Battle Of Vittiro Veneto (Part I)
On 24 October, the anniversary of the Battle of Caporetto, in the early hours Commando Supremo launched the splintering attack on the Monte Grappa designed to draw in the Austro-Hungarian reserves. At 03:00 the right wing of the Italian Fourth Army began a barrage to give time for its men to move into position. At 05:00 the rest of the artillery joined in. The infantry began to struggle up the steep slopes and secondary peaks which the Austrians had held for so long. The flooding of the Piave prevented two of the three central armies from advancing simultaneously with the third; but the latter, under the command of Earl Cavan, after seizing Papadopoli Island farther downstream, won a foothold on the left bank of the river on 27 October. In the evening the Allies had covered so much ground that they were over-extended and vulnerable to a counter-attack. The Italian Tenth Army maintained its ground and had established a bridgehead 2.5 miles (4.0 km) deep and 5 miles (8.0 km) broad. The British captured 3,520 prisoners and 54 guns. Svetozar Boroević von Bojna, the Austro-Hungarian commander, ordered a counter-attack on the Italian bridgeheads on the same day, but his troops refused to obey orders, a problem confronting the Austrians from that time on, and the counter-attack failed.
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