I a ma big history nerd. WWI is def one of my passions. One thing that is barely mentioned though, is the Italian front in WWI. WWI was wasteful, but Italy was like hold my beer western front meat grinder. Italy was a powerful 2nd rate nation, and wanted to be a first rate nation. While its former allies Germany and Austria Hungary were busy fighting England/France/Russia and Serbia, Italy went into action. Thing is there is only a narrow field of attack into AH, across the Isonzo river Which is in the extreme east. The Italians fought 11 offensive battles there for little gain. While the AHs were fighting on three, yes three other fronts. Marshal Luigi Cadorna of Italy was a madmen, who held massive political sway. Instead of striking when the AH were thin in 1915 on the Isonzo front, he decided to wait and spread his forces into the mountains. He possibly could have overwhelmed them if he attacked sooner. Also since Italy wasnt a first rate nation, it was in a lack of artillery. machine guns too were at half strength. This wouldnt be solved until British equipment came in, and loans, lots of loans, as Italy was bankrupt by 1916. They also lacked wire cutters, they literally were issued scissors to cut thickets of barbed wire while being murdered by machinegun fire and artillery. They also had the habit of attacking the most fortified areas. Oh and in the motns, which they were fighting in before modern mountaineering, they were up where nature was more dangerous https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Friday_(1916) dudes were getting killed by avalanches and freezing to death. Look at the terrain Cardorna also dismissed 217 generals, 255 cols and 355 battalion commanders. Sometimes in the Alps the lines would be as near as 8m from each other, basically above and below on almost sheer cliffs. Some highlights. In March 1916 the Italians launched a chlorine phosgene attack. They loosed 3k barrels of it. The wind shifted and it hit the Italian lines. Their masks were worthless to protect against this gas. Becuase the alkaline was given separate from the cloth masks, they ended up killing 2k of their own men here. Corporal Valentino was returning to the front, and he was shocked by the complete silence. He thought his unit was asleep. Dead! They were all dead! My favorite because it is so blatant is wastefulness. The AHs were on a bluff, and the Italians were drilling into it. A young Lt and a small group were left to guard it, as they knew they were going to be dynamited off of it. They were stressed out, knowing once the drills stopped, they were dead. This bluff in the Castellento blew, a huge explosion could be heard for miles around. Ignoring the smoke, the Italians make their way through into the saddle created by the crater. They keel over. one after another. It is what miners call afterdamp; refluxing clouds of CO formed by the explosion. All the Italian gains were undone by the 1917 Caporetto offensive where young Rommel kicks butt. They end up deep into Italian territory where the line would be until the AHs started to collapse. Cardorna was sacked, but morale was low by then. Should mention, he also instituted decimation. Thats right killed every tenth man for offenses like disobedience and cowardice . Anyhow, love the book the White War by Mark Thompson. Just crazy and for nothing fighting up to 3,500 meters up for a few square kilos of worthless land. These dude s have no real safety gear and are doing this with old hemp ropes.