Caporetto, Battle of
(Oct. 24, 1917) Italian military disaster in World War I in which Italian troops retreated before an Austro-German offensive near Trieste on the Isonzo front (see Battles of the Isonzo). More than 600,000 Italian soldiers either deserted or surrendered. The defeat prompted Italy's allies, France and Britain, to send reinforcements and eventually to establish the Supreme War Council to unify the Allied war effort.
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