Luigi Cadorna was born in 1850 in Pallanza, of a family with strong military traditions. His father was the General Raffaele Cadorna that, after having fought courageously in Algeria, in Crimea and in S.Martino, he commanded the Army Corps in 1870 in giving Rome to Italy.
First Lieutenant of the General Staff Corps when he was eighteen years old (1868), Luigi Cadorna showed his unmistakable features as a soldier: a strong personality, indomitable energy, love for the study and the reflection, tenacity in work and devotion to duty. For several years he alternated services of General Staff to shifts in the troops command. When he became Colonel in 1892 he commanded the 10thBersaglieri Regiment and then he was Chief of General Staff of the 8th Army Corps.
As Major General (1898-1905) he was the Pistoia Brigade Commander; with the rank of Lieutenant General he commanded the Divisions of Ancona and Naples and, in 1911, the 4th Army Corps. The following year, the General was appointed to the Command of an army in war. When the General Alberto Rollio suddenly died in 1914, Luigi Cadorna succeeded him in the position of Chief of the Army General Staff.
He began to work for preparing the Italian Army to the conflict that was outlining. Following the plan that he prepared, he took the battlefield in 1915 by heading the Army; in spite of the difficulties, he managed to carry out offensives along the Isonzo that would have reduced the enemy Army. The Chief of the General Staff of the Austro-Hungarian Army tried to surprise the Italian High Command in the spring 1916, carrying out an offensive in Trentino and threatening to enter the Padan Plain behind our formation on the Isonzo river; but the General Cadorna responded with a counteroffensive that led to the Gorizia victory by the Italian Army. Then he "tightened the throat" (as General Ludendorff said") of the enemy Army until when it was forced to ask for an help by the allied Germany, thinking that it could not defend Trieste after the defeat of Bainsizza (August 1917).
After the situation arising on 24th October with the left side of the 2nd Army overpowered by the Austro-Germans, Cadorna ordered and headed the general retreat from the Giulia front and the valleys of Carnia and Cadore up to the Piave river. On 19th November he resigned from the position of Chief of General Staff and he was sent to Versailles as member of the inter-allied War Council. After some months, General Cadorna retired to private life in Florence where he wrote the following works:
The War on the Italian front, Other pages of the Great War, The most beautiful pages of Montecuccoli. Promoted Marshal of Italy in 1924, he died in Bordighera in 1928.
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