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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 17.djvu/430

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ITALY 414 ITALY

attack Servia in 1914 and appealed to the Triple islands in the ^^ean and on the partition of Alliance, Italy, us was disclosed later, refused her Turkey to secure a share in the basin of the aid. She maintained her neutrality, her reason Mediterranean and more specifically in that part being that the caitsiLS jcederis had not risen, inas- contiguous to the Turkish province of Adalia, much as Austria and Germany had brought the commensurate with those of France, Great Britain, situation to the point where it stood by their and Ruasia. By an additional article, '^France, initiative alone. The provisions of the treaty stated England, and Russia obligated themselves to sup- that if either or both of her allies, "without port Italy in her desire for the non-admittance of provocation on their part," should be attacked by the Holy See to any kind of diplomatic steps another power, Italy would be obliged to join the for the conclusion of peace and the regulation of war against the attacking power. If either ally questions arising from the present war." Before the should be forced to declare offensive war against final rupture, Austria, unaware of the final agree- a Great Power which menaced its security, the ment of the Allies, made another bid. The war other members of the Triple Alliance would either spirit, however, prevailed among the Italians and join in the war or "maintain benevolent neu- on 23 May, 1915, the Italian Government declared trality towards their ally." At first this neutrality war against Austria. The resentment caused by was construed as benevolent to Germany, but as this "betrayal" on the part of Italy was very acute the war progressed and after the accession as in Germany and still more so in Austria. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Baron Sidney Son- The charact^ of the Italian boundary, with its nino, in whose ancestry were British and Jewish high mountain passes, its flowing torrents, and its elements, the spirit of Italy's neutrality became precipitous snow-clad peaks required a slow and less and less "benevolent" and the Italian Gov- careful preparation of the army for the invasion emment began to accuse Austria-Hu^gary of of Austria. General Cadoma concentrated the violating a clause of the Triple Alliance treaty main strength of his armies at the railheads along concerning the status quo in the east and to de- the southeastern portion of the Austro-Italian mand "compensation" for the advantages which frontier. In a week the Isonzo was reached, but the attack on Servia would probably give the the Italians were confronted with strongly fortified Dual Monarchy. As "compensation" Italy de- heights east of the river, from Monte Nero in the manded not only the port of Avlona on the north to Montefalcone and the Carso plateau on the Albanian coast, whither an Italian expedition had coast. All summer the Italians struggled bravely been sent in December, 1914, but also direct but vainlv to master these heights. Meanwhile, cessions of Hapsburg territory to Italy. Negotia- against the middle sector of the Austro-Italian tions went on with Austria and finally on 21 frontier. General Cadoma sent only a compara- February, 1915, Italy forbade further Austrian tively thin line of troops with instructions to guard operations in the Balkans imtil an agreement con- the passes and prevent an Austrian counter-invasion, ceming compensations was reached. On 9 March The third or western, sector of the frontier was Austria acceded in principle to Italy's threat. Then formed by the irregular triangle of Trentino, jut- on 8 April, 1915, Italy formulated the following ting southward into Italy. With the object of demands: (1) the cession of Trentino up to liberating Trentino and of forestalling an Austrian the boundary of 1811, the towns of Rovereto, offensive from the commanding heights of this Trent, and Bozen: (2) an extension of the eastern district, the Italians moved up to the valley of Italian frontier along the Isonzo River to include the Adige and the basin of Lake Garda towards the strong positions of Tolmino, Gorizia, Gradisca, Rovereto, while small parties assailed the moun- and Montefalcone; (3) the erection of Trieste into tain passes on both sides of the triangle. The an autonomous state: (4) the cession of several odds in men, however, were about five to one Dalmatian islands; (5) the recognition of Austria- against them and they made but meagre progress. Hungary's disinterestedness in Albania and in the Tne Austrians who had acted strictly on the de- twelve ^gean Islands. Austria-Hungary absolutely fensive with their 300,000 troops, began with- refused the second, third, and fourth demands, and drawing their men from the Russian front and modified the first by reserving Bozen. Moreover, the Balkans, bringing up their military strength Austria was averse to making any concessions till to half a million men. The main force concentrated after the war and demanded in return a strict at Rovereto which the Italians had approached but observation of Italy's neutrality during the war. had not been able to storm. After a terrific bom- Germany at once promised to guarantee cessions bardment the Austrian infantry rushed forward of Austrian territory at the conclusion of hostili- along the front from Rovereto to Borgo. Arsiero ties. However, the Allies could bid higher than and Asiago fell to the Austrians and there was the Central Powers and in fact could promise great rejoicing in Vienna. The Italians fell back Italy slices of Austria, without any injury to to Monte Ciove, which tijey held fast. Likewise themselves. thev stood unflinchingly on Monte Pasubio against

On 4 May, 1915, Italy denounced her treaty of odds of four to one under a nerve-shattering alliance with Austria-Hungary. Already on 26 bombardment, The Austro-Hungarian lines at the April, Italy had signed a secret agreement at Lon- Russian front were too thinly held and the troops don by which she was to receive Trentino, all from the Italian front were recalled to meet Brus- southem Tyrol to the Brenner, Trieste, Gorizia, silof's onslaughts in the east. Thus the Austrian and Gradisca, the provinces of Istria and Dal- offensive on Tyrol was checked. The Italians dealt matia, and all the Austrian islands in the Adriatic, a counterblow and once more Asiago, Arsiero, and Italy, moreover, was to annex Avlona and its neigh- Posina were occupied by Italian troops. The drive borhood although she was not to object, if it were for Gorizia had begun. The heights on the later decided to apportion parts of Albania to western bank of the Isonzo, overlooking Gorizia, Montenegro, Servia, and Greece. Besides, Italy were taken the first day, as were the heights farther was to strengthen her hold on Libya, and, in the north. South of Gorizia, on the left bank of the event of an increase of French and English Isonzo, the Italians stormed the summit of Monte dominion in Africa at the expense of Germany, San Michele, the key to the Gorizia position. In she was to have the right of enlarging hers. Finally two days the heights of the Isonzo were carried Italy was to retain the twelve Greek-speiddng and on 9 August, 1916, the Italian infantry escorted