The Great War Part 190, April 6th 1918

:Italy Carso Battles Band a in sizza 73 Under this terrifying test the warlike spirit of the Italian people shone victoriously. On May 15th twosome thousand Alpini and Bersaglieri made a splendid diversion at Bodrez and Lagoon the north-western edge of the Bainsizza plateau. They topped the great strata height attracted a huge hostile force against them, demonstrated until the night of May 17th and then withdrew. In the meantime the main Italian forces of attack climbed the crest of Cuk and the mountain ridge of Vodice and from these commanding positions mowed down the masses of Austrians Hungarians Bosnians Turks, and Slavs that tried to climb up the Italians seize Cuk reverse slopes. As a considerable number and Vodice of the Slav soldiers of the Dual Monarchy were in a rebellious frame of mind they had to be used in dense masses with machine-guns behind them and brutal officers and non-commissioned officers directing them. The machine-gun fire of the Italians was therefore murderous yet some seven thousand prisoners managed to find an opportunity of surrendering. For eight days the Austrian commander General Lukas, continued his violent counter-assaults against his lost mountain line above Gorizia while General Capello and General Badoglio in turn launched fresh attacks between Cuk and San Gabriele mountains. The Italians made little farther progress but held their ground and increased their grip upon the Vodice saddle. There was no reason for them to attempt another leap forward. Not only did they require considerable time to bring their guns forward, but their entire operation had been in the nature of a partial feint. It was to the Third Italian Army under the Duke of Aosta that the main attack had been entrusted, and the Second Army under General Capello was only clearing the way for the principal action b y diverting large enemy forces to the northern sectors. On May 23rd General Cadorna achieved the surprise he had been patiently engineering. For lack of artillery he could not make a simultaneous movement north and south of Gorizia as British or French commanders with their superior armament would have done. He had to make a demonstration offensive northward and then haul his batteries in another direction for the grand battle before the enemy also shifted his guns. B y a comparatively short bombardment the Italian commander wrecked some of the enemys positions of importance upon the stony, waterless Carso tableland between Gorizia and the Adriatic shore. British monitors destroyed the railway com­munications with Trieste smashing up a troop train, wrecking the track breaking down a viaduct and exploding a large ammunition magazine a few miles north-west of the Adriatic seaport. The land artillery helped by a fine trench-mortar corps blasted away part of the quarried rock works and the cemented defences from the height of San Marco by Gorizia to the estuary positions of San Giovanni by the seashore. In the infantry attack that followed the Third Army of Italy broke clean through the enemys mainline of subterranean rock shelters achieving as difficult a victory as that which Australian and British soldiers won more gradually above the Hindenburg tunnel in the west. In ordinary land conditions a break-through might have been effected but on the waterless rough wilderness of the Carso the task of bringing forward guns ammunition, and water checked the movement of the victorious infantry. Yet by May 25th the Italians carried the vital Flondar line, broke all the series of fortifications between the Brestovizza valley and the sea and reached the Gibraltar of the Trieste positions— the Hermada mountain. It arose thousand feet above the sea with its five hundred guns screened by a large wood that climbed up the slopes. The Italian soldiers worked through the Attack on the trees to the Medeazza Terrace about half- Hermada way up the western incline. Then by the edge of the sea they crossed the curious subterranean stream of the Timavo and approached from San Giovanni the naval fortress of Duino. They were within gunshot of Trieste. General Cadorna however regarded it as unwise to make an immediate assault upon the honeycombed rock of the Hermada which had cross-firing connections with the Brestovizza position northward and the Duino fortifi­cation southward. The success of the Italian infantrymen had taken their own Staff by surprise and they were beyond the protection of their main artillery when they tiritiih official photograph. BRITISH HOWITZER INACTION ON THE ITALIAN FRONT. In the gunpit of one of the batteries of British artillery that were sent to artillery and the lack of sufficient armament was regarded as one of the the assistance of the Italian Army in its great offensive of the summer contributing causes to the failure of her 1917 offensive to reach its full of 1917 Italy was unfortunately the weakest of the Great Powers in fruition and therefore to the subsequent retreat. K
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