Primary Documents - Luigi Cadorna on the Battle of Caporetto, 28 October 1917

Luigi Cadorna Reproduced below is the text of Luigi Cadorna's official communiqué dated 28 October 1917 formally acknowledging a major Italian defeat at the Battle of Caporetto (also referred to as the Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo).

Cadorna, the Italian Army Chief of Staff, promised to rectify matters following Caporetto; in reality however the scale of the setback (some 300,000 Italian casualties) was such that Italy's Allies - namely Britain and France - were obliged to rush reinforcements to prop up the Italian front against further setback at the hands of combined German/Austro-Hungarian forces.

In the wake of Caporetto Cadorna was dismissed and Armando Diaz installed as Army Chief the Staff.

Click here to read French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau's reaction to news of Italy's defeat at Caporetto.  Click here to read an account of the decision to launch the attack by the German liaison officer attached to the Austrian Army, General von Cramon.  Click here to read a memoir of the battle by the Chief of the British Red Cross in Italy, G.M. Trevelyan.

Luigi Cadorna's Official Communiqué of 28 October 1917

A violent attack and the feeble resistance of detachments of the Second Army permitted Austro-German forces to pierce our left wing on the Julian front.

The valiant efforts of other troops were not successful in preventing the enemy from penetrating to the sacred soil of our Fatherland.

The bravery displayed by our soldiers in so many memorable battles fought and won in the past two and a half years gives our Supreme Command a pledge that this time, too, the army to which the honour and safety of the country are entrusted will know how to fulfil its duty.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. V, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

A "dogfight" signified air combat at close quarters.

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