The Italian Front
When the war broke out in 1914, the Apennine Kingdom remained neutral despite its alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary. In the months to follow intense debate arose as to the rights and wrongs of entering the war. The Entente also aimed at an alliance with the government in Rome. The haggling and manoeuvring for favourable conditions and partnerships ultimately culminated in Italy joining the war against the Central Powers from May 1915 onwards. The hostilities between Italy and the Central Powers were bitterly waged on both sides. The gains in territory thereby achieved by the opposing armies, often moreover involving impassable, mountainous terrain, remained mostly slight. While the Habsburg Monarchy dissolved within a few days at the end of October 1918, the Italian military forces attacked near Vittorio Veneto on October 23, 1918, ultimately forcing a ceasefire. Through errors in communication on the part of the Austro-Hungarian army high command, Italian formations were also able to take prisoner some 360,000 soldiers of the Habsburg army.