The Italian army launched its final offensive on the Isonzo Front a century ago, on 17 August 1917. Lasting for 27 days, the 11th Battle of the Isonzo claimed the lives of 50,000 soldiers on both sides, and 153,000 were wounded.
Soldiers from many nations fought on the Isonzo Front between 1915 and 1917. The diversity of the army of the multicultural Austro-Hungarian Empire was particularly striking.
General Svetozar Boroević von Bojna, the commander of the Austro-Hungarian forces on the Isonzo Front who successfully deflected the attacks of the stronger Italian army, was considered one of the more able commanders of WWI. As Boroević noted in his memoirs, he was "the only field marshal the southern Slavs had ever produced".
Luigi Cadorna, the chief of staff who oversaw Italian forces on the Isonzo Front, was a ruthless commander who suffered a defeat against the weaker Austro-Hungarian forces. He was considered a methodical officer, but it was his decisions that led to the routing of the Italian forces in the 1917 battle of Caporetto.
At the outset of WWI, the Austro-Hungarian army was led by Count Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf as the chief-of-staff. His legacy is mixed.
The Italian second and third armies fought on the Isonzo Front. While several generals took turns commanding the Second Army, the Third Army was commanded by Prince Emanuel Filiberto, the duke of Aosta.
A group of around 500 tourists from Hungary will start a multi-day tour of sites where the Battles of Isonzo took place in WWI, to pay respect to soldiers - some of whom their predecessors - who fought in one of the bloodiest campaigns of the war.