Italy - 1917

In May the Tenth Battle of Isonzo ended with the same result as the previous battles - high losses for little gain. Italian General Luigi Cadorna was still determined to break through to the port of Trieste in Austria-Hungary. The eleventh battle took place in September and the heavy losses left Austria-Hungary having to ask Germany to send soldiers to help them.

The Twelfth Battle of Isonzo, also known as Caporetto, took place in November. German and Austrian soldiers broke through the Italian line leaving the Italian armies battered and in chaos. They retreated to the Piave River but about 275,000 Italians were taken prisoner.

This defeat led to a meeting of the Allied war leaders who agreed to create the Supreme War Council to oversee all Allied plans.

British and French soldiers were rushed to the Italian Front to help and General Cadorna was replaced by General Armando Diaz.

The massive defeat at Caporetto didn't break the Italian fighting spirit. Instead it made them more determined and they regrouped ready for the battles of 1918.

Italian mechanised transport retreats during the disastrous Battle of Caporetto.

Animals played many important roles during the war. Here, in the snowy terrain of the Italian Front, a dog is carrying ammunition in a special saddlebag on his back.