First Battle of Monte Grappa

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First Battle of Monte Grappa (1917)
Part of the Italian Front of the First World War
Vista dal monte grappa.JPG
View from the summit towards the Austrian positions
Date13–26 November 1917
Monte Grappa, Italy
Result Italian victory
 German Empire
 Kingdom of Italy
Commanders and leaders
German Empire Otto von Below Kingdom of Italy Mario Nicolis di Robilant
Kingdom of Italy Armando Diaz
120,000 51,000
Casualties and losses
21,000 12,000
Austrian trenches on the Asolone flank of the Monte Grappa massif

The First Battle of Monte Grappa, also known as First Battle of the Piave in Italy (Italian: Prima battaglia del Piave), was a battle fought during World War I between the armies of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy for control of the Monte Grappa massif, which covered the left flank of the new Italian Piave front.

The Italian Army was in all-out retreat after the Austrian autumn offensive of 1917. The Italian Chief of the general staff general, Luigi Cadorna, had ordered the construction of fortified defenses around the Monte Grappa summit in order to make the mountain range an impregnable fortress. When the Austrian offensive routed the Italians, the new Italian chief of staff, Armando Diaz, ordered the Fourth Army to stop their retreat and defend these positions between the Roncone and the Tomatico mountains, with the support of the Second Army.

The Austrians, despite help from the German Army's Alpenkorps and numerical superiority, failed to take the mountain's summit during the first battle of Monte Grappa, which lasted from November 11, 1917 to December 23, 1917. Armando Diaz allowed his local commanders much more freedom of manoeuvre than his predecessor, which resulted in a more elastic and effective Italian defense.

Thus the Italian front along the Piave river was stabilized and the Austrians failed to enter the plains beyond and to take the city of Venice.


  • Silvestri, Mario. (2006). Caporetto, una battaglia e un enigma. Bur, Bergamo. ISBN 88-17-10711-5.
  • Monte Grappa
  • Cutolo, Francesco: Monte Grappa, Battle of , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson, issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin 2018-06-22. DOI: 10.15463/ie1418.11278.

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 45°51′N 11°44′E / 45.850°N 11.733°E / 45.850; 11.733