Flashcards in Military stalemate, 1915-16 Deck (29):
What did Antonio Salandra hope for?
Antonio Salandra had hoped for a brief, offensive war that would bring Italy almost immediate territorial gains
What did this expectation demonstrate?
This expectation simply demonstrated how misguided his understanding of the conflict was
Where was the war fought?
The war between Italy and Austria was fought predominantly in the mountainous area bordering the two countries
What was the war characterised by?
It was characterised by mainly static trench warfare in the ice and snow of the difficult alpine terrain
What were the conditions like?
The conditions were horrific
How many Italians were killed and by what?
Thousands of Italians were killed by cholera and frostbite
What followed Italy's declaration of war?
Two years of stalemate followed Italy's declaration of war
What were thousands of Italian soldiers sacrificed for?
Thousands of soldiers were often sacrificed in order to move a few hundred meters on the mountainside
How many Italian soldiers died in 1915?
62K Italians died in 1915
How did 62K Italians die in 1915?
They died during 4 attempted offensives against the Austrians that failed to change the situation at the front
What did the war reveal instead of bringing about national unity?
Instead of bringing about national unity many had hoped for, the war revealed that the great problems and divisions within Italian society
How many men were conscripted into the army? What were the majority of them?
Nearly 5 million men were conscripted into the army, with the majority being peasants and agricultural workers
What were southern conscripts?
Southern conscripts were overrepresented
What meant very little to the southern conscripts?
The ideals of the war concerning Italian expansion meant very little to them
What did the southern conscripts find difficult to comprehend?
It was difficult for these soldiers to comprehend why the frozen wastelands at the front were worth dying for
What did the majority of the southern conscripts fail to understand? Why?
The majority of peasant conscripts, who spoke a vast range of dialects, couldn't understand the orders being given to them by those in charge, who were predominantly educated northern Italians who mainly spoke the official Italian language (Florence dialect)
How were Italian conscripts treated?
Italian conscripts were treated poorly by the commanders
What were the rations like?
The rations were extremely low
What were the rations by the end of 1916?
The rations were around 3K calories a day by the end of 1916
How many soldiers were court-martialed during the war for desertion?
290K Italian soldiers were court-martialed during the war for desertion
Who was the Italian supreme commander?
The Italian supreme commander was Luigi Cadorna
What was Luigi Cadorna's solution to the lack of discipline and morale?
Luigi Cadorna's solution to the lack of discipline and morale was to repress dissent through harsh punishment
How many death sentences did military tribunals pass throughout the course of the war? For what?
Military tribunals passed 4K death sentences on Italian soldiers for desertion and indiscipline throughout the course of the war
What was 4K death sentences on Italian soldiers for desertion and indiscipline considerably more than?
This was considerably more per capita than any other Western army
What did Italian leaders fear?
Italians leaders feared that, given the troops' lack of patriotic feeling towards the war, if soldiers heard that conditions in prisoner of war camps were tolerable they might be inclined to surrender
What did the government do about this fear?
The government hampered any attempts to help Italians who had been captured
How many Italians were captured? What did they have to survive on?
600K Italians were captured and had to survive on 1K calories a day
How many Italians died from hunger-related illnesses? This was 5 times the...
100K died from hunger-related illnesses. This was 5 times the number from France and Britain who were allowed to receive food parcels at home