User name
Password

Don't have a user name yet?
Register here.

Help

Isonzo Front in numbers

Ljubljana, 10 May - The twelve Battles of the Isonzo took place between 23 May 1915 and 9 November 1917. The part of the front located on the territory of present-day Slovenia was 93 kilometres long. More than a million people in the area fled their homes during the campaign.

Italian soldiers transporting a cannon on the Isonzo Front.
Photo: Archive of the Isonzo Front 1915-1917 Association

Drežnica
The Batognice collection, a privately owned museum collection of WWI artefacts.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Bovec
An Austro-Hungarian WWI military cemetery near Bovec, the final resting place of over 600 soldiers who died on the Isonzo Front.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Solkan
Reconstructed entrance in a WWI cave stronghold in the Sabotin hill.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

The Isonzo Front was 93 kilometres long.
The animosities lasted for 888 days.
The shortest Battle of the Isonzo lasted 3 days. It was the 8th battle on the Isonzo Front and took place between 9 and 12 October 1916.
The longest Battle of the Isonzo lasted 26 days. It was the 11th battle on the Isonzo Front and took place between 17 August and 12 September 1917.

A total of 12 battles took place as part at the Isonzo Front.
The 11th battle is considered the bloodiest military operation on Slovenian soil ever. A total of 50,000 soldiers were killed:around 40,000 soldiers were killed and 108,000 wounded on the Italian side and around 10,000 soldiers were killed and 95,000 were wounded, fell ill or went missing on the Austro-Hungarian side.
11 battles on the Isonzo Front were initiated by the Italian side.
The 12th Battle of the Isonzo was the last battle. It was initiated by the Austro-Hungarian army with help from the German army. It was named Loyalty in Arms (German: Waffentreue). The battle was prepared by German General Kraft von Dellmensingen, and phosgene was used as a chemical weapon.
Around 13,000 soldiers were killed in the 12th battle on the Italian side.
More than 300,000 Italian soldiers became prisoners of war after the 12th battle.
The Italian side lost 73,000 horses in the 12th Battle of the Isonzo.
Around 5,000 soldiers were killed on the Austro-Hungarian and German side.
3,152 cannons, 1,732 mortars, 300,000 rifles, 3,000 submachine guns, 2,000 machine guns and 1,600 cars of the Italian army were captured by the Austro-Hungarian and German army during the 12th Battle of the Isonzo.

A total of 1.5 million soldiers were killed, wounded or captured during the Battles of the Isonzo on both sides. There were at least 250,000 casualties. Around 700,000 soldiers were wounded or poisoned with chemical weapons, and more than 500,000 went missing or were captured on both sides.
More than 95% of total casualties were soldiers.
Around 3,500 casualties on the Isonzo Front were Slovenians; the Isonzo Front was thus not the bloodiest front for Slovenians. The biggest number of Slovenians killed in WWI was in Galicia, from where around 10,000 never returned home. In WWI, an estimated 35,000-40,000 Slovenian soldiers were killed in battle.
An average of 297 soldiers were killed on the Isonzo Front every day.

The remains of 57,739 soldiers who were killed on the Isonzo Front are buried in an ossuary in the village of Oslavia in Italy.
The remains of 7,014 Italian soldiers have been laid to rest in an ossuary above the Slovenian town of Kobarid.
The remains of around 1,000 German soldiers have been laid to rest in an ossuary in the Slovenian town of Tolmin. This is the only preserved location in the area of the Isonzo Front where a larger number of German soldiers is buried.
The remains of 100,187 soldiers have been laid to rest in an ossuary in the town of Redipuglia in Italy.
In 2016, a monument to all Slovenian soldiers killed on the Isonzo Front was unveiled in the town of Doberdo del Lago in Italy.

The ratio between the attackers and defenders at the beginning of the Battles of the Isonzo was approximately 9 to 1, namely around 500 Italian brigades against around 50 battalions of the Austro-Hungarian army.
Two to three million shells were fired in the course of a single battle on the Isonzo Front on average.
The heaviest shell fired on the Isonzo Front weighed 1,060 kilogrammes.
The range of the shell was 12 kilometres, it was 160 centimetres high and had a 420 mm calibre.

Around 80,000 Slovenians from the area of Gorizia and from the Soča Valley were displaced by the Austro-Hungarian authorities because of the Isonzo Front.
Between 10,000 and 12,000 Slovenians were displaced from their homes by the Italians.
Around 230,000 people emigrated from the Isonzo Front area.

On 9 August 1916 the Italian army captured Gorizia during the 6th Battle of the Isonzo. It was the only major military and political target captured by the Italians in WWI.
The attack on Sabotin, the hill which was captured by the Italian army three days before the capture of Gorizia on 6 August 1916, lasted 40 minutes.

Krn, the highest peak of the Krn range and one of the most important fortified peaks in the area of the Isonzo Front, is 2,245 metres high. Some of the bloodiest battles of the Isonzo Front took place in the area.

Observation balloons used by both armies on the Isonzo front could reach heights of between 400 and 800 metres.
30,000 litres of water was needed to fill a balloon with hydrogen; as water is scarce in the area, the use of balloons was limited.
Three balloon companies were used by the Austro-Hungarian army on the Isonzo Front.
Eight balloon units were operated by the Italian army.

The Walk of Peace from the Alps to the Adriatic, which runs along the key points of the Isonzo Front, was opened in March 2015.
There are 15 open-air museums along the Walk of Peace - in Čelo, Ravelnik, Zaprikraj, Mrzli vrh, Mengore, Kolovrat, Sabotin, Prižnica, Vodice, Škabrijel, Pečinka Cave, Ermada, Brestovec, San Michele and the Bersaglieri Valley.
The Walk of Peace from the Alps to the Adriatic - First World War heritage made it to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2016.

Sources: The Walk of Peace from the Alps to the Adriatic - Guide to the Isonzo Front; http://www.100letprve.si, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zw%C3%B6lfte_Isonzoschlacht

zm/eho
© STA, 2017