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From May 1915 to October 1917 the armies of Italy and the Austro - Hungarian empire were locked into a series of twelve battles along the River Isonzo, a sixty - mile front from the Alps to the Adriatic. The campaign was fought in the most appalling terrain for combat, with horrendous casualties on both sides, often exceeding those of the more famous battles of the Great War. The twelfth and final battle, Caporetto, resulted in a devastating defeat for Italy and led to one of the greatest breakthroughs achieved during the entire conflict. Yet this massive struggle is too often neglected in histories of the war which focus on the fighting on the Western and Eastern Fronts. John Macdonald, in this accessible and highly illustrated account, aims to set the record straight. His description of the Isonzo battles, of the battle fields and of the atrocious conditions in which the soldiers lived and fought is supported by a graphic selection of original photographs that record the terrible reality of the conflict. The impact of the intervention of British, French and German troops is covered, as are the parts played by famous individuals - among them Rommel, Mussolini, Badoglio and Cadorna, the notorious Italian commander in chief. But it is the front - line experience of the common soldiers on both sides that is most powerfully portrayed. Caporetto and the Isonzo Campaign gives a fascinating insight into a conflict that was a pivotal moment in the history of Italy, Austria and the Balkans.