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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 17.djvu/431

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ITALY 415 rTAiir

King Victor Emmanuel into Gorizia. After the and purely Austro-Hungarian Army operating on capture of Gorisia further violent fighting occurred, von Below's left), forced a passage of the Taglia- the Italians were imable to make any serious mento near Pinzano. The Livenza was crossed breaches in the new Austrian lines. From a ter- three da}^ later. Asiago fell to the Austrians ritorial point of view the Italians won slight ad- on 10 November. After retreating to the Piave vantages over their enemy in the campaigning of River the Italians stood firm, despite the numerous 1916. Austrian attacks. The disaster of the Isonzo caused

In May, 1917, the Italians once more took the French and British troops to be hastily despatched ofifensive in the direction of Trieste. During the to the assistance of Italy. Finding all efforts to winter they had increased their military strength cross the Piave futile, the Austro-Germans sought by the addition of numerous British guns and to outflank the new Italian lines by striking at gunners. The Austrians fortified their formidsCble the Asiago Plateau and the range of mountains mountain positions still further, and withdrew a between the upper courses of the Brenta and Piave number of divisions from the Galician front. The Rivers. In December desperate assaults were made ensuing battle, therefore, was to be of unparalleled by the Austrians on the Asiago Plateau and on fury. The Italian line ran southwards from Plezzo the upper reaches of the Brenta; Monte Asolone to the sea, along the left bank of the Isonzo. After was captured by the Teutons, and likewise the three days' violent artillery preparation General lower summit of Monte Tomba. The Italian out- Cadoma launched a general assault on 14 May look now brightened, for on 30 December Monte along the whole front from Tolmino to the sea. Tomba was recovered, and in Januarv the Teutons On 18 May the topmost peak of Monte Vodice evacuated Monte Asolone and the bridgehead on was in his hands, and a few days later Hudi Log the Piave at Zenson.

and Jamiano were captured. The Austrian de- The final Austrian drive in 1918 was a flat failure, fenders reinforced by Hungarian troops from the This time the Italians were prepared. The advance eastern frontier, carried out some very creditable of the Austrians over two areas, in the plains be- counter-attacks. lYom 24 May on the whole line tween the Montello and San Dona di Piave, and from Plava to the sea swayed to and fro repeatedly in the hills between Monte Grappa and Canove, and the casualties on both sides, were extremely was checked at the outset. The more successful heavy. On 19 August General Cadoma again at- General Boroevic, crossing the Piave, seized the tacked along the whole of the front from Tolmino eastern end of the Montello, but was stopped bv to the sea and on 24 August the Italians performed the arrival of Diaz's reinforcements and the flood- the remarkable feat of storming Monte Sante, a in^ of the Piave. A counter-offensive by General position of redoubtable strength. This drive, like Diaz resulted in the retreat of Boroevic's forces the others, ended in a standstill, with great losses to their old positions, and also secured ground on both sides. which had been lost in 1917, especially the delta

On 1 August, Pope Benedict XV addressed a at the mouth of the Piave. The Austrian army note to all the Belligerent Powers, inviting all was decomposing, and when on 24-25 October the these Governments to come to an agreement on the Italian armies smote the Austrians in the the points which he set forth as the fundamental Monte Grappa region, between the Brenta and basis of a permanent Peace. They included the Piave Rivers, they were incapable of making an "moral right of justice" as a substitute for the effective defense. A British imit under Lord Cavan material might of arms"; the introduction of arbi- attacked along the Lower Piave and a French unit tration according to an agreed standard; and the took Monte Seismol on the Asiago Plateau. By 30 "true freedom and common enjoyment of the seas" October the Italians had captured Monte Grappa, "under the guarantee of definite rules." The note and were driving the Austrians along the whole was endorsed by the clergy and the clerical press, front from the Alps to the Adriatic. With the and the Central Powers promptly availed tnem- fall of Monte Grappa, the enemy army in the selves of the opportunity to attempt a "peace mountains was cut off from those in the plains, offensive." The Allies on the other hand felt that On 1 November the Austrians were in utter rout, under the existing conditions it was less favorable Trent and Trieste fell to the Italians and Udine to their aims. The United States defined its was entered. Durazzo, an important Austro-Hun- grounds for peace and declared the necessity of garian naval base, had been entered on 15 October, continuing the war until these were realized, in The morale of the Austrians had vanished and on which the Allies concurred. The defensive atti- 31 October they sued for peace. On 3 November, tude of the Austrians, assumed from the beginning an armistice was signed and hostilities ceased. The of the war, was now given up. Germany^ hand terms included the complete demobilization of the began to be felt, for early in October unknown to Austro-Hungarian armies, the evacuation of all ter- the Italians, German and Austro-Hungarian divi- ritory occupied by the Austrian armies and of all sions were withdrawn from the east and concen- territory in dispute; the withdrawal of all German trated in the southwest, as a reserve force. The troops from the Austrian, Balkan, and Italian fronts, defenses, being ruptured at Caporetto and Tol- the surrender of a number of Austrian ships, the mino, the whole Italian line from Plezzo to Tol- liberation of all captured merchant ships, the allied mino collapsed. On 27 October the German occupation of Poland and the control of the commander, von Below, entered Cividale. This Danube.

defeat involved a prolonged and disastrous retreat. Peace Negotiations. — ^When the war ended. The troops to the south, the Italian "Third Army" confusion rose as to Italy's territorial aims, re- occupying the Bainsizza Plateau, Gorizia, and the garding which there had never been any agreement. Carso, were obliged to fall back. Gorizia was The demands of the extremists and imperialists of evacuated on 28 October. On 29 October, Udine, not only the Trentino and Trieste, but also Fiume the seat of the Italian main headquarters was cap- and the entire Dalmatian coast, brought the Ital- tured by the Austrians. At Latisana the rear guard ians into a position of sharp antagonism towards of the Second Army, consisting of 60,000 men, was the Servians, and later towards the new Jugoslav cut off by von Below's rapid advance and being state (see FtUMs). In 1920 the question was set- surrounded, surrendered witnout further resistance, tied by negotiations at Santa Margherita Ligure, On 5 November General Boroevic's army (the large which gave the whole of Istria to Italy as well as 27