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==Reasons for the defeat==
300px|Italian Troops forming the new line at Plave River]]There are several reasons for the defeat of the Italians. First, the intervention of the Germans was decisive. Their elite troops and tactics caught the Italians off guard and they simply did not know how to respond. The Germans were arguably the best soldiers of WWI and they overwhelmed the Italians. There were also serious mistakes that led to the catastrophic defeat. Second, the Italians failed to have a second line of defense and they resulted in a rout. After the Italians begun retreating they did not have a secondary line of defense where they could rally. Third, the Italians lacked mobile reserves and where incapable of reacting to German advances. This meant that when the German troops punched holes in the Italian defenses, the Italian Army could not quickly respond. This failure allowed the Germans and the Austrians to quickly capitalize on their initial successes. Fourth, the Italian equipment was substandard. They were constantly outmatched and struggled to defend against their adversaries, especially the Germans. The Italian gas masks were a major weakness because they could not resist the Germans after their gas attacks. Finally, the leadership in Italian High Command was outmatched. Cardona was an especially poor leader. He was a rigid disciplinarian and this undermined Italian morale before the battle even began. Cardona did not listen to his subordinates and routinely dismissed them for showing any initiative. This meant that they did not react to the German advance quickly enough. He was an unqualified micromanager who prevented subordinates from taking action. This was primary reason that the Italian retreat was disorganized and too slow. His mismanagement resulted in large numbers of troops soldiers surrendering. Cardona's poor leadership and lack of military skills turned a difficult situation into a complete disaster.