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Cadorna, Caporetto, and Vittorio Veneto

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Geregistreerd op: 11-6-2007
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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Apr 2011 17:29    Onderwerp: Cadorna, Caporetto, and Vittorio Veneto Reageer met quote

Essay: More Prisoners of Eternity.

In all the slaughter of World War One none was more senseless than the Alpine campaign waged by the Italian army on its north-eastern frontier with the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was brutal, bloody, and frightening, killed thousands, achieved little, and is now largely forgotten; and in the tradition of that particularly bloody conflict it never needed to be fought.

Prior to the war Italy had been in alliance with Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire as a signatory of the Triple Alliance. Upon the outbreak of hostilities in July, 1914, it wisely decided to remain neutral claiming that the Alliance was designed for defence only and that the Austrianís had acted as the aggressor in its ultimatum to and attack upon Serbia. Italy, however, was open to offers.

Despite their being little enthusiasm for war in the country as a whole there was a loud and vocal minority of ultra-nationalists such as the poet Gabrielle DíAnnunzio, the artist and leading light of the Futurist Movement which revered technology, violence, and the martial spirit of youth, Giuseppe Mazzini, and by October, 1914, the Editor of the Socialist journal Avanti!, Benito Mussolini who demanded that Italy should be involved as a point of national honour, Ē do you want to be spectators in a great drama, or its fighters? he asked. The Socialists responded by removing him from his post as editor. The push for war also had considerable support from the Liberal Party within the Italian Parliament though it was opposed by the Socialists and many Conservatives. The Prime Minister Allesandro Salandro, however, was keen for war, as was indeed the King, Victor Emmanuele III. With such powerful backers majority opinion counted for little.

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