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Third Battle of the Isonzo
Part of the Italian Front
(World War I)
Italian Front 1915-1917
Eleven Battles of the Isonzo
June 1915 — September 1917
Date October 18, 1915—November 3, 1915
Location Soča river, western Slovenia
Result Austro-Hungarian victory
Italy Italy Austria-Hungary-flag-1869-1914-naval-1786-1869-merchant.svg Austria-Hungary
Commanders and leaders
Luigi Cadorna,
Emanuele Filiberto, 2nd Duke of Aosta
Svetozar Boroević,
Archduke Eugen of Austria
338 battalions, 130 cavalry squadrons, 1372 artillery pieces 137 battalions(plus 47 battalions of reinforcements), 634 artillery pieces.
Casualties and losses
67,100(11,000 dead) 40,400(9,000 dead)

The Third Battle of the Isonzo was fought from October 18 through November 3 of 1915 between the armies of Italy and Austria-Hungary.


After roughly two and a half months of reprieve to recuperate from the casualties incurred from frontal assaults from the First and Second Battle of the Isonzo, Luigi Cadorna, Italian commander-in-chief, understood that artillery played a fundamental role on the front and brought the total number to 1,200 pieces.

The main objectives were to take the Austro-Hungarian bridgeheads at Bovec (Plezzo in Italian) and Tolmin, if possible the town of Gorizia. Cadorna's tactic, of deploying his forces evenly along the entire Soča (Isonzo), proved indecisive. The Austro-Hungarians took advantage of the relatively small areas of attack to concentrate their firepower on those areas.


Thanks to extensive artillery barrages, the Italians were able to advance to Plave (Plava in Italian) near Kanal ob Soči, beneath the southern end of the Banjšice Plateau (Bainsizza), and on Mount San Michele on the Kras plateau in an attempt to outflank those forces defending Gorizia. The plateau near San Michele was the scene of heavy attacks and counterattacks involving the Italian Third Army and Austro-Hungarian reinforcements from the Eastern and Balkan fronts under the command of Svetozar Boroević; both sides suffering heavy casualties.

Thanks to the low profile held by Boroević's forces, the Austrians were able to hold their positions with heavy casualties, inferior however to those of the Italians. This battle showed Boroević's tactical brilliance despite the limited scope of the campaign.

The lull in action lasted barely two weeks after which the Italian offensive started anew. [1][2]

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Bauer, E., 1985: Der Lowe vom Isonzo, Feldmarschall Svetozar Boroević de Bojna. Aufl. Styria. Graz
  • Boroević, S., 1923: O vojni proti Italiji (prevod iz nemškega jezika). Ljubljana
  • Comando supremo R.E. Italiano, 1916: Addestramento della fanteria al combattimento. Roma. Tipografia del Senato

Coordinates: 45°51′24″N 13°24′01″E / 45.85667°N 13.40028°E / 45.85667; 13.40028

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