By the spring of 1915 the chief of staff of the Italian Army, General Luigi Cadorna, had 25 infantry and 4 cavalry divisions. Grouped into four armies, Cadorna only had 120 heavy or medium artillery pieces and some 700 machine guns. Despite the shortage of artillery, Cadorna launched mass attacks on Austria-Hungary in June 1915.
The defending army quickly built trenches and the Italians suffered heavy casualties. In the first two weeks of the Isonzo Offensive, the Italian Army lost 60,000 men. Although Cadorna had a numerically superior force, massed infantry assaults without the back-up of enough artillery pieces, was unlikely to succeed against machine-guns. By the time the attacks were called off that winter, Italian casualties had reached 300,000. Cadorna also lost 3,000 field guns which reduced his chances of carrying out a successful offensive during the next few months.