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Operational Art on the Italian Front During The Great War

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United States Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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This monograph is a campaign analysis of the operations on the Italian Front during World War I. The focus of the monograph is to determine if operational art was practiced by the belligerents from the time of Italys entry into the war in May of 1915 until the surrender of Austria-Hungary in November of 1918. Before beginning the campaign analysis, the paper examines the background to the war for Italy and Austria-Hungary, defines operational art, and establishes the criteria to be used to determine if operational art existed. The paper identifies three battles, the Trentino offensive of 1916, the Battle of Caporetto in 1917, and the Battle of Vittorio-Veneto in 1918, as examples of operational art. However, only the Battle of Vittorio-Veneto achieved the end state that the operational artist wanted. Understanding why Vittorio-Veneto was a complete success for the Italians, and why the Trentino offensive and the Battle of Caporetto did not produce the end state that the Austrians sought, provides lessons for future practitioners of operational art.

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Technical Report



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Approved For Public Release;

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