The dilemma of the young Italian kingdom and the experience of her army in World War I (1914-1918) were unique among the combatant nations. Late to enter the war against the Central Powers, she faced a massively defended Austro-Hungarian front in the north, including strong mountain features, as well as distractions in the Balkans and a simultaneous rebellion in her Libyan colony. Costly and repeated battles on the Isonzo front culminated in the disaster of Caporetto in October 1917, followed by a remarkable revival and eventual victory in 1918. This concise study describes and illustrates the Italian Army's campaigns, organisation, uniforms, weapons and equipment – including the famous 'death companies' and Arditi assault troops.
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Table of Contents
Italy and the Great Army; Chronology; Mobilisation, Strength & character; line Infantry; Elite & Specialist units; Weapons; Cavalry & Mechanised troops; technical troops; Support troops; Colonial & naval troops; Select bibliography & further reading; the plates; Index