Italy Declares War on Germany

The Italian campaign refers to a series of battles fought between the armies of Austria-Hungary and Italy, along with their allies, in northern Italy between 1915 and 1918.

Italy hoped that by joining the countries of the Triple Entente against the Central Powers it would gain Cisalpine Tyrol (todays provinces of Trento and Bolzano-Bozen), Istria, Dalmatia and the port of Trieste. Although Italy had hoped to begin the war with a surprise offensive intended to move quickly and capture several Austrian cities, the war soon bogged down into trench warfare similar to the Western Front fought in France.

Although a member of the Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary and Germany, Italy did not declare war in August 1914, arguing that the Alliance was defensive in nature and therefore that Austria-Hungary's aggression did not obligate Italy to take part. Italy had a long standing rivalry with Austria-Hungary, dating back to the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars, which granted several regions on the Italian peninsula to the Austrian Empire. In the early stages of the war, Allied diplomats courted Italy, attempting to secure Italian participation on the Allied side, culminating in the Treaty of London of April 26, 1915 in which Italy renounced her obligations to the Triple Alliance. On May 23, Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary.