offensive during those months against the strongest natural defences to be found in any of the theatres of war. On countless occasions Italian heroes went forth on forlorn hopes to scale and capture impossible precipices, and sometimes they succeeded. Through that bloody series of offensives the Italians slowly but steadily gained ground, and drew ever nearer to Trento and Trieste. Only those who went out to the Italian Front before Caporetto, and saw with their own eyes what the Italian Army had accomplished on the Carso and among the Julian Alps, can fully realise the greatness of the Italian effort.
It must never be forgotten that Italy is both the youngest and the poorest of the Great Powers of Europe. Barely half a century has passed since United Italy was born, and the political and economic difficulties of her national childhood were enormous. For many years, as one of her own historians says, she was "not a state, but only the outward appearance of a state." Her natural resources are poor and l