Italian infantry carried out a number of successive attacks in the region of Monte Rombon in the Plezzo basin and on the height commanding the position of Lucinico, southeast of San Martino del Carso.
Very wonderful too is the spirit which animates the Alpini. My Alpino friend had been wounded in the leg last August at Rombon, and still walked lame. He told me of incidents which he had witnessed, of Alpini charging across and through uncut enemy wire, with the wounded and the dying crying to their comrades, "Ciao! Ciao! Avanti!"
On the southern slopes of Monte Rombon the Italians occupied by surprise advanced posts, and maintained the same in spite of the concentrated fire of the Austrians. On the Julian front the artillery fire was especially noticeable in the Tolmino sector, and on the heights northeast of Goritz. Columns of Austrian motor lorries were dispersed, and troops assembled east of Castagnievizza were shelled.
On the following day, March 19, 1916, fighting continued at the Tolmino bridgehead as a result of Italian efforts to conquer positions firmly in Austro-Hungarian hands. The number of Italians captured reached 925 and the number of machine guns taken was increased to seven. On the Rombon the Austro-Hungarians captured a position and took 145 Italians and two machine guns.
This last disaster was caused by Croats and Bulgarians, who spoke Italian perfectly, having lived among us and taken degrees at our Universities, getting through our lines in the first confusion, dressed in Italian uniform, and sending false telephone messages and signals in our own cipher, ordering a general retreat. It was men from , who first ran away at Rombon and Tolmino.
The offensive covered a 23-mile front, from Monte Rombon Southeast through Flitsch and Tolmino and thence Southward to the Bainsizza Plateau, about ten miles Northeast of Goritz, the scene of desperate fighting in the drive by the Italians which wrested important mountain positions from the Austrians. The greatest shock came from the North, where the Isonzo was first crossed by the enemy.