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3783 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

In two days of hard fighting, 13,000 Austrians were captured and counter-attacks

were repulsed. Later in the month, the important post of Monte Santo was taken, after

which the Italians attacked the tremendously

strong position known as Monte San Gabriel.

After many days of bitter fighting, the Italians succeeded in reaching the top of Monte

San Gabriel and also made progress on the

Bainsizza Plateau.

In several of these operations British artillery and British monitors had played a part.

In some Allied circles it was believed that

more help should be given the Italians,

for it was thought that perhaps they could

force their way through the mountains and

attack Vienna. The victories of the year

greatly heartened the Italians and aroused

hopes of even more sweeping victories, but

a sad disappointment was in store for the

Allies on this front.

Though peace had not yet been made,

Russia was, to all intents and purposes, practically out of it. America, a laggard at the

fray, was making great preparations, but

she was not ready to take Russia's place and

would not be for many months. The resulting situation was one of which the Teutonic

War Lords took advantage with their accustomed skill. During the next half-year, they

struck heavy blows and came near to winning the war.

The first stroke fell upon Italy. Hundreds

of thousands of Austrians and several divisions of Germans were transferred from the

Eastern Front to the Italian Front, and careful

preparations were made for a drive that was

designed to put Italy out of the conflict. By

way of preparing for the military movement,

the Germans made skillful use of propaganda.

For almost a year, the Second Italian Army

in the Piezzo-Tolmino sector had not been

changed. Opposite this army the Austrians

placed regiments largely composed of Socialists, who took advantage of the war weariness of their opponents to convince them that

the end of the fighting would come if the

soldiers on both sides would refuse to kill

each other any longer. Fraternization followed, and there were even promises made

that no more shooting should be done.

Furthermore, the Austrians showed the

credulous Italians forged copies of Italian

newspapers containing stories of uprisings in