May 12, 1917 – Tenth Battle of the Isonzo Begins
Pictured – Austro-Hungarian troops return fire. The machine gunner appears to be wearing his helmet backwards.
The tenth (out of eleven) Battle of the Isonzo began in May 1917 with an Italian preliminary bombardment and then attack on the Austro-Hungarian positions on the border of the Slovenian alps. British Prime Minister Lloyd George encouraged the Italian attack and even suggested diverted British troops to the Italian front, much to the chagrin of his generals, who viewed it was a sideshow. Italian Commander in Chief Luigi Cadorna hoped that the tenth time would prove the charm, and the badly suffering Austrian army would break. Cadorna under estimated, however, the beating that his own army had taken in the war, and this battle of the Isonzo, like the others, came to nought.