1917.


On the Soča (Isonzo) River, Luigi Cadorna, the Italian Chief of Staff, concentrated three quarters of his troops: 600 battalions (52 divisions) with 5,200 guns.


The attack was carried forth from a front from Tolmin (in the upper Isonzo valley) to the Adriatic Sea. The Italians crossed the river at several points on temporary bridges, but the main effort was exerted on the Banjšice Plateau, whose capture was to further the offensive and break the Austro-Hungarian lines in two segments, isolating the strongholds of Mount Saint Gabriel and Mount Hermada.

After fierce and deadly fightings, the Italian Second Army, led by General Capello, pushed back Boroević's Isonzo Armee, conquering the Bainsizza and Mount Santo. Other positions were taken by the Duke of Aosta's Third Army.

However, Mount Saint Gabriel and Mount Hermada turned out to be impregnable, and the offensive wore out.

After the battle, the Austro-Hungarians were exhausted, and could not have withstood another attack. So were the Italians, who could not find the resources necessary for another assault, even though it might have been the decisive one. So the final result of the battle was an inconclusive bloodbath. Moreover, the end of the battle left the Italian Second Army (until then the most successful of the Italian Armies) split in two parts across the Soča (Isonzo), a weak point that proved to be decisive in the subsequent Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo.

To commemorate the participation of the Royal Bavarian Infantry Lifeguards Regiment, Georg Fürst wrote the March "Isonzo-Marsch". The Italians fired 5.5 million artillery shells during the battle, including poison gas shells.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Faldella, Emilio: La grande guerra, vol. I, Milan 1978, pp. 274.

Further reading[edit]

  • Schindler, John R. (2001). Isonzo: The Forgotten Sacrifice of the Great War. Praeger. ISBN 0275972046. OCLC 44681903.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°48′00″N 13°32′00″E / 45.8000°N 13.5333°E / 45.8000; 13.5333