Pietro Badoglio - Encyclopedia

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"PIETRO BADOGLIO (1871-), Italian general, was born at Grazzano (Alessandria) Sept. 28 1871. He received his commission in the artillery, and thence passed to the general staff. During the Italo-Turkish War he served in Tripoli on the staff, receiving special promotion to major after the battle of Zanzur in June 1912. In the spring of 1915 he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and on Italy's entry into the World War he held the post of sub-chief-of-staff of the II. Army under Gen. Frugoni. In quick succession he acted as chief-of-staff of the 4th Division, and commanded the 74th Infantry Regiment on Monte Sabotino. In July 1916 he received another step, and as colonel commanded the "Sabotino Sector." He planned and carried out the successful attack on Monte Sabotino which preceded the fall of Gorizia (Aug. 1916). For this success he was once more promoted. After serving as chief-of-staff of the VI. Corps and commanding the Cuneo Brigade, he became chief-of-staff of the so-called " Gorizia Zone " under Capello, with whom he remained when the command of the " Gorizia Zone " was extended to the whole II. Army. On the eve of that army's offensive in May 1917, Capello, dissatisfied with the artillery preparation in the sector of the II. Corps, obtained the appointment of Badoglio as interim commander of the corps (May 12). After the capture of Monte Kuk and Monte Vodice this appointment was confirmed, and he received another step of promotion. He commanded the II. Corps at the beginning of the August offensive but when the XXVII. Corps on the extreme left of the attack failed to make the progress expected he was sent to take over the corps. This time, however, the endeavour to make up for lost time was unavailing. At the battle of Caporetto, Badoglio commanded the same corps, the left wing of which was broken by Otto von Below's attack from the Tolmino bridgehead. On the reorganization of the Italian Supreme Command (Nov. 1917) he was appointed as one of the two sub-chiefs-of-staff then nominated, the other being Gen. Giardino. From Feb. 1918, on Giardino's transference to Versailles, Badoglio acted as sole sub-chief-of-staff under Diaz. He conducted the Armistice preliminaries at Villa Giusti, and signed the Armistice on behalf of Italy. In Nov. 1919 he was appointed to the rank of army general and from Diaz's resignation to Feb. 1921 he was chief of the general staff in succession to Diaz.

Badoglio's rapid rise was explained by the qualities which he showed in a special degree: determination, energy, and thoroughness. These qualities, joined to a natural military instinct developed by much study and backed by a powerful ambition, marked him out early and brought him very quickly to the front. He was blamed in various quarters for his disposition of the XXVII. Corps before the Austro-German attack in Oct. 1917, but the Caporetto Commission of Inquiry rejected most of the criticisms made upon him.

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